NorthWestern Financial Review
Outstanding Women in Banking 2015 by Matthew Doffing & Mara Gawrecki
In July, Kris Holoch was named to succeed her father Kelly Holthus as CEO of the $1.4 billion Cornerstone Bank. She came to that position after overcoming a year of personal tragedy to lead the York, Neb., bank to continued success and expansion.
Holoch is one of six women honored by NorthWestern Financial Review as a 2015 Outstanding Woman in Banking.
Her brother, Kendell Holthus, who had been a commercial and agricultural loan officer at Cornerstone, died of cancer in March 2014. Her husband Greg had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – Lou Gehrig’s disease – the previous fall. At first, Holoch decided to build a house with everything on one level so her husband would be able to navigate with ease whether he used a walker or wheelchair. Nine months after the diagnosis, however, and in the middle of construction, he passed away in June 2014.
“While that was a tremendous loss, she didn’t let it stop her,” Kelly Holthus said. “She felt, for her own good and the good of the people around her, she needed to work her way through and be a steady leader. I think she handled it very well.”
Despite those struggles, Holoch is more than ready to tackle the challenges that come with her new role. Chief among her assets is her boundless energy and deep people skills, said Holthus, who was named NorthWestern Financial Review’s inaugural Banker of the Year in 1989. “Kris has a very high energy level and therefore she is very busy and wants to be very busy. She’s actively involved in everything going on,” he said. “Our organization is widespread and other people might find it hard to get their arms around; not her. I think she fits the job description very well.”
A large part of executive work is managing personnel, Holoch said. It is a continual investment of time to make sure the right people are in the right places, and that they have what they need to grow and flourish.
“Everyone can remember how big the bank was when they started,” she said. “When my dad started it was $50 million. When I started, summer of 2000, it hit $300 million; now we’re at $1.4 billion. We’ve seen a lot of growth, and a lot of branches in a lot of communities.”
Those personnel skills were honed from working with the bank’s human resources department, which began shortly after she joined Cornerstone, working in the newly formed electronic banking department to implement internet banking. Previously, she had spent time working as a teller and in the trust departments at other Nebraska banks and as a CPA with a York firm.
Besides her responsibilities at Cornerstone, Holoch serves on the board of directors of the Nebraska Bankers Association, an organization she and her father have supported for a long time.
“When she was dealing with family crises, she was able to help lead Cornerstone to continued success,” said Richard Baier, NBA president. “Kris has been essential in making the transition and implementing the continued plan of Cornerstone as a family bank in Nebraska.”
Her youngest son also works in the bank as a lender, and Holoch is looking forward to passing on the bank to a third generation.
“I grew up hearing all the talk with banking and had early interest in banking as a career,” she said. “I’m really thrilled now that I can. I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been an energizing, challenging, fun career to have.”
Holoch is poised to lead a re-invigorated team in the next chapter of Cornerstone’s history. Along with other members of the executive committee, she completed an organizational overhaul.
As well as restructuring the bank’s staff, Holoch did finish building her house after her husband’s death. It sits next to a golf course and although she does not golf, her two sons and son-in-law do. When a memorial scramble golf tournament was held in her late husband’s honor, her sons, son-in-law and her husband’s best friend teamed up to win the tournament.
YORK--Cornerstone Bank in York, Nebraska was recognized today by USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul as a Top Ten Lender (Ranking sixth) for the Fiscal Year 2015 USDA Rural Development’s Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loan program. Cornerstone Bank, delivered in excess of $3.2 million in home loans to allow 36 rural Nebraska families to “build a better future together.”
Pictured Left to Right: Jean Gardner, Maxine Moul the director of USDA Rural Development, Gene Oxley, Ashley Luethje
In Fiscal Year 2015, 75 approved lenders participated in the GRH program and provided more than $103 million to assist 1,030 rural Nebraska households in achieving homeownership. The program assists first time homebuyers and those who are seeking a different home because of changing family needs.
Moul said, "We appreciate the Nebraska approved lenders, our partners, who make this program such a success. We anticipate another active year and we look forward to helping more rural Nebraskans to achieve the dream of homeownership. I wish to thank Cornerstone Bank for their dedication in using the program.”
With guaranteed financing, private lending institutions provide the loans which are guaranteed by the federal government. The program features no down payment to eligible income households and no maximum mortgage limits. Homes must be located in rural areas. All communities in Nebraska are eligible for USDA Rural Development housing programs with the exceptions of Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha and South Sioux City/Dakota City. See http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/ for eligible areas.
GRH loans have been processed in 76 out of the 93 counties throughout Nebraska.
Existing guaranteed or direct loan borrowers may refinance their home loans under the GRH loan program to obtain a possible lower interest rate.
For additional information on becoming an approved lender contact Krista Mettscher at USDA Rural Development, 100 Centennial Mall North, Suite 308 Lincoln, NE 68508, (402) 437-5518 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.rd.usda.gov/ne/.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
GUIDE ROCK--Effective Thursday, October 8th, Guide Rock State Bank, with branches in Guide Rock and Edgar, was merged into Cornerstone Bank.
The entire staff of the former Guide Rock State Bank will continue with Cornerstone, and Scott Vogler will continue as Vice President and Manager of the Guide Rock branch. Dave Bondegard, who is Vice President and Manager of Cornerstone Bank in Clay Center, Glenvil and Davenport, will also serve as Vice President and Manager of the Edgar branch.
Scott Vogler added becoming part of the Cornerstone family will benefit customers. Cornerstone has a reputation for community focused banking on which Guide Rock State Bank was founded and will provide additional financial services such as mobile banking, home mortgages and trust and investment services to name a few.
Kelly Holthus, Chairman of the Board of Cornerstone Bank, stated that he felt the banks in Guide Rock and Edgar would be a very good fit for Cornerstone, as the customer base and services offered are similar to what Cornerstone is doing in several communities in east central Nebraska.
With this addition, Cornerstone has 37 banking facilities in 28 communities and 14 insurance agencies in the 14 county area that it serves. Cornerstone Bank has $1.4 billion in total assets and is a wholly owned subsidiary of First York Ban Corp.
YORK--The 33rd Annual Cornerstone Bank Tennis Tournament was held Saturday and Sunday August 8 and 9 at the Levitt Tennis Courts in York. Over 60 competitors took part in the two day event, and there was a competition in seven separate divisions.
In the Men’s Open Championship final, Erik Hjermstad of Lincoln met Ryan Fehr of Columbus. Hjermstad defeated Fehr 6-0, 6-1.
In the Women’s Open Championship match Catherine Ternent of Lincoln defeated Clair Hying of Lincoln 6-0, 6-3.
Erik Hjermstad (Lincoln) over Ryan Fehr (Columbus) 6-0, 6-1
Jon Holtz (Elkhorn) over Derek Mikus (Lincoln) 6-2, 6-2
Phil Cook (Beatrice) over Tom Milburn (Lincoln) 6-4, 6-2
Men's Open Doubles
Jon McQuistan (Omaha) and Justin McQuistan (York) over Joe Ritzdorf (Omaha) and Josh Budler (Columbus) 5-3 (Retire)
Catherine Ternent (Lincoln) over Claire Hying (Lincoln) 6-0, 6-3
Katie Steffen (Beatrice) over Penny Jacobsen (York) 6-2, 6-3
Alyssa Curry (Columbus) and Hannah Thomazin (Columbus) over Brenda Romero (La Vista) and Julie Hewett (Papillion) 6-4, 6-1
Cornerstone to Purchase Guide Rock State Bank
GUIDE ROCK--Scott Vogler, President of the Guide Rock State Bank and Kelly Holthus, Chairman & CEO of Cornerstone Bank in York, Nebraska, announced today an agreement has been reached for Cornerstone Bank to purchase the Guide Rock State Bank and their branch at Edgar, Nebraska. As of December 31, 2014, Guide Rock State Bank had total assets of $28 million with deposits of $24 million and loans of $18 million. The purchase is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval with a closing expected in September, 2015.
Kelly Holthus stated Cornerstone Bank is very pleased to be a part of the Guide Rock and Edgar Communities and to continue to expand its banking footprint in south central Nebraska. Cornerstone Bank has long been committed to the agricultural sector of the economy and also in serving many smaller communities.
Scott Vogler added becoming part of the Cornerstone family will benefit customers. Cornerstone has a reputation for the community focused banking on which Guide Rock State Bank prides itself and will provide additional financial services such as mobile banking, home mortgages and trust and investment services to name a few.
Cornerstone Bank is a $1.4 billion bank and with the acquisition of the Guide Rock State Bank, Cornerstone will have 37 banking branches in 28 communities. Other communities include: Albion, Aurora, Bartlett, Bradshaw, Central City, Clay Center, Columbus, Davenport, Geneva, Glenvil, Grand Island, Hampton, Harvard, Henderson, Marquette, McCool Junction, Monroe, North Loup, Polk, Rising City, Shelton, St. Edward, Stromsburg, Sutton, Waco and York. Cornerstone Bank is owned by First York Ban Corp of York, Nebraska.
Cornerstone Sponsors 33rd Annual Tennis Tournament
YORK--Cornerstone Bank will host its 33rd annual non-sanctioned tennis tournament August 8th and 9th at Levitt Tennis Courts next to York High School.
Entries will be limited to one single and one double. The matches will be the best of three sets with a 12-point tiebreaker at 6-all. There will be a super tie breaker if sets are split in lieu of a third set.
Registration forms are available at any Cornerstone Bank or click here to print the form. The entry deadline is noon Wednesday, August 5th. Singles entry fee is $15.00 per division and doubles entry fee is $20.00 per team.
Pairings will be available after noon on Friday, August 7th from Ray McKenna at Cornerstone Bank at (402) 363-7422 before 5 p.m. or you can visit our website.
Please call Ray McKenna at (402) 363-7422 for any further information.
YORK -- On Monday, January 5, 2015, Cornerstone Bank held its annual Employee Recognition Dinner at the York Country Club. Recognition gifts were presented to 45 honorees at that time.
Employees who were recognized for 5 years of service included Jolene Beckman, Mark Blinde, Carmen Braasch, Stacy Brockevelt, Margaret Crawford, Dave Dohmen, Brett Freese, Tom Gebers, Brian Goossen, Arnold Hellbusch, Deena Kopetzky, Dolan Larsen, Dan Piskorski, Judy Power, Greg Sander, Harvey Schultz, Kayla Stastny, Deb Stern, Susan Wall, Christina Wert, and Shelby Winn.
Dave Bondegard, Natalie Demuth, Caryn Eickhoff, Darcy Friesen, Amber Gillespie, Linda Hagemeier, Phil Janda, Lois Klone, Todd Kramer, Megan Marget, Pat Matlock, Amy Meyer, Brandi Pohl, Barb Reetz, and Donette Shenk were honored for 10 years.
Those recognized for 15 years included Nancy Liss, Leah Luellen, Melissa Rath, Kurt Van Norman, and Janet Walsh. Kris Holoch was also recognized for 15 years on the Board of Directors.
Twenty-year honorees included Bill Delong and Jim Mestl.
Mark Deepe was recognized for 25 years.
As a reminder, we ask that you monitor you accounts closely. Please notify Cornerstone Bank immediately if you notice any fraudulent activity in your account. Cornerstone Bank also utilizes Fraudwatch Plus which tracks unusual activity on your debit card and will alert you of suspicious activity.