For 116 years, the First National Bank of Osakis has been locally-owned and managed by the Evenson/Olson family. With the community and our customers in the forefront of my mind, I want to publicly explain the news that you may have heard elsewhere: The First National Bank (FNB) of Osakis is in the process of selling to the Martinson/Nelson family, who currently own Glenwood State Bank and Lowry State Bank.
Newman Olson, Jr, my grandfather and Chairman of the Board of Directors has led the First National Bank of Osakis for over 50 years, with the community of Osakis as his primary focus. With it necessary to consider how FNB Osakis can best serve the community of Osakis for the foreseeable future, he sought a partnership with another locally-owned and managed institution that holds its communities in similar esteem.
I believe we have found a partner in the Martinson/Nelson family that values its communities with the same commitment, pride, and passion for community banking. They have purchased a bank in the past, Lowry State Bank in 2002. Seventeen years later, Lowry State Bank remains under the same name, committed to its community, and enjoying the advantages that partnerships of great independent community banks can provide its customers and community - stability, growth, and versatility in product and service offerings - without the sacrifice of local management and decision-making. Just as the Martinson/Nelson family preserved the legacy of Lowry State Bank, they will strive to continue the legacy of FNB Osakis for generations to come.
Nothing you love about the First National Bank of Osakis will change. Newman, Bruce, and I, will still be leading FNB Osakis with the same values and service that our customers hold dearly. Our people have always been the reason we succeed, and we will keep it that way. Our commitment to community development, donations, and the support necessary to keep Osakis the place we love to live in, work in, and visit will be unwavering. As the community of Osakis grows, so does its banking needs, and our plan is for this partnership to allow FNB Osakis to be both an agent for, and a partner in, that growth.
When I took over as president of the First National Bank of Osakis in 2016, I made a commitment to stewarding this community asset as best as possible. The decision to partner with the Martinson/Nelson family is reflective of that commitment. I have faith that, together, we will guide FNB Osakis into a bright future, built on the strong foundation provided by the Olson/Evenson family.
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Osakis Voices is a rotating column written by community leaders who share their thoughts in their field of expertise.