In 1980, I was 30 years old and a loan officer for
I remember that morning in early 1980. It was eight o'clock. I had just put on my coat to leave for work and the phone rang. It was one of the directors of the bank.
It was just 10 years earlier, as a recent graduate of the
So, in 1971, my first job outside
On the morning of Eldon's departure I took over the securities portfolio of the bank. I had never taken care of the bond portfolio before, so I picked up the bank's bond book and figured it out.
Eldon's sons were not old enough to take over management of the bank. So, about a month afterward, I got a second phone call. It was Eldon's wife asking if she and one of the bank's directors could speak with me. We met in my living room. I didn't really know why they wanted to come. They offered me the president's office that afternoon.
But I didn't take the title then. I told them I would run the bank but the people of
By 1984, it was time to return to
Our plan hinged on my father. Bank shares were widely held around town. As people died and sold their bank stock, my dad would buy it. By 1984, my Dad owned one quarter of the shares in the bank. With the founding generation aging and the second generation unable to take over management, we knew the owning families were going to want to sell the bank soon.
Dad retired as president in 1984 and I became the bank's president in 1987. By the summer of 1988, we began to negotiate a price with the families.
The owning families hired a bank broker to find other buyers. I still remember, he called while I was on vacation and told me that the Billion family which owns
The family had held out for a high price with the Billion family as they had with us. The Billion family had hoped to raise investors in town and within a month, they were no longer interested in buying the bank. My Dad emerged as the acquirer in 1988. We formed a holding company and invited the board of directors to join in the purchase. The Anderson family came away with a controlling interest in the bank of 52 percent.
After 43 years in this business I retired in 2013. My brother Drew is now the bank's president and my daughter Valerie is the third generation of the family to run the bank. I have been lucky. I could not have made the contribution I did to building this business without the help of my wife of 37 years,
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