When we hear the familiar jingle, "The Colorado Bank for you." First Bank immediately comes to mind. It's more than a catchy commercial. First Bank started in Colorado fifty years ago, and continues to help grow businesses, small and large, lending to families and individuals, and contributing to the community. The culture at First Bank is so unique, that it could not be replicated today.
Our guests this week are Bob Deuschle, President of First Bank, North Market and Tanner Tweten, Senior Vice President, North Market. Together we discuss the unique culture this local bank has created to operate a community bank, large enough to expand into new markets while maintaining that hometown appeal.
First Bank began at a small location in Lakewood, Colorado in 1963. Efforts to expand were always made in communities where there was opportunity for growth, and to develop their business model.
What makes First Bank particularly unique is how they train and advance their employees. Unlike many other institutions, First Bank hires their employees directly out of college and trains them in the First Bank culture. They work through a rigorous, 50-60 hour a week training program with mentors who guide them along. This way, recruits either move up in the company, or they're out, preventing anyone from remaining stagnant in a dead-end position. Likewise, any accounts an employee brings in, is theirs, regardless if the customer grows into a multimillion dollar account.
First Bank has a strong focus on community involvement, which led to the collaboration with Community First Foundation to create Colorado Gives Day, a 24-hour charitable giving event. Non-profits throughout Colorado connect through Community First Foundation, to be eligible for donations through the day-long-giving event. First Bank covers the cost of credit card transaction fees, so that every dollar donated goes to the non-profits and charities. When Colorado Gives Day launched in 2010 they hoped to raise one million dollars. By the end of the day, the goal was surpassed - with a total of $8.7 million. After that, they decided not to set goals, yet year after year, the totals are exceeded by millions of dollars. In 2013 Colorado Gives Day raised $20 million.
This charitable structure is so successful that First Bank is now sharing the model with other states. It's all a part of their strategy to build stronger communities.
Listen in this Saturday at 10:00 AM on KNUS 710 to learn more about the strength of this community bank.
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