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 bankers pictured below were inducted into the Pioneer Club at the 2019 Annual Summit. See below for a complete roster.

2020 Pioneer Banker Nomination Form

 

(Left to right: James Lindberg, Harry Wahlquist, Dorothy Jensen, Grace Rubischko. Not pictured, Steve Gilmer.)

Steve Gilmer

Steve Gilmer is the quintessential community banker. He began his banking and credit career in 1968 in the Treasury Offices of Chrysler Corporation, was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969, serving in the Army Finance Corps, eventually becoming First Lieutenant.

Steve then returned to his roots to run a successful independent family owned bank, contributing tirelessly to his community and to the commerce of his customers and the Delano area. He joined State Bank of Delano in 1973. He served as President (1984-2015), Chairman/CEO (2015-2018) and has overseen all aspects of the bank and extensive experience in all aspects of lending, including consumer, residential, construction and commercial lending.
 

Dorothy Jensen

Times on the farm were much the same as this year, lots of snow in the winter and flooding in the spring. My husband had gone to the bank and discovered they had a job opening. Unlike today, I wasn’t required to fill out an application. After my interview, the banker asked me to start on Monday.

I started as one of three tellers working out of the same cash drawer. What a nightmare! We didn’t have adding machines, computers, email or coin counters.

Fifty years later, I’m still working at Currie State Bank on a part-time basis. During my career, I was a teller, loan officer, accounting assistant and secretary for the Board. I’m lucky to have had great coworkers, fantastic customers and the unwavering support of the Hansen family who owns the bank. I have enjoyed my career and feel fortunate to have worked at Currie State Bank for fifty years.

 

James R. Lindberg

Jim was born and still resides in Scandia, Minnesota. His 43 year employee service at Security State Bank of Marine started in 1969. His last seven years have been as a director. 2019 is the 100 year anniversary of the bank and Jim is so proud to have served for over half of it. He was CEO/President for 25 years, from 1984 - 2009.

Jim says, “Living, working and watching a community bank grow assets over 75 times has been exciting. It was easier being a community banker in good times but our entire staff understood we needed to be there for our customers in poor economic times as well.”
 

Grace Rubischko

Grace Rubischko achieved 50 years in banking in September of 2018. She started her banking career as a bookkeeper at State Bank and Trust, now Frandsen Bank and Trust, in New Ulm. She spent ten years there working her way up to head teller. Grace left State Bank and Trust and moved with her husband and family to the family farm located near Gibbon, Minnesota. After moving, she was offered a position at Citizens State Bank in Gibbon as a teller and did some work in the loan department over the next ten years until Citizens State Bank was purchased by Minnwest Bank in March of 1988, and they offered her a position. Over the next 30 years she worked her way up to Vice President Branch Manager of the Gibbon office.

Over her 50 years in banking Grace has seen many changes. Most of them have been in technology and regulations. She will miss her banking world and all of the wonderful customers and employees she has had the good fortune to work with over the years. Grace’s last day of banking was December 31, 2018.
 

Harry Wahlquist

Harry Wahlquist’s career in banking started 59 years ago with Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis, where he spent over 23 years. His first role was in the collection department, working diligently to collect payments from customers of the Northwestern Charge Plan so the account could be sold to Shoppers Charge Service…the predecessor to MasterCard. He was happy to move on to the Credit Department Training Program after six months, which jump-started his career in lending. Fast forward many years and a variety of positions at Northwestern National Bank, to his role as Senior Vice President/Manager – Correspondent Banking Department. Combining the experiences of his youth and his professional background with a strong personal desire to help perpetuate what he observed, Harry jumped at the chance to acquire a small, struggling community bank in 1989 with the intent of restoring it to full health. Star Bank’s 10 offices are performing well today with $290 million in assets under management. The bank employs 77 people in Central and West Central Minnesota with two of Harry’s adult children employed at the C-Suite level. Harry also leads a six-member Family Council that meets at least once per quarter for brainstorming, planning and issues management.


 

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
Steve Gilmer
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
Dorothy Jensen
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
James Lindberg
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
Grace Rubischko
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
Harry Wahlquist
Roger Weise
Donald Welander
Joe Welle
Clair C. Wilcox
Robert Wiley
William Wilkening
August A. Williams
John Wisniewski
Carol J. Wurm
William H. Zabel