News Blog

November 26, 2018 – Decorah – Following tradition, Decorah Bank’s Christmas Coloring Contest is now underway. Parents, click on the pdf link below to download and print a coloring form or stop by either of our locations and pick up a coloring registration for your kids. Return by 4:00 pm on Monday, December 17th. Ages 10 and under. Happy Coloring!

Decorah Bank Christmas Coloring registration [pdf 1 MB]

Stocking Winneshiek County food pantriesFeed the Pig. Feed the Community.

November 20, 2018 – Decorah – This is an example of community generosity at its best. On October 1, Decorah Bank & Trust, in partnership with Lynch Family Foundation, announced a pledge challenge to help stock the Winneshiek County Food Pantries. The Bank would match the community’s donations up to $2,500, and Lynch Family Foundation would match up to $2,500 in pork. The Bank, at a recent fundraising event, purchased a giant piggy bank crafted from a used Templeton Rye whiskey barrel. This fun new addition to the lobby at the bank is now known as “Templeton.” We thought it would be fun to run a “feed the piggy” campaign using our new friend Templeton.

 Hunger and food insecurity is a serious concern.Food pantry photo

The first few weeks that Templeton was accepting gifts, a few small and wonderful financial contributions were dropped in him. We were happy to see that people noticed the opportunity to help others during this season of giving.

Watching the magic unfold

Later in the campaign, one contributor stood out: Our teller noticed that a young woman, in her twenties, dropped all of the proceeds from her entire paycheck in the piggy bank. What a gift! It was great to see community members come together to accept the pledge challenge – customers and community members reached the $2,500 goal by early November! In total, customers, community, and Decorah Bank contributed $6006.12 in monetary donations. The Bank contributed $2,500 and customers and community members contributed $3,506.12. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of many people who helped stock Winneshiek County food pantries for the upcoming holidays to provide nourishment for community members.

As for Templeton? The giant piggy bank is taking a break in the “back 40.” Perhaps he will be involved in more wonderful projects in the future.

Decorah & Cresco – November 1, 2018 – For its second year, family and employee-owned Decorah Bank & Trust Company is named among the topmost extraordinary banks in the United States by The Institute for Extraordinary Banking™. Decorah Bank & Trust and its affiliate, Cresco Bank & Trust Co., was recently recognized with the Institute’s Banky™ Award for its commitment to excellence in banking and its community through customer service, philanthropy, innovation, bank culture, and financial literacy education.

The Bank also won the Outstanding Workplace Culture Award that recognizes employee engagement in its mission, vision, and values.

Decorah Bank president Ben Grimstad states, “Management guru Peter Drucker famously said that culture eats strategy for breakfast. No matter what business strategy you try to implement with your team, its success will depend on the people implementing the plan. We’ve learned that if people driving the strategy are not engaged, do not see their purpose, or do not feel valued; then we stand little chance of implementing the plan.

Decorah Bank president Ben Grimstad shares workplace culture success story at The Institute for Extraordinary Banking™

A team effort. “We consistently offer personal and professional development opportunities for our staff. Earlier this year the Bank held an Employee-Owner Appreciation Day as a way to say thanks. The employee-owner team was treated to breakfast, a chair massage, and coaching time with one of two local “Dream Managers” or a consultation with a local nutritionist.” The Dream Managers now visit quarterly for continued private coaching sessions. Grimstad adds, “If we help our employees identify and work toward their dreams, I think they will be better at helping our customers with their dreams.” The Bank also recently held an Effective Parenting Class for employees that are parents or grandparents to help them at home. “We recognize that professional and personal development produces a more knowledgeable team and higher engagement with each other, our customers, and community.”

Like a Grammy, an Emmy or a Tony, a “Banky” is awarded for a bank’s outstanding work in its industry.

The Bank is also recipient of The Des Moines Register’s 2018 Top Workplaces Award. Why it’s relevant to you.


Shopping bag Shop LocalPromoting local shopping and dining.

October 25, 2018 – Decorah & Cresco – Twenty people will win $250 in cash! Here’s your opportunity to join us in supporting our local retail community. You’ll automatically be entered to win $250 every time you use your debit card in Howard and Winneshiek Counties from November 12 – December 14, 2018.

Winners’ first names and last initials will be listed below and on the Bank’s Facebook and Twitter pages. A $250 check will be presented or mailed to each winner within seven days of winning.

Read additional details below:
Use your Decorah Bank or Cresco Bank debit card however you like, as a debit or credit, where Debit Card MasterCard® is accepted at retailers and restaurants physically located in Howard and Winneshiek Counties from November 12 – December 14, 2018, and you’ll be automatically entered to win $250. Four winners will be chosen weekly during the 5 week promotional period and notified by phone.

No purchase necessary.
A debit card purchase does not increase your chances of winning. To enter without a debit card purchase: Mail or drop off a 3” x 5” postcard with your name, address, and phone number to Decorah Bank & Trust Co., Debit Card Drawing, 202 East Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by December 10 and received by December 13, 2018, to be eligible. Enter as often as you wish; however, each mail-in entry must be mailed in a separate postmarked, stamped envelope and not mechanically reproduced, illegible, or incomplete – any such entries are considered invalid.  Any expenses not specified relating to the acceptance and use of a prize are the responsibility of the recipient. Must be 16 years or older as of November 12, 2018, to win. Employees and their immediate household family members are ineligible to win.

Shop Local Winners of $250

Week One: Megan B. of Decorah; Briana B. of Decorah; Anthony C. of Decorah; and Joseph L. of Cresco

Week Two: Ray B. of Lime Springs; Janet H. of Decorah; Susan H. of Decorah; and Kelly A. of Decorah

Week Three: Greg M. of Decorah; Kristin T. of Decorah; Lester B. of Decorah; and Mindy L. of Cresco

Week Four: Grant T. of Cresco; Elliott J. of Decorah; Boyd W. of Decorah; and Jay T. of Decorah

Week Five: Nikki B. of Decorah; William S. of Waukon; Mary S. of Decorah; and Jeromy S. of Cresco

Featuring Local Businesses

If you are a local business owner or manager and would like your business featured on the Bank’s Facebook and Twitter pages during our Shop Local promotion, click here.
This is our way of getting word out about the many great businesses in Winneshiek and Howard Counties, and it’s free to you – no accounts or purchase necessary. It’s that simple.

October 17, 2018 – Cresco – Brendon Kacher successfully completed the 2018 Iowa Bankers Association’s Commercial Lending School recently held in Ankeny, Iowa. The school is an intense one-week program to further prepare commercial bankers who want to broaden their banking knowledge to serve customers and community effectively. This is accomplished by developing a better understanding of the economy and how it affects financing decisions; developing an understanding of how a business is structured and how it competes; developing an understanding of the role of a company’s management and how to analyze and evaluate that management; developing a thorough understanding and application of basic and advanced analytical techniques; and developing an understanding of relationship banking to meet and maintain multiple customer needs.

Kacher joined Cresco Bank & Trust in 2016; his major responsibilities are visiting with farmers and business customers to identify needs and design strategies for success based on those needs. When asked what interests him most in his work, Kacher states, “I approach my career as the perfect opportunity to assist customers reach their financial goals.  My plan is to educate and coach customers and to become their financial partner. I am looking forward to helping more people in the area.” As an Iowa State University graduate Kacher enjoys watching ISU basketball and football plus hunting, fishing, and golfing in Northeast Iowa and Southern Minnesota during his free time.

October 15, 2018 – Decorah & Cresco – We’re upgrading your online and mobile banking accommodations with the most comprehensive and adaptable smart banking platform of its kind. Get ready for plush luxury!

Here are just a few of the services being planned for you:

  • Enhanced Money Movement, including simple Person-to-Person and Account-to-Account transfers
  • Easily adaptable money management system
  • Integrated bill pay – with comprehensive single platform use
  • Enhanced business solutions

Make sure your boarding is fast and easy.

It is critical that we have your current contact information. Please login to online banking now, click the ‘Welcome’ drop down menu, click ‘All Services & Settings’, then ‘Change Contact’ to verify or enter your email, phone, and address. Click Submit to finish the process.

See complete details.

e-BenHow to suit up and protect yourself
Written by Ben Wells, eBanking Specialist

October 9, 2018 – Decorah & Cresco – Cybersecurity is a topic that is constantly evolving and will never truly go away. In fact, if you want to be cyber-secure in 2018, my best recommendation is to throw all your electronics out the window, cancel your social network accounts, and avoid things like healthcare and insurance companies. Living under a rock somewhere in the Mojave won’t hurt either. Not for you? Don’t worry – you aren’t alone. It’s a tough battle, but these tips will give you the upper hand in a fight worthy of a UFC pay-per-view.

Facebook is widely regarded as one of the top tech companies, held in the same ranks as Amazon and Google. A recent breach exposing 87 million users account data proves that nobody is safe. In regard to your personal cybersecurity, good password management is a critical step. Keep the following in mind:Padlock on electronics

  • Change your passwords frequently (as often as every three to six months)
  • Do not use the same password for every log in
  • Use long, complex passwords, or passphrases, and find ways to substitute special characters for letters

A good password might look something like “$ummerday#1” but a great passphrase could look like “$unsh1n3onmy$hould3rS”.

Another common cyber-attack is simply a criminal trying to take advantage of you. Remember the following to help protect yourself:

  • Microsoft, Apple, etc. will NOT contact you about a problem on your computer and request remote access to fix the problem
  • Any reputable company, including Decorah Bank, will never call you and ask for your personal information like your social security number, account number, or date of birth

If you are ever suspicious, trust your instincts. Find the real contact information of the company you think is being spoofed and call them back to ask if they tried to contact you.

Finally, protecting your credit might be the most important thing you can do in case your identity does become compromised in a data breach. A small fee at each of the three major credit bureaus will freeze your credit, putting you in control of what it can be used for.

Decorah Bank partners with a company called Cyber Scout, and we offer this service to you at no cost in the event your sensitive information becomes compromised. Learn about it here.

We know it’s a tough world in cyberspace, and unfortunately hackers all over the world are searching for a new opportunity to steal data every day. Sleep easy knowing we are here to help you and keep your financial information secure, and never hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.


Feed the Pig. Feed the Community.October 1, 2018 – Decorah – Decorah Bank & Trust Co. in partnership with Lynch Family Foundation is holding a community fundraiser for the Winneshiek County Food Pantries through November 16th.

Decorah Bank is collecting monetary donations. Just drop off your donation in our whiskey barrel piggy bank.

Checks can be made out to one of the Winneshiek County Food Pantries: NEICAC, Decorah Community Food Pantry, or Greater Area Food Pantry.

Decorah Bank will match the community’s donations up to $2,500 and the Lynch Family Foundation will match up to $2,500 in pork.



October 1, 2018 – Decorah & Cresco – New! Build your savings automatically when you use your debit card. Our Save the Change service is an easy way to build your savings plan by transferring funds from one account to another. We’ll round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the change from your checking to your savings accounts.

Typical weekly purchases example:

Purchases example

No debit card? No problem. Contact a personal banker  to get started!



Open House invitationSeptember 24, 2018 – Decorah – Join us for the Wealth Management Annex Open House on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Enjoy freshly baked cookies from Waving Grains, Impact Coffee, and the company of friends that you know or haven’t met yet.

The Wealth Management Annex opened on July 9th, 2018 and houses its wealth management advisors and support staff. This group has grown to include four Certified Financial Planners, one associate financial advisor, a Certified Senior Advisor, and their support team.