Bankers on the Move
First National Bank Bemidji announces the promotion of Amy Haskell to Chief Risk Officer. Haskell started her career at First National Bank Bemidji in 2007. In her new role, Haskell will be responsible for directly overseeing the Asset Liability Management, Audit, BSA/OFAC, Compliance, Credit Administration, Fraud, and Information Security functions of First National Bank Bemidji.
MidCountry Bank is pleased to announce the addition of Pam Carl to its Executive Team, commencing July 2020. As Chief Risk Officer, Pam Carl oversees the design and implementation of the enterprise risk management strategy and framework for MidCountry Bank. With over 25 years of experience in financial institutions, Pam is an active participant and thought leader for Minnesota Bankers Association, American Bankers Association and the Fiserv Risk Advisory Council. Pam carries numerous certifications in her field and is recognized for her expertise in regulatory compliance, risk management and payment systems.
WNB Financial is pleased to announce that Greg Borcherding has joined the Bank as Vice President and Business Banking Officer in Winona. Borcherding comes to WNB Financial with over 30 years of Business Banking experience, most recently with Merchants Bank in Winona where he spent four years. “I’m excited I can continue to provide excellent customer service to the people of the Winona area,” Borcherding said. “WNB Financial has such an excellent history and reputation that I wanted to be part of and help grow.” 
Drake Dill has joined International Falls Border Bank as a Business Officer. Dill graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Business degree and owned Thunderhook Fly-Ins in Ontario with his parents.
Scott Laugen has recently been promoted to Chief Banking Officer for First Bank & Trust, which operates 22 bank locations in 17 communities in MN and SD and exceeds $3 billion in assets. Laugen, who previously held the position of EVP/Twin Cities Regional President, now oversees all First Bank & Trust markets. He has more than 30 years of bank leadership experience and holds degrees in both Business and Economics from Bethel University.
First Bank & Trust also promoted Jim Basten to Twin Cities Market President. Previously Senior VP of Commercial Banking, Basten has 22 years of banking experience along with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Real Estate Finance and Risk Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he played football. 
WNB Financial is pleased to announce that Kurt Olson has joined the Bank’s Wealth Management Team as Vice President and Trust Officer. In his new role, Olson works with trusts, foundations, and individuals to help them achieve their financial goals. He is a Certified Financial Planner® and prior to joining WNB, Olson spent five years as an Investment Advisor Representative with Advisors Management Group, Inc. in La Crosse. Before his career in the financial industry, Olson practiced law in Iowa for nine years in the areas of real estate, probate, trusts, estate planning, and taxation. 
Sterling State Bank is pleased to announce that Sterling State Bank President Justin McNeilus has been promoted by the Bank’s Board of Directors to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Mr. McNeilus will assume this new role and title in addition to his current responsibilities as President of the Bank. Justin is a 2011 graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.


MidCountry Bank has been a longtime supporter of the YMCA programs in Minnesota. The Veteran Outreach program, piloted in 2016, drew special interest for MidCountry Bank. This unique program supports service members, military families and veterans with free and discounted programming, resources for mental health and brain injury support in conjunction with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, and service project coordination with the local VA Medical Center and Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV). To further its mission, MidCountry Bank made a $100,000 grant in late June, providing critical funding at a time when the need is especially great. The growing program is currently serving over 900 veterans and family members. 
Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity and MidCountry Bank have renewed their partnership to build safe and affordable homes for military veterans and their families. A $100,000 grant made by MidCountry Bank in July marks its second engagement with Habitat in Central Minnesota and brings total bank contributions to this initiative to $175,000. The current project is located in Sauk Rapids, MN. With the build approximately 50% complete, MidCountry’s timely grant will see it to completion. The house is being built by volunteers, along with more than two hundred hours of sweat equity by the new homeowner, family, and friends.
Northeast Bank, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, announced that it has again received the highest rating of “Outstanding” over the past eight continuous exam periods from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Institutions receiving this rating have an outstanding record of helping to meet the credit needs of its assessment area, including low-and-moderate-income neighborhoods, in a manner consistent with its resources and capabilities. This makes them the only bank in Minnesota to have received eight consecutive “Outstanding” ratings from the FDIC.


First National Bank Bemidji announces the retirement of Thomas E. Welle after 35 years. First National Bank Bemidji has been serving the Bemidji community for over 125 years and Welle represents the third generation of family members who have led the family owned financial organization. Welle joined First National Bank Bemidji in 1985 as Executive Vice-President and Commercial Lender. He became President in 1988, a role he held through 2018. During his tenure, the bank grew to $650 million in assets. Along with financial soundness, Welle led the way for the bank in many community efforts with volunteer service and expertise. Welle also served as Chairman of the Minnesota Bankers Association from 2009-2010. Thomas will continue to serve as the bank’s Board Chairman and will remain active as a Director and Officer of First Bemidji Holding Company, the 

  Board Appointments

Bo Thao-Urabe, co-founder and executive network director of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL), and Richard Wanke, chief commercial officer at Urban FT (North America), have joined the Drake Bank Board of Directors. The addition of Bo and Richard to the board is part of a strategy to expand the breadth of the board by relying on experienced community business leaders from a wide variety of disciplines with specific subject matter expertise. Bo and Richard each have unique knowledgebases that will complement Drake Bank’s team of directors and the growth goals of Drake Bank.

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