Community Banking Month 2024

April is a special month at Horicon Bank – it’s our chance to rise up with our industry to celebrate community banks doing amazing things all around our country.

Why celebrate community banks?

According to the Independent Bankers of America, community banks provide roughly 60% of all small business loans, make more than 80% of agriculture loans, and employ nearly 700,000 people nationwide.

“Community banks are an integral part of Main Street; they reinvest local dollars back into the community and help create local jobs. Their relationship banking philosophy is ingrained in the way they conduct business, one loan—one customer—at a time. Local reinvestment helps small businesses grow and helps families finance major purchases and build financial security.” -ICBA

We asked five Horicon Bankers across the organization to help us define what it is that makes community banking so special from their perspective. Here’s what they said:

How do you define a “Community Banker”?

“I’m a liaison between our bank and our Green Lake community. I am a listener, problem solver and volunteer. It’s business and it’s personal.” – Helcia Bierman

“Being a community banker involves working closely with local businesses and individuals to provide financial services tailored to their needs. We like to build relationships with customers, understand their financial goals, and offer personal assistance whether it’s helping them log into Internet Banking, making a deposit or talking through a problem they are having.” – Ashley Bartol

“Committed comes to mind! Committed to the communities we serve. Committed to supporting local businesses. Committed to getting involved with local charities and community events.” – Becki Schimpf

“The other day I had an elderly couple in my office and I was helping them switch over their automatic payments and deposits, and they were so thankful. There was a cute moment while I was on the phone with their insurance company and I saw the husband look at his wife with an excited face and point to me with both pointer fingers. He was elated that he had someone to take care of this with him. THAT’S a community banker.” – John Shabaz

How does a community benefit when from a local partner like Horicon Bank?

“While our bank has grown in size and strength, we take our customer service and support seriously. Our community has easy access to all of our services. We are your partner for life.” – Helcia Bierman

“Horicon Bank serves their communities by giving donations and the time of Horicon Bank associates in the community. We serve on boards and committees to help our community in so many ways.”  – Andy Key

“By partnering with Horicon Bank, you get local decision making and quick response. You get a stronger community because of the connections we make with local business owners and customers”. – Becki Schimpf

Why choose a community bank?

“Horicon Bank prioritizes building relationships with their customers. As a community bank, we like to give back by serving and actively participating in different organizations or volunteering to walk dogs or take money at the fair. When customers come in the bank it’s not just about their financial needs, its talking about their family or seeing how their vacation was or even making sure they are doing ok. Our customers can truly be our second family, that’s what makes this job so fun.” – Ashley Bartol

“Community banks are the way to go because we are invested in where we are. In our local communities we have seen multiple national banks close their locations. They don’t seem very invested in the local communities.” - Andy Key

“Because we take the time to get to know you and we genuinely care! We know our customers’ individual preferences, we know their concerns and we know how best to alleviate them. Our customers feel taken care of by us and that feeling is of immense value.” – John Shabaz

Featured Horicon Bankers:

  • Helcia Bierman is a Vice President in our Green Lake location.

  • Ashley Bartol is a Universal Banker and Teller Training Specialist in our Horicon location.

  • Becki Schimpf is a Marketing Specialist in our Grafton and Wauwatosa locations.

  • John Shabaz in the Branch Manager of our Mayville location.

  • Andy Key is the Branch Manager in our Neosho location.

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