Sisters Anita Vogel-Drentlaw, president of New Market Bank, and Karen Vogel-Ramola, Elko New Market branch manager, provide insight on the history of the bank and what it’s like working for a fourth-generation, family-owned business.
New Market Bank has been a staple in the downtown area for over a century. I see that the development process is underway at County Road 2 and Dakota Avenue for the new building. Why is the bank relocating?
Our original location in Elko New Market was built in 1913. Through the years, we’ve renovated and remodeled our historic building into a labyrinth of rooms. There’s no more room to expand it to meet our customers’ changing needs and priorities. While it has served us well for many years, it became apparent we could no longer stay in our beloved location. We recently broke ground on a new facility that will hopefully serve us and our community for another 100 years.
New Market Bank is considered a community bank. What’s the difference between a community bank and a commercial bank?
Community banks are locally owned and operated financial institutions built on trusted relationships. We’re invested in the communities we serve, which for New Market Bank is Elko New Market, Lakeville and Prior Lake. We nurture relationships with our customers through a lifetime of service—whether volunteering at the NEW Lions Club Steak Fry or coordinating the ENM Chamber’s Ladies’ Night. This familiarity with our customers allows us to make credit decisions locally, which in conjunction with the numbers consider things like character and family history rather than just formulas, quotas, fees or Wall Street expectations. As fellow small business owners, community banks fund more than half of small business loans, fueling entrepreneurs’ dreams while returning profits to the local community and nonprofit organizations. In short, we support the life and vitality of our customers and our communities, making Elko New Market, Lakeville and Prior Lake better places for all.
Anita, you’re the fourth generation Vogel to become bank president. Was it expected that you and Karen go into the family business? How did the bank prepare for generational transitions?
I began my banking career at McGladrey & Pullen as a public accountant for small community banks. It was never expected that we had to be part of the family business. For different reasons, we both just happened to want to join at some point in our careers. Our family formed a family council to assist with ownership and succession issues and decisions. One of the council’s requirements is that any family member must work for another company or bank to gain outside experience before working at New Market Bank. I joined New Market Bank in 2002, and worked as the Operations Officer, Controller and finally CFO for 12 years under my dad, Bob Vogel. Originally, it was planned to have a non-family member take over as President as an interim president between my dad and either Karen or me. Prior to that transition however the officer left to pursue a military career. The board identified me as the best candidate to become president, and invested in me by developing my leadership skills and allowing me to attend the Graduate School of Banking. Karen and I have also both worked with executive coaches to help hone our leadership abilities.
What is your best piece of advice for business owners who work with family members?
Karen: We are unique and lucky to be able to work with our families because we will always be here for our business. Try to keep work at work and make sure those employees working for you also feel like they are family. Also make sure those family members who are working for the business work even harder than non-family employees. We need to prove to them we are here for our talents and knowledge not because we are family. That dedicated work ethic will gain trust, respect, and loyalty with non-family employees.
Anita: I would to cherish the uniqueness of working with your family. It isn’t always easy to work together since people have different opinions and, because it is family, it is easy to let each other know you disagree in sometimes unprofessional ways. It is really a gift though to work with people you know have your back no matter what because of that family bond. You can truly trust each other.
What inspires you?
Karen: Being the 4th generation in this bank inspires me to work hard. My passion truly lies with helping run our family business. I find it very rewarding to be able to help our customers with their financial needs. Also, as a small business ourselves, we understand the dynamics of small businesses. This helps us advise other small and family-owned businesses with obstacles or questions they may have. That’s also very rewarding.
Anita: Carrying on a 4-generation business is a huge inspiration to me. I also truly love community banking. It is one of the best industries to be involved in as people really care about their customers and fellow bankers. I love seeing us help families move into their first homes or lend customers the funds to expand their businesses.