A note from Charlie

January 9th, 2014 Charlie Funk
Charlie Funk

MidWestOne Bank has a rich heritage dating back to its founding in 1934 during the depths of the Great Depression. Our founder, Ben S. Summerwill, started the bank – Iowa State Bank & Trust at that time – with a simple mission statement to “take good care of our customers.”  That mission statement remains in place in 2014. We recently observed our 79th anniversary as a community bank and we are now the fourth largest Iowa-based bank. Through it all, our mission statement remains essentially the same and that is to “take care of our customers and those who should be.”

Every MidWestOne office displays that mission statement in a prominent location. I am confident that nearly all of our employees can freely recite our mission (why not ask one the next time you visit us?).  But having a mission is one thing, while carrying it out on a daily basis is much more difficult.

We can take good care of our customers by providing outstanding service in every corner of our growing company. We can directly affect the level of service by providing ample training dollars to teach each employee the nuances of good customer service. The rubber really meets the road in each encounter we have with our customers.

Let’s consider what Ryan Klein recently did in Burlington. Ryan is a Service Associate in that office and recently was helping a customer in the drive-thru. Several minutes after the completion of the transaction, he noticed the customer was still sitting there. He asked her if there was anything else he could do for her. She explained that her car was dead and she had called a tow truck to come jump her. Ryan immediately told her to cancel the service call. He said he would be more than willing to “jump” her car so she didn’t have to spend the money to call a tow truck. Ryan pulled his truck into our drive thru area, used jumper cables that he borrowed from another employee and started the customer’s car.

Now, let me introduce you to Marty O’Rourke, Service Associate Manager in North English: On an otherwise normal day, a customer entered and said, “I’m not sure but I think someone just wrecked over by the pond. I heard a loud thump.” Marty looked out the drive-up window and a vehicle had collided with a light pole. A young man got out and then appeared to slump down into the car. Marty didn’t hesitate. With a medical background, she immediately rushed out to see if he needed help and talk with him as he might be in shock. Marty took the young man’s pulse and called to say he needed some help. A second employee called 911 and within 15 minutes, emergency personnel had arrived.  The young man was not seriously injured. All in a day’s work for our fine employee.

We know that there will be occasions when we may fall short of the excellent service standards we set for ourselves. But when we do, I promise you that we will pursue the correct solution with vigor and determination until a satisfactory conclusion is reached. We pride ourselves on employing terrific people who deliver outstanding service. But what else would you expect?  Ben Summerwill started this practice in 1934 and we proudly continue it today.

Yours Truly,

Charlie Funk

President & CEO

Charlie Funk

About the author

Charlie Funk is President and CEO of MidWestOne Bank. He works with the MidWestOne team to oversee the daily operation of the bank.

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