A note from Charlie – for this I am grateful

December 7th, 2017 Charlie Funk
Charlie Funk

Gratitude has become a part of our culture at MidWestOne Bank and what better time to celebrate our gratitude than during the holiday season? This is the message I shared with our directors and staff at Thanksgiving:

These are a few of the things I am thankful for this holiday season.

The decibel level has risen in America. The civility meter has fallen. I am thankful that we still have the ability to express our opinions and through it all, the Republic stands.

I cannot imagine anyone luckier than me for being married to Connie for more than 37 years. I am thankful she puts up with me, and I aspire to give her as much as she gives me.

Our company continues to prosper. It certainly hasn’t been in a straight line, but I am thankful for the bright future we have together!

I am thankful to be in an industry that supports its communities. MidWestOne Bank considers it our obligation to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. We provided the funds to keep a swimming pool open in North English, Iowa. Our bank leads the way in the Chisago Lakes region of Minnesota, whether it be passing a needed school bond referendum or contributing leadership to an area housing task force. Just last week I received a touching email from one of our employees who made a decided difference this fall in the lives of two 10-year-old girls in a program the bank sponsors. The email would bring tears to most eyes! I am thankful for the many good things our company and its employees do on a daily basis. And I am thankful they do it not just because they feel it is their responsibility, but because it brings them joy to be able to give back to others.

I am thankful for a Wellness Committee at our bank that reminds us of the importance of fitness and good mental health habits. And I remain abundantly thankful that, at age 63, I can still run long distances, which is essential to my mental health regimen.

I just completed my four-year term on the American Bankers Association Board of Directors. Not only am I thankful for this opportunity to serve our industry, but also for the many good friendships (too numerous to name here) I have made.

Look around this company and you’ll see dozens of long-term employees who have showed up day after day, year after year to make a difference. We have many persons who have been at it at the same company for two decades, three decades and more. I am thankful for our loyal and long-term employees – you are the backbone of our company and you give us unique perspective and connection to where we have come from as a company!

My 87-year-old mother is spunky and I am grateful for that. I am thankful that we can argue Cardinals—Cubs nearly every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer.

I am thankful that our Florida employees survived Hurricane Irma virtually unscathed. We have a strong team of Floridians and they will continue to contribute to our company’s performance and culture.

Connie and I have had the gift of three talented daughters who generally “tolerate” their father. I am thankful for them and for two (and one future) sons-in-law.

Our employee base is extraordinary and strong. From Naples to Minneapolis, from Fort Madison to Denver, they daily put their shoulders to the wheel to deliver on our mission of taking care of our customers and those who should be. Though I do not communicate with all of them on a regular basis, I am thankful for each of them. They are the ones who power this up-and-coming company.

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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