Pioneer Banker Club

The Minnesota Bankers Association (MBA) is proud to recognize bankers who have been leaders of the industry for 50 years or more. Any Minnesota banker who has attained at least 50 years of active service is eligible. The nine bankers pictured below were inducted into the Pioneer Club at the 2018 Annual Summit. See below for a complete roster.


(Left to right: Doug Bultman, Faye Hamerl, Dean Peterson, Donald Welander, Sharon Nordby, Roger Schultz, Rosemary Melzer, John Wisniewski. Not pictured, Curt Ask.)

Curt Ask

Curt Ask was born and raised in Twin Valley, Minnesota. After graduating from Interstate Business College in Fargo, North Dakota, he began his banking career in 1962 at Dakota National Bank in Fargo. After serving in the Marine Corps from April 1964 to March 1967, Curt returned to Dakota National Bank until 1975. He then was hired as the managing officer of Kent State Bank. Curt has been with Kent State Bank, now Vantage Bank, for 43 years. As the Executive Vice President, Curt brings a wealth of experience to the bank with a special focus on agricultural lending and FSA management.

Doug Bultman

Doug began his career in banking on March 15, 1966, as an Ag Representative with First National Bank in Marshall, Minnesota. Doug was employed with First National Bank for 14 years. During that time, he served as head of every department within the bank.

On July 1, 1982, Doug was named President of First National Bank of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. The bank, owned by Norwest, was sold to Minnwest Bank in 1987. The bank grew from $62 million to over $200 million with the development of six branches during Doug’s 21 year term as president. Doug continued to serve on the Minnwest Bank Board of Directors until May 15, 2014.

Doug was elected President of the Minnesota Bankers Association from 1994 -1995. In 2003, Doug began work with the American Bankers Association as a Member Relations Consultant for Minnesota. Doug retired from the American Bankers Association on December 31, 2017.

Faye Hamerl

Faye Hamerl’s mentor while growing up advised her, “Always follow your passion.” And that she did.

Faye discovered her passion for banking in 1968, in Kansas City - far from her hometown of Roseau, Minnesota. In the early ’70s, she moved back to Minnesota and worked for Carl Pohlad’s bank - Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis. Through the years she held various positions at banks, including VP of Audit Compliance and Loan Review and Senior VP. In 2002, she moved to Roseau to accept the position of Chief Auditor of Border State Bank.

Her list of professional certifications, awards and affiliations are abundant. Her favorite was serving with Financial Women International, traveling to Washington, D.C. to lobby for women in banking.

Faye’s advice for those considering banking - “A lot of people only see the customer-facing jobs. There are more opportunities in banking than can be imagined.”

Faye, a true pioneer of banking and ultimate professional, will be retiring July 31st after 50 years of outstanding service in the banking industry.

Rosemary (Rosy) Jane Melzer

I began working for the State Bank of Hanska on September 15, 1967, as a teller and bookkeeper. When I began we manually balanced daily from entries made in various ledger books and by adding all deposits tickets and checks. We all worked out of one cash drawer.

Over the years we have made many automated changes from posting machines and proof machines to now processing the work over computers and individual teller machines and cash drawers.

The bank is now a branch of Alliance Bank. I have worked in the same building all of these years. I work full time and still do teller work along with being a loan administrative assistant and a personal banker opening accounts and servicing IRA accounts.

Sharon Nordby

Sharon Nordby’s banking career began at Citizens State Bank of New Ulm (now Citizens Bank Minnesota), in New Ulm, Minnesota, as a full-time teller on January 15, 1967. She has been a true leader and has been a valuable asset to the bank throughout her many years at Citizens.

Over her years at Citizens, Sharon has seen many changes in the banking industry, made possible mostly by computers and improved technology. When she started in banking, interest and service charges were calculated manually and many ledgers were hand posted. Teller machines did not exist and tellers doubled as bookkeepers.

In 1989, Sharon was promoted to Operations Officer/Assistant Cashier. Her duties included supervising the teller operations, vault management and security. She also served on the Management Team until her retirement in 2011.

Since July 2011, Sharon has been working on a part-time basis and truly enjoys the position. Her fondest memory is that she met and worked with so many great people over the years, along with meeting so many wonderful clients!

Dean Peterson

Dean Peterson started to work at the State Bank of Chandler in 1968, before the age of computers. He started out in the bookkeeping and teller area. Eventually his responsibilities changed and he moved into the area of lending and also was the internal auditor for several years. In addition to his banking duties Dean managed the insurance agency for several years.

He was active in several local boards and organizations throughout the time of his employment at the bank. They included the Chandler Lions Club, Trinity Lutheran Church, Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Murray County Economic Development Committee, Red Cross Board, Murray County Republicans, Big Brother Program, Murray County Bankers Association, Bank Administration Institute, and the Murray County Community Education Committee. 

Dean was also chairman on committees that wrote history books for the Chandler Centennial, Trinity Lutheran Church Centennial, and the Chandler-Lake Wilson tornado. The Chandler-Lake Wilson tornado book, at 361 pages, was the largest known book ever written on a tornado in the United States.

In 2005 Dean took early retirement and moved to North Mankato. He continued to volunteer for several organizations in the Mankato area. Dean sponsored several international students through a program at the University. Some of his favorite hobbies and interests include international traveling,  fishing, pickleball, snowshoeing, and kayaking.

Dean continues to serve on the board of the State Bank of Chandler where he currently is the chairman.

Roger Schultz

Roger Schultz began his banking career as a Teller on August 19, 1968, with the Farmers & Merchants State Bank (now Alliance Bank) in his home town of New Ulm, Minnesota. Roger took a great deal of pride in being a community banker and worked his way up to Senior Vice President – Lending.  He provided the bank’s customers with excellent, personal service. Roger considers the best part of being a community banker is working with people and helping them to succeed.

Roger was very active in the community and surrounding area and was involved with a multitude of organizations. Over his banking career he was an active member of the New Ulm Economic Development Corporation, the Economic Development Authority, past board member and president of the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, as well as Brown County Fair Board, Farm-City Hub Club, New Ulm Jaycees, and New Ulm Rotary.

Donald Welander

I began my banking career in 1968 at what is now the Wells Fargo Bank in Duluth. I worked in the installment loan department for the first year. The next couple of years I traveled Northeastern Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan selling our extra computer time to the smaller banks in the area.

In 1971, I was transfered to Virginia. I worked in installment loans for several years working up to the installment loan department manager. From 1976-1978, I managed the commercial loan department. By then I had decided to make banking my career, however, two thirds of the state was agriculture and I did not know much about farm banking. Our idea was to stay three to five years and move to a bigger town and bank. I was hired as the President of the First State Bank of Wykoff in May of 1978. We fell in love with southeastern Minnesota. In the latter part of 1986, I spoke to the late Charles M. Johnson Sr., the President of the First State Bank of Fountain, regarding a position made available by retirement. In January of 1987, I accepted the position of the Executive Vice President. I retired on June 30, 2010. I remain on the Board of Directors.

John Wisniewski 

John Wisniewski has devoted his career to banking over the past 52 years. John currently serves on the Alliance Bank board. For 27 years, John served as President of Alliance Bank, a privately owned community bank with nearly $600 million in assets and seven locations throughout Minnesota. Previously, John worked with the Reim family at Commercial State Bank as Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending for seven years.  Prior to that, John worked at the First National Bank of St. Paul.

John has served in various leadership roles with the Minnesota Bankers Association including Past Director, former Chairman of the Insurance Committee and former member of the Services Advisory Board. John has dedicated countless hours as a leader in the New Ulm community and has served on boards for many organizations throughout his career.


Marilyn J. Agre
Lloyd A. Amundson
Gary E. Bakko
Bernard Bastian
Maggie Bauer
Peter L. Bauer
Quentin Beadell
Marlen E. Bents
H. H. Berg
Bruce W. Beutel
Gerald A. Bilski
John O. Bohmer
George N. Borgerding
C. T. Braff
Paul H. Bringgold
Ken Broin
Marion Brummer
Edward H. Buerkle
Doug Bultman
Irvin Burich
Thomas "Buzz" Burich
Robert Cameron
John F. Campe
Richard J. Carlander
David J. Carr
T. Donald Cashin
John J. Cavanagh
Edward R. Cleasby
Keith Clements
Harold C. Cole
Marilyn J. Cox
David G. Dewitt
Robert Dickson
D. J. Dorweiler
Dasen Dorweiler
Harlan Drube
C. R. Duroe
Richard L. Duroe
Chester N. Eggen
Marianna Eiselt
Dale J. Emmel
Ewald A. Fenrick
Theresa C. Fierst
Joseph M. Finley
Clyde Fischer
Lois Fiskum
Robert F. Foley
Loren R. Fretland
Newton Fuller
Richard E. Gandrud
Z. S. Gault
R. James Gesell
Linda Goehle
Bernard Gulden
Edward Gutzmann
Larry Habstritt
Larry D. Hahn
Kathy Hallum
Faye Hamerl

Elaine Hansen
Orville M. Hanson
Robert D. Harder
James E. Hausauer
George F. Hayden 
James Heig
John R. Heneman
Allen G. Highum
G. Jack Hillstrom
Jerine Hoffmann
Dale Hoganson
Russell E. Holm
John D. Hunt
David M. Hyduke
Karen Hymes
Ernest Iverson
Russell W. Jacobson
Anthony C. Johnson
Edsel F. Johnson
Gladys Johnson
Harlowe M. Johnson
Jean B. Johnson
Larry D. Johnson
Myron J. Johnson
Patricia P. Johnson
Warren Johnson
William R. Johnson
Kenneth C. Jore
Kenneth E. Just
Earl E. Keskey
George J. Klasen
Gordon H. Klaudt
Richard M. Kramer
Gunnar Kronholm
Donovan Kuehnast
Ervin F. Kurth
Maynard A. Lawrence
Micheal L. Lillehaugen
Carl V. Lind
Judy Lipetsky
Duane W. Loe
Dale C. Madison
Joyce E. Magner
John A. Malmberg
Gerald W. McGee
Art Melander
Rosemary Jane Melzer
Harlan Mensink
Angeline R. Mixner
Gerald F. Mohrfeld
E. M. Neisen
Earl Nelson
Gordon L. Nelson
Lucille Nickolay
Daniel H. Nicolai
Sharon Nordby
John D. O’Brien
L. R. Oberg
Bruce Olness
Dayel M. Olson
Newman E. Olson

Shirley Olson
Ken Onken
Alvin C. Peterson
Dean Peterson
Donald N. Peterson
Roger Peterson
Alan Pettit
Jane Pickle
Larry Pietrzak
John F. Pletz
F. J. Poepl
Lowell A. Pogatchnik
Don Ransom
Douglas Rech
W. C. Ries
Lois Roberton
Marie Roberts
Robert Roehl
Evelyn C. Roelike
Elsie Rolfs
L. H. Rolfs
A. William Sands
Richard P. Sankovitz
D. D. Saxen
V. G. Schaffer
Elaine Schlemmer
Ralph C. Schmidt
Roger Schultz
Donald Schumacher
George Schweiss
Margaret Shaw
Vernon Shoquist
Norman C. Skalicky
James G. Sneer
Geraldine Sons
Ronald Steele
S. G. Steen
Fred E. Stein
W. W. Studtmann
Paul Tellefson
Roy Terwilliger
John E. Thinesen
Dennis Troff
Edward C. Turn
Wendale P. Vander Broek
Richard B. Ventrucci
Wilfred Vogel
Roger J. Voit
Paul Vollan
Roger Weise
Donald Welander
Joe Welle
Clair C. Wilcox
Robert Wiley
William Wilkening
August A. Williams
John Wisniewski
Carol J. Wurm
William H. Zabel