Bill Rosacker, president and CEO of United Bankers' Bank (UBB), would like to announce the retirement of Chuck Hokans, executive vice president, along with a series of promotions designed to maintain and improve interaction with customers. Hokans will retire Dec. 31, 2014.
"A lot of thought and planning has gone into this transition," said Rosacker. "Essentially, we are moving UBB closer to the customer, which means more support for our correspondent banking officers who live, work and best understand the needs of the bankers they serve. While other banking organizations pull back on customer contact, we are seizing this opportunity to re-emphasize our commitment to community banking."
Here is a summary of the changes:
"These changes just reiterate the strategic manner in which UBB has always prioritized customer relationships," Hokans said of the moves prompted by his retirement. "John is an outstanding choice as head of sales and marketing because he has always had a keen understanding of customer needs and how to frame those needs to staff at UBB. He also has a great sense of humor and compassion for people that is uncommon to see. The rest of the sales team is also energized by these new opportunities, knowing that our commitment to more boots on the ground and a mission focused on the success of community banks sets us apart from the competition."
During Hokans' nearly three decades at the bank, UBB launched numerous successful products and services, including UNET™ online banking and UNETexchange check imaging, the business and retail card program, United Bankers' Agency insurance and identity theft services, USource® human resource management, BankValue Advisory Services, and UTrust® portfolio management. He also presided over three successful capital initiatives, helping grow the bank from $40 million in assets in 1985 to $750 million today; facilitated strategic plans for more than 30 banks; and directed UBB's expansion into 12 additional states.
"I can truly say that I've never had a boring day at this bank," Hokans said of his long career at UBB. "We have an exceptionally positive and supportive culture here, which shows in the longevity of our executive management team and the loyalty of our staff. Bill Rosacker has provided great leadership and worked hard to foster this wonderful environment that has been successful for three decades," he said. "There will always be regrets when you retire, but I feel very good about our staff, how we have stuck to our mission of serving our customers and - despite a few challenges along the way - maintained a positive outlook for our customers and UBB."
Peterson came to UBB in 2002 after working 16 years in retail bank operations, lending and branch management for First National Bank of Chaska, Minn., and U.S. Bank. During his 12 years at UBB, Peterson served as correspondent banking officer to customer banks in southern Minnesota before becoming sales manager in 2013. He set records adding new customers to the bank that will be difficult to match, noted Hokans. In addition to sales and marketing, Peterson will also oversee USource®, BankValue, United Bankers' Agency and UTrust®.
"My goal is to stay in close touch with our customers," Peterson said of his new position. "All of our products and services flow through them, so we must continue to see our relationship from their perspective. At the same time, I want to explore ways we can better tap into the incredibly talented people we have here and move their expertise closer to the banks."
"The best way I can describe this is bittersweet," said Rosacker of the transition plan. "On the one hand, we have a solid structure in place with people who have been at UBB and in banking for a long time. They know our products and services inside and out, as well as the markets and bankers they serve. Not only will this be a smooth transition, it will strengthen our commitment where it matters most: with our customers.
"But having Chuck hang up his laptop, so to speak, will be a big loss to all of us here and to the community banking family. His steady demeanor and thoughtful approach to some of the biggest challenges we've faced has always been a major asset to the bank and our customers. And he's also just a great person," he said. "Everyone here wishes him the absolute very best in his retirement."
Rosacker added that Hokans will continue to advise on the transition from now until he retires at the end of the year.