Archive for Community

Involvement in our community

More Staff Promotions!

We are excited to announce more staff on the move!

Christina has been promoted to Vault Customer Service Representative and while you’ll still see her helping our customers in the lobbies, she will also assist in ensuring our teller lines are running smoothly and efficiently.

Shawndra has been promoted to Loan Assistant. While we will miss her in our lobbies with the Retail department, she will continue to provide customer service more through loan processing in our Loan department.

Congratulations to Christina and Shawndra!

FNBML Staff Continues To Celebrate Community Banking Month

It was a beautiful day for our staff to do a little highway clean up while continuing to celebrate Community Banking Month.

Celebrating the Community in Community Banking

Celebrating the Community during “Community Banking” month.

FNBML is a community of caring people giving time, muscle and funds back to our greater community. We have produced 45 new tables over 3 years!

Get To Know One Of Our Loan Assistants: Rachel

Rachel Loan Assistant
Loan Assistant

Hello, my name is Rachel and I have been working at FNBML for over 4 years now as a Loan Assistant and I love it here.  I didn’t originally envision myself working at a bank before but after seeing a job posting I figured I would give it a try and I am so glad I did!  My coworkers are some of the most genuine and caring people you could meet and you can see it.  You can see it in the friendly smiles and in the genuine effort to look out for the best interests of our customers and each other.

As a Loan Assistant, I work behind the scenes in the loan process handling the preparation of a variety of loan types including our consumer loans (vehicles, atvs, boats, airplanes, etc.) and real estate loans (purchases, refinance, HELOCs, construction, etc.)  If you are thinking about a loan, I encourage you to contact a Loan Officer to inquire about the steps and documents needed to make the loan process go as smoothly as possible.  Particularly for real estate loans, it is important to plan ahead!  The longest process in a real estate loan is waiting for the appraisal to come in.  We are already seeing our area appraisers getting very busy this year so you can expect an appraisal to take between 3-4 weeks or sometimes longer to come back to us. A little about myself- I was born and raised in Moose Lake and am proud to call it my hometown.  I initially moved away for college and spent some time out of the area but then returned to raise my son in the same caring community that I grew up in.  In my free time, I really love to travel and try to do at least one big trip a year and many smaller day trips around the area and up the North Shore.  I do feel fortunate to find myself belonging to this bank family and this community.

Is A Career In Banking For You?

Connie Mikrot Human Resources Manager
Connie Mikrot
Human Resources Manager

When many people think of working at a bank, the first positions that come to mind are loan officers, personal bankers, and tellers, which makes sense because these positions work closely with the public.  People in these roles enjoy helping customers and creating long-lasting relationships to assist them with current and future financial needs from loans to deposits. These positions are sometimes referred to as the faces of the bank, and they are recognized quickly by their smiles and welcoming greetings.

The field of banking is very diverse, allowing people with additional interests and skillsets to find meaningful careers.  There are opportunities ranging from accounting, auditing, or compliance to marketing, loan processing, or digital banking services, in addition to the overall administration and support of all the departments and management opportunities.  The size of the bank also plays a role in how centralized the employee is on their key responsibilities, and with a smaller community bank like First National Bank of Moose Lake, employees are often found wearing multiple hats to help out as needed where positions may be combined here versus working at a larger institution. 

For example, in my role as Human Resources Manager for the last 3 ½ years, I have been involved with payroll, benefits, recruiting, onboarding, training, performance management, succession planning, marketing, and even some picnic table construction and playground painting projects. In a larger organization, I may find myself only working on one aspect of human resources all day long.  I enjoy working at First National Bank because the focus can change quickly, the day is never routine and the variety keeps me engaged on different levels with different people and departments in the bank.  Having graduated from Willow River and living in the Denham area, it’s also an amazing opportunity to live in a rural area to raise our family and have a rewarding career where I can utilize my degrees in accounting and organizational behavior.  With the bank’s strong support of community involvement, I can also be active in volunteer activities that are important to me to fulfill my beliefs on giving back to our local communities.

Want to know the best part about a career in the community banking industry?  It’s hands down the people you work with and for in your job!  Our co-workers are like family where we cheer on our personal and professional achievements and goals, and help one another in tough times of loss or illnesses.  This caring behavior carries over to our customers and our community, and I feel community bankers truly are some of the most caring people in our communities who want to help one another in the good times and the challenging times.   If you’d like to learn more about how a career in community banking may fit in your future, we’d love to talk with you and share our experiences! Call our bank and ask for me to learn more.

COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

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ICBM Impact

Community bank provides local hospital critical access to PPP funding

By Matt Doffing

COVID-19 could not have struck at a worse time for Mercy Hospital and its CEO Mike Youso. Months into merger talks with Essentia Health in March, the rise in coronavirus cases in Minnesota sent revenues reeling for the Moose Lake-based, critical-access hospital.

“When COVID-19 hit, we largely shut down all outpatient services — a large portion of our patient activity. We also saw the emergency room and inpatient activity drop off dramatically,” said Youso. “That translated to an almost-instantaneous, 50-percent reduction in revenue.”

While Mercy Hospital was a testing site for coronavirus, it sent COVID-19 patients to Duluth for treatment. Furloughs, which began in late March, were unavoidable for most employees. “It was nearly disastrous,” said Youso. “People avoided the hospital just out of fear of getting the virus.”

Furloughs, though, did not resolve the revenue-expense mismatch. Its emergency room remained open, and it needed staff to stay operational, even at the low activity levels allowed by Minnesota’s executive orders. Mercy Hospital needed a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

As Youso prepared to choose a lender, he consulted peers at hospitals in the Twin Cities. They already had gone through the process and highly recommended using a community bank for Mercy’s PPP loan. “One of my colleagues tried to get a PPP loan through a big bank, and they had so many struggles,” Youso said. “They went to a community bank and it got done.”

He decided to go to a community bank first. He chose First National Bank of Moose Lake. “It was the smoothest process I have ever experienced in banking,” said Youso, who was CFO of Fairview Hospital for 28 years and oversaw that system’s banking relationships. “It was so smooth and easy; I was honestly kind of shocked.”

Mercy Hospital chose the community bank’s experience when it chose its lender. “We are a locally-owned, employee-owned community bank; our only locations are in Moose Lake,” said Larry Peterson, president of First National Bank of Moose Lake. “We are deeply vested in the community and its success.

“When COVID-19 hit and businesses were impacted by huge revenue declines, we knew we had to be there for them immediately,” Peterson continued. “Our loan staff worked long hours, seven days a week, to understand the ever-changing PPP loan process, and to contact customers and offer assistance in getting applications submitted. I could not be prouder of our staff and the number of loans we submitted to help keep our community strong.”

Timely access to emergency funding allowed Youso to refocus on finalizing merger talks. “It was one less thing to worry about while we were trying to work through this merger,” he said. “We just closed the deal on August 1.”

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