Medallion Sponsor First National Bank of Elk River Puts Family First

For complete 2017 Medallion Hunt rules and clue schedule,
please visit: Shiver Elk River Medallion Hunt.

The family of bankers, tellers and customer service representatives who work at First National Bank of Elk River don’t just work in Elk River. They worship, work, live and play here.

And customers aren’t just customers. They are friends and neighbors.

firstnational-medallionThat’s why giving back to the community comes naturally for the folks at First National.

“We believe in corporate citizenship (and) our business and our lives are completely intermingled,” said John Houlton, president and CEO of First National Financial Services.

And that’s why it seemed natural for First National to serve as this year’s Shiver Elk River Medallion Hunt sponsor.

The medallion hunt begins Feb. 4 with the medallion finder receiving $500. After viewing the daily clues starting February 4th at erstarnews.com, readers can visit First National Bank of Elk River’s website elkriver.bank for additional hints that will help in piecing together the medallion’s secret location.

‘We’re family!’

John Houlton and his wife Tanna treasure the family feeling banking at First National provides. While John serves as president and CEO of financial services, Tanna is the bank’s marketing officer.

“As a community bank we believe that personal relationships and firsthand knowledge of our customers’ goals, dreams, challenges and situations creates a banking experience that is different from – and better than – what is offered by the big national banks,” Tanna said.

“We know (our customers). Our kids go to school with their kids. We see each other in church, at the movies, out shopping and at community events like Shiver Elk River,” she said. “This familiarity and sense of community is central to the banking experience we offer.”

First National Bank of Elk River has been in the community for more than 100 years. That long-standing relationship makes the Elk River bank a bank that’s earned its neighbors’ trust.

The bank offers personal and business banking and loan services as well as safe, secure and convenient online banking.

Transparent accessibility makes the Elk River bankers easily available.

“I am often called directly by customers at home after hours if they have a need to talk,” John said. “Clients stop by the house sometimes if they see me in the yard, maybe to talk business, maybe just to visit. Try doing that if you bank with Wells Fargo or another huge bank.”

John and Tanna said they prefer getting to know business clients by spending time with them on the client’s turf rather than at the bank office.

“Most of what we do is highly personalized. We customize credit to fit our business borrower. We customize our retirement planning services to fit the client’s realty. Maybe most important of all is the face that all of us who run the bank are members of the community we serve” John said.

Investing in a personal relationship with customers and with community is of the highest priority for the money lenders and account managers at First National Bank of Elk River.

“We are all in it together, doing this thing called life. And we want to enhance that experience any way we can for our customers, our community, our shareholders and our business,” John said. “That’s what community banking means, and that is why we have woven an ethic of ‘giving back’ into the very fabric of our bank.”

Giving back to the community happens in a variety of ways.

The bank makes generous cash donations to a wide variety of local, regional and national causes, John said.

“We have a strong volunteer ethic and support employee volunteerism by accommodating time-off requests, helping volunteers financially and any other way we can support their cause,” he said.

The bank also provides its leadership and expertise to local organizations when needed. In addition, the staff at First National is encouraged to serve on boards of directors, to volunteer in the classroom, help out at church, lend a hand to a neighbor and more.

“Our philosophy is simple: Community involvement and support are a part of our business model that is inseparable for our profit motive,” John said. “We strive to — and need to — make money, but our definition of ‘profiting’ goes beyond the financial. This was the philosophy of the founders of the bank in 1902 and has been the philosophy of our shareholders ever since.”

To learn more about First National Bank of Elk River visit or go online to:elkriver.bank . To call: 763-241-3637, 763-241-3603 or toll free at 888-441-2200. Or better yet, stop by the bank and say hello at 812 Main St. NW, Elk River.

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