Bankers on the Move
WNB Financial is pleased to announce that Jenni Bernal has joined the Bank as Branch Retail Lead at its new office in Altoona, Wis. Bernal is responsible for the management and leadership of the WNB Retail Banking Team in Altoona. She brings over 20 years of bank management experience to WNB Financial, most recently with U.S. Bank. 
Unity Bank is pleased to announce that Mary Gritzmacher, Commercial Relationship Manager at Unity Bank since 2011, has been appointed by Governor Tim Walz to a second term as a member of the MN Department of Agriculture’s Rural Finance Authority. The goal of the board and program is to assist MN farmers with loan programs that help them with low interest financing on a variety of different programs from full loan restructure to value added expansion projects. 
National Bank of Commerce (NBC), continues its growth and expansion with the addition of a new associate, hiring Brian Kahlbaugh as a Commercial Banker. Before starting his banking career, he managed his family business in the Duluth and Superior area. This gives him a unique perspective on many of the challenges small businesses work through in our communities. Working out of NBC’s Superior - Main office, Brian will build relationships with both current and new commercial customers to provide solid banking solutions to help our local businesses and communities grow. 
The Bank of Elk River is proud to announce that LeRoy Lindenfelser, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), has been named 2019 CFO of the Year by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. This exclusive honor is given to only 20 individuals in Minnesota across private, public, government and non-profit organizations and is a significant and notable achievement in his career.

Lindenfelser started at The Bank of Elk River 25 years ago as a loan officer and worked his way up and through the organization and was promoted to CFO in 2008. During the Great Recession, Lindenfelser was influential in leading the bank to being the most profitable in the bank’s history since its inception in 1885. He is also responsible for the fiscal management of the Metro North Bancshares holding company, Employee Stock Ownership Program and investment portfolio. 
Bell Bank has named Michael LaSalle senior vice president/bank channel director for its equipment finance team. Officed at The Colonnade, 5500 Wayzata Boulevard in Minneapolis, LaSalle will serve as liaison with Bell’s correspondent bankers and the community banks they work with in 14 states. LaSalle has more than 30 years of experience in equipment finance, including extensive background in community bank leasing platforms, credit analysis and lease structures. He previously served as chief leasing officer for Bankers’ Bank, based in Madison, Wisconsin.
Tony Gudajtes, Choice Bank EVP & Ag Market President, was recently appointed by the USDA to serve on their Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee. In addition to his role at Choice Bank, Gudajtes will serve a two-year term with the USDA until September 17, 2021. During his appointment, Gudajtes will advise Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, on matters, policies, and programs impacting beginning farmers and ranchers. Gudajtes will also work with the committee to enhance opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers, including access to land and capital, farmer and rancher recruitment and retention, relief from labor and taxation challenges, and more.
National Bank of Commerce (NBC), continues its growth and expansion with the addition of two new associates, hiring Blaze Zenner and John Conley as Commercial Bankers. 
Blaze Zenner has over thirty-two years of banking experience. Working out of NBC’s downtown Duluth branch, Blaze will originate and manage a commercial loan portfolio. Blaze states, “Banking is about trust, honesty and knowing your customer. When we listen to our customers and understand their business then we can truly partner with them.” He is currently serving on the ARC Northland Board of Directors and is the Financial Secretary for the Knights of Columbus Council #15761.
John Conley has more than twenty-three years of banking experience. Also working out of the Duluth branch, John will be responsible for collaborating with customers to find tailored solutions that are specific to their needs. John has been the Treasurer for the Superior Douglas County Chamber of Commerce for roughly nineteen years. He is also the Treasurer for RiverFront Community Development in West Duluth as well as the MN North Volleyball Club.
Cindy Theien and Cammy Hansen Accept New Positions at National Bank of Commerce
Cindy Theien has accepted the VP - Retail Banking Director position at National Bank of Commerce. She has been with the bank for eleven years and has over forty years of experience in the financial industry. Cindy will now be responsible for the overall management of the retail banking department and will be working out of our Downtown Duluth location. She is currently the Treasurer for the Town of Superior, Board Chair for Head of the Lakes United Way, co-founder and spokesperson for Nutrition on Weekends (NOW) in Douglas County, and a member of Superior Kiwanis. 
Cammy Hansen has accepted a new position at National Bank of Commerce and will now be VP - Mortgage Banking Director. She has been with the bank for eight years and in her new role will be responsible for overseeing mortgage loan production as well as managing the mortgage banking team. She is currently Board Chair for Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center as well as a Board Member at LISC Local Advisory.
WNB Financial is pleased to announce that Chris Forcier has joined the Bank as Vice President, Financial Advisor at its office in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In his new role, Forcier will assist customers with financial planning, retirement planning, legacy planning, and life insurance. He brings 20 years of financial advising experience to WNB Financial, with all 20 years working in the Chippewa Valley. In his family, he’s a third generation financial advisor.

  Awards


  Gislason & Hunter LLP is pleased to announce that Peter B. Stein was recognized by the Judges of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota for his extraordinary service and leadership as Chair of the Bankruptcy Practice Committee from 2012-2019. The presentation took place at the 2019 Bankruptcy Institute October 3-4 at the Minneapolis CLE Conference Center in Minneapolis. 

  Board Appointment


Pine Country Bank has announced the appointment of Rosi Przybilla to serve on the bank’s Board of Directors. Przybilla is Owner and Agent of Marshik Insurance Agency in Little Falls, an independent insurance agency providing coverage for families, homes and businesses. She got her start in the insurance industry in 1980 as a secretary and has worked at Marshik Insurance Agency for over 30 years, purchasing the business in 2013.

We want to hear about your Bankers on the Move

Help us recognize those people who are excelling in their banking career by letting us know of your bank's new staff and internal promotions. We will place them along with other bankers in the MBA News department "Bankers on the Move." You can send your banker on the move to Carla Bush at carlab@minnbankers.com.