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Announcements

Frandsen Investment Services (FIS) is pleased to announce that Jacob Winters, LPL Financial Wealth Advisor, has joined the Brainerd Lakes Area Frandsen Bank & Trust. Jacob will be assisted by Sylvie Letts, Client Service Associate. Program Manager Mark Brakel says, “We are excited for Jacob to join the team in the Brainerd Lakes Area. We know that customers will greatly benefit from his knowledge and experience in the financial services industry. Customers will also benefit from the excellent service that Sylvie provides all of her customers .”
Ben Duhn, Branch Manager of Baxter, has been promoted to Branch President and will have expanded responsibilities in our Baxter and Crosslake market. Ben joined RiverWood in 2012 as a Business Banker. Most recently, Ben was promoted to Branch Manager in 2020. Ben continues to manage an extensive commercial loan portfolio and has done a great job of developing and growing our Baxter team. Congratulations Ben!
Aaron Hautala, CEO and Creative Director of Strateligent, recently attended the Center for Executive Coaching in northern California, where he fulfilled the requirements of the program and is now a Certified Executive Coach.
We are pleased to announce that Sara Westerberg has recently joined the Ed Shaw Law Office.

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National Bank of Commerce (NBC), continues its growth and expansion with the addition of a new associate, hiring Scott Bender as SVP – Senior Commercial Banker. Scott Bender grew up calling Brainerd, MN home. He attended the University of Minnesota Duluth where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and a bachelor’s degree in accounting. With 17 years in banking, Scott comes to NBC with a great deal of experience. He spent his last 12 years as a commercial lender at Bremer Bank in Brainerd and before that was at Wells Fargo for five years. Scott stated, “The opportunity to bring NBC’s services into the Brainerd lakes area is exciting. I look forward to cultivating relationships and growing loans. I’ve always been about great customer service, and I know that NBC has those same values.” Scott will be headquartered out of Duluth but located in Brainerd and be responsible for covering the Brainerd Lakes area and the surrounding region. He is involved in the Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association (BAHA), the Brainerd Chamber, and the Good Samaritan Society. Brad Roden, Chief Banking Officer stated, “Scott’s addition to the team will allow NBC to expand its presence in the Brainerd Lakes area, as well as the Western part of Minnesota. Scott brings with him a significant amount of commercial banking experience and we anticipate that his existing relationships, prior banking experience, and leadership will provide us with significant immediate growth across the region. We look forward to providing Scott with a platform that will allow him to continue and grow his already successful commercial banking career.” National Bank of Commerce is headquartered in Superior and has locations in Duluth, Esko, Hermantown, Hibbing, Poplar and Solon Springs.
Ethan Kraft, MD is an Otolaryngologist practicing the full range of Ear, Nose, and Throat conditions.
Ethan Kraft, MD is an Otolaryngologist practicing the full range of Ear, Nose, and Throat conditions.
David Clausen lives in Pequot Lakes and works at Stifel Financial in Walker.

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Long-time architectural planner and education consultant Rod Schumacher has joined Minnesota architectural and engineering firm Widseth. Schumacher brings more than 30 years of expertise in developing projects that are driven by clients’ goals and visions, while ensuring his clients enjoy a productive and rewarding experience.
Kaeko Leitch has joined Widseth as a vice president in the firm and manager of the firm’s Mankato office. With a focus on strategic operations and innovation, Leitch will oversee efforts to optimize operational efficiency, performance, and staff development to align with objectives laid out in the firm’s strategic plan. Licensed in both mechanical and electrical engineering, Leitch has deep experience in professional and technical services and will be closely involved in recruiting and training engineers, technicians, and designers.
Join us August 5 - 6 for our first-ever warehouse sale at our newest, largest store in Pequot Lakes! Shop the latest trends in women’s clothing for all shapes + sizes, accessories, home goods, gifts + more at great prices!
Baxter — Deerwood Bank has named Jed Rusk as Director of Marketing and Communications for all twelve of its locations. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Rusk has been with Deerwood for more than 3 years, starting as a Marketing Coordinator in the fall of 2018. Over the last few years, Rusk has worked to enhance Deerwood Bank’s brand through the use of advertising, promotion, and community involvement. In his new role as Director of Marketing and Communications, he will manage Deerwood Bank’s marketing efforts and will support the enhancement of their banking delivery channels. “I am very excited to take on this next role with Deerwood Bank. Our organization is finding itself at the doorstep of some really special enhancements and I cannot wait to see where we take it. I’m honored to be able to help this group continue its pattern of growth and success.” said Rusk. In his free time, Rusk enjoys spending time with his wife, Rachel, and their Golden Retriever, Leo. On a warm day, you can probably find Jed out on the boat or playing a round of golf at the nearest course. Deerwood Bank has 12 offices throughout central and northern Minnesota—including, Baxter, Bemidji, Deerwood, Grand Rapids —and the Twin Cities. Contact Jed: Office: 218.316.3539 Email: jed.rusk@deerwoodbank.com
Baxter — Deerwood Bank has named Heidi Tollefsrud as Vice President – Customer Experience Director for all twelve of its locations. A graduate of University of Minnesota Duluth, Tollefsrud has been with Deerwood for more than 10 years, starting as a teller in 2012. Over the last decade, Tollefsrud rose through the ranks and has been a key leader for Deerwood Bank’s retail team for the last 5 years. In her new role as VP – Customer Experience Director, she will manage Deerwood Bank’s entire retail department while also working to streamline and integrate the customer service experience across all delivery channels. “I am very excited to make the customer and staff experience better through the use of technology. If we can create efficiencies and streamline processes on the backend, it will result in a better customer experience, which is a win for everyone.”, said Tollefsrud. In her free time, Tollefsrud enjoys spending time with her friends and family while they explore new places in nature. On a warm summer day, you might be able to find Heidi riding her motorcycle on a nice tour around a local lake. Deerwood Bank has 12 offices throughout central and northern Minnesota—including Baxter, Bemidji, Deerwood, Grand Rapids —and the Twin Cities. Contact Heidi: Office: 218.825.8946 Email: heidi.tollefsrud@deerwoodbank.com
Eden Prairie, MN — The Minnesota Bankers Association (MBA) has announced that it recently appointed John Ohlin, President/CEO of Deerwood Bank, to its Board of Directors. The MBA Board of Directors is the policymaking and governing body of the Minnesota Bankers Association, which is the state’s largest trade association devoted exclusively to the representation of commercial banks. Ohlin will serve a three-year term as District 5 director. A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, Ohlin has been the President/CEO of Deerwood Bank since 2004. Ohlin is also an alumnus of the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking, from which he graduated in 2007. “I am very excited to take on this role with the MBA. It is a real honor to sit on this board that represents some of the most talented and brightest banks in our industry. This involvement with the MBA is strongly supported by our bank’s mission and we are excited to help shape and improve on this vital industry.”, said Ohlin. Deerwood Bank has 12 offices throughout central and northern Minnesota—including Baxter, Bemidji, Deerwood, Grand Rapids —and the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Bankers Association is the state’s largest trade association devoted exclusively to representing commercial banks. The MBA was founded in 1889 and represents 95% of Minnesota’s chartered banks. The MBA is proud to support our member banks as they work to ensure vibrant communities throughout the state. For more information, please visit our website at www.minnbankers.com. Contact Deerwood Bank: Office: 218.316.3539 Email: jed.rusk@deerwoodbank.com
Baxter, MN – 6/14/2022. Ted Abear graduated from the Minnesota Bankers Association (MBA) Leadership Development Academy on May 19, 2022. This year-long program, which graduated a total of 23 bankers in 2022, provides in-depth skill-building for bankers preparing for critical leadership roles in their banks. “The MBA Leadership Development Academy requires a significant commitment to professional and personal growth” said Joe Witt, MBA President/CEO. “It is intensive and challenging. Graduates of this program should be very proud of this accomplishment and their determination to grow as individuals and bank leaders.”
Baxter, MN (May 29, 2022) – Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union (MMFCU) recently named Christina Deneau as Mortgage Operations Manager.

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