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Hauswirth Joins SNB Staff as Chief Operating Officer 

Superior National Bank and Trust has hired Michael Hauswirth to the position of Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer. The former Chief Executive Officer at Aspirus Keweenaw and Ontonagon is returning to his roots in banking. He began his new role on Monday, July 23.

Hauswirth spent the last 11 years working for Aspirus Keweenaw, starting as the Chief Operating Officer in 2007. He added COO responsibilities for Aspirus Ontonagon in 2011 before being named CEO for both locations in 2016. During his tenure, Hauswirth oversaw the construction of a brand new clinic in Houghton, the implementation of a new electronic health records system and expansion and renovations to both the Aspirus Keweenaw and Aspirus Ontonagon Hospitals.

Hauswirth comes into his role at Superior National Bank with great insight into the organization, having served on the board of directors for both SNB and Keweenaw Financial Corporation (SNB’s holding company) since 2013.

“We’re very happy to bring Mike into the day-to-day operation of our organization,” said Dave Vlahos, SNB’s President and CEO. “His leadership and experience will help us as we position ourselves for growth in the future.”

Prior to his stint in healthcare, Hauswirth started his career at D&N Bank as an internal auditor. He also held the roles of manager of consumer lending and vice president of retail loan operations as D&N transitioned to Republic Bank. Hauswirth totaled 12 years in banking before moving to Aspirus.

“Having spent several years on the board, I really like everything SNB stands for,” said Hauswirth. “From the great people who work there to the hometown feel and the direction of the bank, I wanted to play a more integral part in its future. I’m excited to get started.”

Hauswirth, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan Technological University, will oversee business, mortgage and consumer lending; electronic banking; deposit operations; trust; and marketing at Superior National Bank. Those department heads (Kate Brogan - electronic banking; Ross Cooney - business lending; Wes Frahm - marketing; Chris Gariepy - trust and financial services; and Kirsten Rinne - consumer and mortgage banking) will report to Hauswirth.



SNB Helping with Flood Relief, Cleanup 

All Superior National Bank and Trust branches are donation sites for the public to give funds toward Houghton County flood relief. Donations will go to the Portage Health Foundation, which has been designated as an official conduit for relief efforts. PHF will work with the local emergency management team to distribute funds and meet needs. 100% of funds will go toward flood relief (no administrative fees will be assessed).

People can drop financial donations in designated buckets located inside each SNB branch or give donations to any teller. Those who wish to do so may also donate online at

In addition to collecting funds, SNB employees have been active in volunteering for the cleanup effort. The bank is granting paid time for employees to volunteer. Many individuals and several groups have been formed to assist the community in the recovery process.



SNB Holds Open House to Honor Eliason's 35 Years


L'Anse, Mich. — Renee Eliason retired on Friday, June 1, after 35 years of service to Superior National Bank. An open house was held in her honor, with more than one hundred friends, family and former customers coming to enjoy cake and coffee and share a few stories.

Eliason began her banking career in January 1983 when she was hired by Commercial National Bank. SNB acquired CNB in 2009, and she continued on, ending her career as a customer service representative.

Eliason plans to spend more time with her family and continue being active at her church in retirement.


Bridgefest Presented by Superior National Bank Set for June 14-17

HANCOCK, Mich. — For the second straight year, Superior National Bank & Trust will be the presenting sponsor of Bridgefest, the annual festival celebrating the Portage Lake Lift Bridge. The 2018 edition of the event will take place June 14-17.

Highlights of Bridgefest include a parade, live music and food at the Ray Kestner Waterfront Park and the only summer fireworks show in Houghton and Hancock. New for 2018 is the Bridgefest 5000 5K run/walk that will utilize the parade route and begin immediately preceding the Friday evening parade.

“Superior National Bank & Trust is once again proud to back this great local event,” said Dave Vlahos, SNB’s President and CEO. “Bridgefest brings people together in celebration of our community, and we at SNB maintain our commitment to support this community.”

Superior National Bank & Trust, which was founded in 1890, is a long-time supporter of Bridgefest. The bank took on the presenting sponsor role for the first time in 2017.

“We’re happy to have SNB on board as our presenting sponsor again in 2018,” said Ryan Towles, Bridgefest Committee Chair. “Their support, along with donations of time and resources from many other local businesses and individuals, allows our committee to put on the best event we can for our community.”

The full schedule of events and opportunities to be involved in Bridgefest 2018 are available on the event’s website, 


SNB Employees Support Area Charities

Superior National Bank and Trust employees combined to give away $2400 of their own personal funds to several local organizations recently. With money collected from its Casual for a Cause program, SNB was able to donate $500 to Omega House of Houghton, $500 to Copper Country Habitat for Humanity, $500 to Don’t Do It Yourself of Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, $500 to Beacon House of Marquette, $200 to L’Anse Area Schools Booster Club and $100 each to Woodhaven House and Aurora House of L’Anse.

Omega House executive director Mike Lutz was pleased to accept the donation on behalf of his organization, which provides peaceful, home-like end-of-life care for terminally ill people. “SNB has a long history of supporting Omega House, even back to when we started,” he said. “We are so appreciative of that support.”

SNB employees Cindy Taavola and Matt Lutz are on the board of directors for Copper Country Habitat for Humanity as president and treasurer, respectively. The organization works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable houses, which are then are sold to them at no profit and with no interest charged.

Don’t Do It Yourself (DDIY) serves as an emergency funding source for the people of Houghton and Keweenaw counties that are facing a financial hardship due to a medical crisis.

Beacon House becomes a home away from home for patients and families that travel across the U.P. to receive specialty medical care at U.P. Health System- Marquette and the Upper Peninsula Medical Center. 

Woodhaven and Aurora Houses are both assisted living facilities.

SNB’s Casual for a Cause program allows employees to dress casually with bank logo apparel on Fridays for an annual donation of $25. With more than 100 employees participating in the program, employees are able to make significant annual donations.

“We’re thrilled to be able to give back to the community,” said SNB President/CEO Dave Vlahos. “We have a very generous group of employees who are committed to serving this area, giving of both their time and resources to help deserving causes.”

Superior National Bank and Trust serves customers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with nine branches in Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga Counties. SNB provides a full range of deposit accounts, loan options and trust and financial services for individuals and businesses. Founded in 1890 and headquartered in Hancock, Superior National Bank and Trust is the largest independently owned and operated bank in the U.P.



SNB Sponsors Great Bear Chase 25K

Superior National Bank and Trust sponsored the 25-kilometer freestyle race during Saturday’s Great Bear Chase at Swedetown Trails in Calumet. More than 700 skiers took part in event races in both classic and freestyle skiing techniques ranging in distance from 10K to 50K; 185 racers, mainly from the upper Midwest but as far away as Virginia and Nevada, completed the 25K freestyle.

The Great Bear Chase’s popularity is due in large part to the excellent late-season snow conditions enjoyed in Upper Michigan. Skiers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, lower Michigan and across the country ascend to the Keweenaw Peninsula. The event benefits the Swedetown Trails Club, which maintains the trails all season.



Palosaari Retires after 44 Years at SNB

The banking industry has changed a great deal in 44 years. Just ask Steve Palosaari, Executive Vice President for Business Lending at Superior National Bank and Trust.

Hand-written transactions have been replaced by computers and visits to a branch can be replaced by mobile devices.

What hasn’t changed is that banking is still about relationships. Ask anybody that has worked with Palosaari during his tenure.

“Steve’s been the most trusted banker in the Copper Country for 44 years” said SNB President/CEO Dave Vlahos. “If you look at the bank’s core values of teamwork, continuous improvement, excellence and accountability, he exemplifies each of them.”

Palosaari began working at SNB in 1973 as a high school Co-Op student. He took a full-time job as a teller in May of 1974. By 1977, he was a lender, a role he held in various capacities until his retirement. 

“The customers and my fellow employees made it enjoyable to come to work every day” he said. “SNB serves the community in a lot of different ways. That’s probably the aspect of the bank I like the most.”

The Chassell, Mich., native, held the following titles during his tenure: teller; loan collections manager/student loan manager; assistant cashier; consumer, mortgage and commercial lender; security officer; VP/lending; human resources director; senior VP/lending; and executive VP/business lending.

“There’s no way anyone can survive with one employer for four decades without learning how to transform and improve,” said Vlahos. “Steve’s done a great job of adapting to changes in our industry to regulation and technology while still remaining true to our values.”

Palosaari leaves behind a fully staffed business lending department at SNB which includes five full-time lenders, a credit department and a staff of assistants.

“Our department is awesome,” said Palosaari. “We have the best business lending team in the area working together to do what’s best for the customers. The bank is set to go for the future.”

As for his personal future, Palosaari won’t be sitting idle. He has 35 registered highland cattle on his Chassell farm which he raises and takes to show at national competitions. He also raises sheep for the Houghton County Fair 4-H lamb project. He volunteers as a board member for the Upper Peninsula State Fair, Houghton County Fair, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly and Lions Club of Chassell.

Palosaari’s final day of a 44-year career will be Friday, Mar. 2.



SNB Employees Raise More Than $2000 for Local Charities

Superior National Bank and Trust employees raised more than $2,000 for local charities during the months of November and December through employee donations and the bank’s Charitable Giving Tree program.

Donations of money and Econo Foods Holiday Bucks were collected for Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. SNB donated nine turkeys for Little Brothers’ Thanksgiving dinner and provided $332 in cash and Holiday Bucks for its Christmas dinner.

Seven SNB branches participated in the Charitable Giving Tree program, collecting items donated from employees and customers. The items were then distributed to Little Brothers, Salvation Army, Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home, Copper Country Mental Health and several individual families in need.

Employees were also in the community ringing the bell for Salvation Army’s Red Kettle program and delivering meals for Little Brothers.

“Our goal is serve and meet the financial needs of the community,” said SNB President/CEO Dave Vlahos. “An important part of that goal is supporting our local charities and causes and giving back to the community. I’m extremely proud of our employees who have stepped up to make a difference.”

Superior National Bank and Trust serves customers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with nine branches in Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga Counties. SNB provides a full range of deposit accounts, loan options and trust and financial services for individuals and businesses. Founded in 1890 and headquartered in Hancock, Superior National Bank and Trust is the largest independently owned and operated bank in the U.P.



Open House Prize Winners Announced

Superior National Bank and Trust held its Annual Holiday Open House on Friday, Dec. 1.

Free 2018 Michigan calendars, cookies and coffee were available at all nine SNB branches — Baraga, Calumet, Chassell, Hancock, Houghton (Econo Foods and Ridgecrest Plaza), L’Anse, Lake Linden and Mohawk. All attendees had a chance to enter for prize giveaways from each branch plus an overall grand prize of a 50-inch television.

Five of the SNB branches had live music: Jackie Jahfetson sang in Baraga, Ron Lahti and Dick Storm played in Calumet, a jazz quartet performed in Hancock, Bob Hiltunen played in Houghton, and Bells on the Bay performed in L’Anse.

Thanks to the many who attended our 2017 open house. We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Superior National Bank and Trust 2017 Open House Prize Winners

Grand Prize Winner 
Chris Rothbauer - 50-inch television (submitted entry at our Houghton – Ridgecrest Plaza Branch)

David Haataja - $25 Mitch’s Trading Post gift certificate
Dave Dompier - $25 Wilkinson’s gift certificate
Joel Mayo - $25 Larry’s Market gift certificate
Lois Ahola - $25 Homestead Graphics gift certificate

Carrie Molloy — Keweenaw Coffee Works gift basket

Lorna Kaspala — Bouquet of gift cards to local vendors

Alicia Hill — Handmade Christmas wreath

Houghton (Econo Foods)
Justin Yokie — Bouquet of gift cards to local vendors

Houghton (Ridgecrest Plaza)
Marsha Salo — Bouquet of gift cards to local vendors

April Snyder — $20 Hilltop Restaurant gift certificate
Pete Martinac — $20 Java by the Bay gift certificate
Eila Koski — $20 Nite Owl Café gift certificate
Dave DeLisle — $20 Pizza Shack gift certificate 
Craig Oakes — $20 Skippers Bar & Grill gift certificate       

Lake Linden
Bettyann Caron — Upper Peninsula-themed gift basket

Karl Heikkila — Gift basket with items from Whitehouse Inn, Birds Eye Creation and Laughing Loon



SNB Helps Baraga Area Schools with New Scoreboards

Baraga High School’s gymnasium is sporting some new scoreboards thanks to help from Superior National Bank and Trust. Two new Nevco boards were installed by Koski Signs on Nov. 17—in time for the upcoming local high school basketball season.

“We’re so appreciative to SNB for their generosity,” said Amy Kraft-Lake, Baraga High School Athletic Director. “The new scoreboards look fantastic and have been a source of pride for our students. These are much easier to run that our old boards, which I think were original to the gym that was built in the mid-1980s. 

“This upgrade will help us host both volleyball and basketball tournaments. We can’t thank SNB enough.”

Superior National Bank and Trust serves customers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with nine branches in Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga Counties. SNB provides a full range of deposit accounts, loan options and trust and financial services for individuals and businesses. Founded in 1890 and headquartered in Hancock, Superior National Bank and Trust is the largest independently owned and operated bank in the U.P.



Business Lending Department Hosts Succession Planning Seminar

Superior National Bank and Trust’s Business Lending Department hosted a free seminar on Business Succession Planning for local business owners and potential business owners on Nov. 1.

Featured speakers at the event were Carol Hill, CPA, with Makela, Toutant, Hill & Nardi, P.C.; Kenneth Seavoy, attorney with Kendricks, Bordeau, Adamini, Greenlee & Keefe, P.C.; and Bruce Rukkila, certified valuation analyst, CEPA, CPA with Business Transitions Plus.

More than 50 attendees learned different aspects of business ownership transition from the knowledgeable panel of speakers.

“Ownership transition is a very important topic that all business owners will need to address at some point in their future,” said Ross Cooney, SNB’s Vice President for Business Lending. “I want to thank the speakers for sharing their time and expertise and helping us provide a benefit for business owners in our community.”

More seminars may be added in the future. To express interest, contact the Superior National Bank Business Lending Department at 906-482-0404.



Hill and Donnelly Join SNB Staff 

Two familiar faces in the Copper Country have recently filled positions at Superior National Bank & Trust. Sherry Hill has been hired as Chief Financial Officer while Brian Donnelly will serve as Financial Services Representative.

Hill comes to SNB from Aspirus Keweenaw, where she served as Project Manager for the last five years. She worked on a variety of projects for the organization, including the Houghton clinic build and the addition and renovations at its Laurium hospital. Hill has 16 years of experience in the banking industry having worked as General Auditor at D&N Bank in Hancock, then in the same role (with a new title of Director of Risk Management) after Republic Bancorp purchased D&N.

Donnelly served the last five years as market manager for River Valley Bank’s Houghton and Calumet branches, overseeing the banking and lending operations at both locations. Prior to that, he spent nine years at Principal Financial Group in Grand Rapids, Mich., as senior marketing coordinator. Donnelly is currently a member of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Keweenaw Economic Development Association Board of Directors and the Keweenaw Young Professionals Steering Committee.

“We’re thrilled to have both Sherry and Brian,” said SNB President/CEO Dave Vlahos. “They are both well qualified, and I think they’ll step into their respective roles and be assets to our organization immediately.”

Superior National Bank and Trust serves customers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with nine branches in Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga Counties. SNB provides a full range of deposit accounts, loan options and trust and financial services for individuals and businesses. Founded in 1890 and headquartered in Hancock, Superior National Bank and Trust is the largest independently owned and operated bank in the U.P.



Jeans Day Raises $385 for Brody Strong Foundation

Superior National Bank & Trust employees donated $385 from a recent Jeans Day to the Brody Strong Foundation, which strives to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer. 

The Brody Strong Foundation is named for Brody Etelamaki, a boy from Chassell, Mich., who was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer in 2013 and passed away in 2014 at age four.

His parents, Doug and Tanya, started the foundation to help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer.

SNB holds Jeans Days on select Fridays throughout the year, permitting employees to wear blue jeans to work if they donate to support local causes.

Pictured presenting the funds to Tanya (middle) are Chris Gariepy, VP/Trust, and Kirsten Rinne, VP/Director of Consumer & Mortgage Banking.