President and CEO of the $648 Million-Asset Farmers State Bank in Marion, Iowa
IB: Tell us about Farmers State Bank. What is your market like?
Neighbor:Farmers State Bank is headquartered in Marion, Iowa, but we serve the entire Cedar Rapids metro area. FSB is the largest family-owned bank in the area, with four generations working at the bank in different capacities. A recent claim to fame for Marion was being ranked as one of the “Ten Best Towns for Families” in the United States by Family Circle magazine.
The area is tied mainly to agriculture and livestock production, but commercial real estate is another big industry here. The region boasts a diverse economy that balances our historical food-processing, food-ingredient base with electronic component manufacturers, and insurance and financial companies.
IB: What sets Farmers State Bank apart from its competition?
Neighbor: Being a family-owned bank is a real differentiator for us. Our cohesiveness allows us to make fast decisions. If a business client needs a loan decision quickly, we can typically accommodate them and make a timely decision if the loan needs board approval.
IB: Tell us about your bank’s strong commitment to community service.
Neighbor: It’s a commitment that started in 1968 when my parents purchased the bank. Part of their mission was to make Marion and the other communities we serve greater places in which to live, work and succeed. We’ve tried to continue this tradition. It’s both our responsibility and our privilege to help strengthen and improve our community. The bank helps by hosting or sponsoring 18 community events each year, and our employees volunteer thousands of hours to more than 50 different organizations and charities.
IB: What’s your favorite thing about being a community banker?
Neighbor: The most gratifying thing is being able to help folks achieve their financial goals and dreams. It’s great to be a part of a customer getting a first car loan, and then helping again with a home loan years later. Building relationships and being a part of people’s major life experiences makes you really proud to be a community banker.