Vlahos Shares Bank Progress at Annual Shareholders Meeting
Superior National Bank and Trust President and CEO Dave Vlahos discussed the state of the bank to shareholders of Keweenaw Financial Corporation, the holding company for SNB, during its annual meeting Monday (Apr. 25) at the Shelden Grill.
Vlahos covered actions the bank has taken in the last year to move forward: market research and strategic planning, creation of new positions to focus on customer service, investment in information technology infrastructure and the launch of a campaign to educate customers on home loans.
“We’re looking at all aspects of our operation to improve and grow while remaining true to our foundation and history,” he said. “Through research and strategic planning, we’ve identified both short-term and long-term goals to best position the bank for the future.”
Three new positions have been created. Superior National Bank hired Kirsten Rinne, a 27-year veteran of the banking business, as its VP/ Director of Consumer and Mortgage Banking last November. That same month it also welcomed back Jay Ruohonen as VP/Hancock Branch Manager, Business Development. Ruohonen worked at SNB for 13 years before an eight-year stint pursuing his own business opportunities. Wes Frahm, who spent 15 years in athletic communications at Michigan Tech, was hired as Marketing Coordinator in March.
“These hires really help us focus on unifying our brand and increasing our level of service,” said Vlahos.
The IT initiatives involve the bank’s core software operating system. SNB has announced plans to transition to a new provider in September, which will enhance the digital banking platforms available to customers by improving SNB’s online presence and mobile app.
“Technology is changing rapidly, and we want to ensure we have partners that will allow us to optimize efficiencies for our staff and provide world-class products to our customers,” said Vlahos.
Another recent initiative is an educational campaign surrounding home loans. SNB will be hosting seminars titled, “Which Home Loan Is Right For You.” The aim will be help people at all stages of life learn six things they need to know about home loans: the different types, how they work, how to talk to banks, how to navigate the process, how approvals work and when to refinance.
Rinne has been instrumental in revamping SNB’s mortgage program. “We really want to do what’s right for our customers,” she said. “There can be a lot of confusion surrounding home loans and the process, and we’re here to help answer those questions.”
Seminars will be planned regularly throughout the summer at locations throughout the bank’s four-county area and will be free of charge. Because of some market research and strategic planning, SNB has also developed new options for home loans to serve the needs of the community. With multiple repayment options on mortgages for new or second homes, camps or land, the bank is able to meet the needs of customers with decisions made by their individual local lenders.
“People are our greatest asset,” said Vlahos. “I look forward to working with our talented employees to serve our valued customers long into the future.”
Superior National Bank (snb-t.com) has branches in nine locations—Baraga, Calumet, Chassell, Hancock, Houghton (Ridgecrest Plaza and Econo Foods), L’Anse, Lake Linden and Mohawk. It also boasts an experienced staff in all areas of its operation—commercial lending, retail lending, trust and financial services and customer service.
Jeans Day Raises $445 For Local Cancer Patient
Superior National Bank employees raised $445 for local cancer patient Bradley King, who is a senior at Calumet High School. He’s battled cancer for the last 18 months and is currently between treatments from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Bradley resides in the Mohawk area with his family. All funds raised will benefit Bradley and help with medical and travel expenses.
Thanks to all SNB employees who participated as well as several caring customers who made donations!
SNB Supports Bowl For Kids Event
Superior National Bank employees supported U.P. Kids’ Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) by participating in the Bowl for Kids event held at the Mine Shaft on March 19. The SNB team of 10 employees raised $990 and, combined with all the teams, helped collect $34,001 for U.P. Kids’ BBBS.
Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks to change the lives of children facing adversity – for the better, forever. BBBS programs help children realize their full potential and build their futures by providing strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships. This unique brand of mentoring provides new perspectives for children by offering friendship, guidance and opportunities with caring volunteers.
Knight Concludes 40 Years of Service to SNB
Julie Knight retired from her position as VP/Retail Lending on April 1, concluding 40 years of service to Superior National Bank. She began at SNB as a co-op in 1976 while still in high school.
“It has been an honor to work with everyone,” said Knight. “I am looking forward to my new life of leisure. But of course I am a little saddened by the thought of not seeing my co-workers every day. They have all become friends.”
Johnson Graduates from Commercial Lending School
Ethan Johnson successfully completed Commercial Lending School held Feb. 21-26 at Wintergreen Resort & Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells. The program is sponsored by the Wisconsin Bankers Association. The curriculum was designed for bankers with an existing understanding of credit, financial analysis and commercial lending. Johnson is the associate vice president for business lending. He has been at Superior National Bank since 2006.
Voght Retires, Makes Donation to Humane Society
Chris Voght retired in February after 38 years of service to Superior National Bank. In lieu of gifts for her retirement party, Chris asked that donations be made to the Copper Country Humane Society. A total of $380 was raised for the organization. Pictured (l-r) are Kirsten Rinne (VP/Director of Consumer and Mortgage Banking), Lisa Ruelle (Loan Officer), Mac Marzke (Copper Country Humane Society Board Member), Voght and Dave Vlahos (President & CEO). The canine in the photo is Timber.