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Giving Back for the Greater Good

Giving Back for the Greater Good

It’s early morning and the news is droning on in the background while people get ready for work. The ever-familiar jingle comes over the air with a familiarity that most North Platte residents simply ignore as background noise. “Community Minded Just Like You, NebraskaLand National Bank.” For small business owners and local charities, however, it’s the sound of hope and community backing for local fundraising efforts. How many people stop to think what this phrase means, not only to them, but to small local organizations that may not get much support? I wanted to know more about the community service process and what drives the only locally owned bank in town to give back so selflessly to the community. Many non-profit organizations rely on local fundraising to receive much-needed financial support. Due to budget cuts and the recent recession, funds are more difficult than ever to come by.

As I walk down the familiar hallway between the Loan Services department to the Marketing department, I took a moment to look around. I saw the familiar dark granite floors and the dark stained wood trim. I saw the hustle and bustle of customers below on the first floor and I saw other employees amongst them smiling and providing assistance gladly. I stood there for a moment longer in awe that people are so happy and willing to go out of their way to help others here. I opened the door to the Marketing department where I knew I would meet with Danielle and Molly to satisfy my curiosity about the Bank’s selfless giving. Danielle and Molly, the Bank’s marketing officers, were smiling and gracious as I asked answers for the most routine questions. What I did not expect was to find how deeply invested our employer was in the community.

NebraskaLand National Bank (NLNB) was formed in May of 1998 by Mike Jacobson, Kim Schroll, and Sally Gentleman, along with shareholders from the community. This group saw an incredible need in the small community and looked to fill it. Fed up with the ways of large corporate financial institutions, this group set out to provide service for the community in a unique way. The mission statement reads “To serve the community with high quality personalized service at a competitive price,” which is the guiding light the company still follows. With this mission statement in mind, the Bank became immediately involved in giving back to the community.

As the Bank grew, so did the support from the local community. Over the years the financial support from the Bank has enabled many small organizations to thrive. Danielle quickly typed a few keys on the computer and had a list several local causes that the Bank has supported recently: interscholastic sports at the NPPS middle school, Habitat for Humanity, and a technology lab for students at St Pats to name a few. The list goes on to include grill events where organizations can reserve the commercial grill for fundraising or community awareness events.

Employees work together at these events several times per month to operate the grill and serve the community. NLNB supports the boards and causes that its employees are involved with. NLNB doesn’t stop with only being involved with people. NLNB also participates in events for pets, such as Woofstock.

The Bank has always been proud to be able to contribute significantly to the community, as well as to organizations of interest to employees. As the Bank grew, the founders and employees have taken corporate responsibility to a whole new level. The Bank not only provides monetary backing, but equipment and service to small businesses and schools. Many employees also hold various board positions around the community and volunteer their time to find ways to make North Platte a better place. In return, the community provides overwhelming support to the Bank and its employees.

NLNB has grown to over 80 employees since opening in 1998 and each of those employees has a strong community spirit. This kind of community based support is essential, and having employees that strongly embrace and help grow community involvement is priceless. At NLNB the culture of the business and its employees is community giving and support, and prospective employees are drawn by what NLNB does to give back to the community. Employees know that they can ask about getting the Bank involved with something that interests them, and know without a doubt that the Bank will take the request seriously.

NLNB accurately stated what we do; “Local people, local decisions, local ownership.” This perfectly sums up the efforts of the Bank and the employees. NLNB supports the local economy and strives to grow local ownership. Being a frontrunner in community support sets a high standard to employees, and challenges fellow community members to actively find a cause and support it for the community’s greater good. NLNB will continue to grow and enthusiastically give back to the community, teaching others the benefits of a strong local economy for years to come.

 

-Lori Gilland, Loan Services Supervisor

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