News Blog

November 3, 2020 – Justin GulleksonDecorah Bank is excited to announce that Justin Gullekson is assuming the new role of Decorah Market President. “Justin’s focus will be to ensure we provide excellent service to our customers and community in and around Decorah, similar to what Donna Thomas, Cresco Market President, does for Cresco. Over the past five years, Justin has been instrumental in our Wealth Management team. Now Justin will help provide leadership in other areas of the bank as well. The bank is growing and so must its leadership team. Justin will help us continue to be a sustainable and healthy family and employee-owned community bank” Ben Grimstad, bank CEO.

Justin and his wife Jeanne have lived in Decorah since 2003. The couple is blessed with five children, Alice, Clare, Anne, Rose, and Jack. Justin is active in the community, currently serving as treasurer for the Winneshiek County Community Foundation.

When asked about this new role, Justin replied, “Decorah Bank has great employees and wonderful customers. I appreciate the opportunity to work with more of them in a new way. As a community bank, owned by our employees and by the Grimstad family, I am honored to serve as the Decorah Market President. I will work hard to maintain and grow all that is special about Decorah Bank.”



cyber security

October 23, 2020 – October is Cyber Security Month. In a world full of technology, it is vital to be cyber smart and secure. We have put together some tips on keeping your electronic devices secure from people who may want to steal your information.

Your Passwords – It’s incredible how many passwords we have to remember. Almost everything we do online requires a password of some kind to log in. What would happen if someone knew your password? A good practice is not to repeat your password for different websites. Find ways to mix it up, like using numbers in place of letters (“1” equals an “L” or “3” equals an “E”).

Think Before You Click – One of the more common ways hackers may try to put harmful software on your computer is through pop-up ads. Before clicking on the pop-up, ask yourself a few questions. Where is it going to take you? Who is producing that ad? Do you know it’s from a legitimate source? It may be in your best interest to avoid pop-ups, both on your phone and computer. Fake apps are another way hackers may try to infect your device. A best practice is sticking to standard app stores like Google Play or Apple App store. When in doubt – don’t click.

Secure Security Questions – If you are locked out of a website, you will often be prompted with a security question. It doesn’t take a lot of effort for a motivated hacker to figure out who your mother is and her maiden name. It’s also a safe bet that many people will list their favorite food as “pizza.” It’s recommended to develop some code word or phrase that doesn’t relate to the question at all. It can be as simple as saying your father’s birthdate is “bananas.” It sounds silly, but it’s an extra step to help make you and your personal information more secure.

If Your Information Is Stolen – Call the Bank immediately at 563-387-5230 and talk to a Customer Support Representative. The Bank partners with CyberScoutTM, a leader in identity theft management, who can assist you with getting your life and your finances back on track. Click here to learn more about these services.

No one is immune to fraud or identity theft, education and awareness are your best lines of defense. Check out our online financial literacy platform called Banzai to learn more about keeping your information safe.



Erick KephartAugust 28, 2020

Former Decorah resident returns to Decorah Bank as a Trust Officer and Vice President
Erick Kephart recently joined Decorah Bank as a Trust Officer and Vice President. Erick is a 2001 Decorah High School graduate. He attended Loras College, graduating in 2005 with a B.A. in Business Management. Erick has substantial Wealth Management experience, most recently as Vice President Trust Officer at First Community Trust. Erick believes with proactive planning, you can create your legacy and save your family time, energy, money, and potential headaches.

It’s a family affair
Erick, his wife, Chelsey, and their three children are moving to Decorah from Dubuque, Iowa. Chelsey works remotely for a Dubuque-based financial institution. Erick and Chelsey are excited to be moving back to raise their family in Decorah. In his free time, Erick enjoys golfing, watching sporting events including baseball (Cubs), football (Hawkeye and Chicago Bears), and basketball (Hawkeye), playing pickleball, and building relationships with new people.

In good company
Roger Huinker, Jason Soland, Julie Luzum, Kari Rude, and a full-time support team assists Erick in his mission to help people accumulate, preserve, and transfer their wealth. Over 100 bank employees are also at the ready to help customers with their financial journeys.

Learn more about Erick
You can learn more about Erick Kephart by visiting our Wealth Management area or calling us at 563-382-9661. He can help you create and protect the legacy you desire. Learn more about our Trust Services.


employee holding debit card

August 26, 2020 – It’s now easier than ever to separate your business and personal expenses with Decorah & Cresco Bank’s new business debit card! Enjoy convenience and maximum control when making purchases.

Everyday convenience for you and your employees:

  • Make deposits, initiate transfers, and withdrawal funds 24 hours a day at an ATM
  • Have easy access to debit card activity through our free online banking services
  • Enjoy the card’s new look to differentiate cards at a glance
  • No annual fee
  • Each authorized signer can have their own card with individual spending and withdrawal limits

Added security and protection from fraud and theft:

  • If your card gets lost or stolen, you’re only responsible for purchases you actually make, thanks to our Zero Liability policy
  • Replace your card quickly with onsite card printing
  • Set up your card as a mobile wallet for contactless payment
  • Better manage your company’s cash flow by making purchases directly from your business checking account
  • Your card includes a chip reader for greater security against fraud

How to apply for the debit card:

  • Apply online to instantly get a debit card for a new or existing account
  • Call us to begin the process of receiving a debit card for your business
    • Decorah branch: call 563-382-9661 and ask for Holly or Jordan
    • Cresco branch: call 563-547-2244 and ask for one of our personal bankers

Please contact us with any questions that you may have about Decorah & Cresco Bank’s Business Debit Card. To learn about other ways we can aid the financial goals of your business, visit our Business Banking Services page.



August 14, 2020


2020 took a turn no one would have expected. We have all learned a lot in the last several months. Who would have guessed we would close our doors and send 25% of our bankers home to work, all while helping our customers with their financial needs. Things have been busy here, as we are experiencing record loan and deposit growth as well as a mortgage refinance boom. However, we also have many loans on payment deferrals and recognize that we are not out of the woods yet. We fully expect higher losses through the next couple of years. For certain groups, crisis creates opportunity. Some businesses have picked up while others are suffering from the pandemic. Regardless of your situation, please contact us if we can be of help.

Joe, Donna, & BenTeaching customers to use our electronic banking tools has been enjoyable and rewarding. The cell phone is now our busiest branch! If you would like to learn how to bank online, reach out to one of our friendly personal bankers. For those who prefer traditional face-to-face service, we are here for you too.

Interest rates are at all-time lows and might be for some time. This helps borrowers save money, but not depositors. We will always provide safety and convenience for depositors, but for those seeking higher yields, the fine folks in our Wealth Management department can find you great alternatives.

We’re all growing tired of zoom meetings. However, they sure beat exposing one another to the virus. We are thankful that we are able to stay connected to our fellow co-workers, allowing us to continue taking good care of our customers. We have now reopened our doors and are glad to help in person. Our staff is wearing masks, and we do ask you to wear one as well when coming in to keep everyone healthy.

With change comes new fraud opportunities. Our Customer Support department is ready to assist if you become or think you might be a victim. Please call the bank if you have any fraud concerns; we are here to guide you through these difficult situations.

Have you ever been locked out of online banking? We recently started a 24/7 support service to assist you whenever you need help – even outside of traditional “bankers hours.” You never have to wait for help when using these services. Simply call 563-387-5230 anytime for digital banking support.

While this is a heavy time, we have a lot to be thankful for, including each of you – our valued customers. We live in a beautiful part of the country, and during this pandemic, we realize just how fortunate we are. Fall is coming, bringing the harvest season for our hardworking farmers. We wish them a safe and bountiful harvest.

Make sure you are taking any extra time you may have to enjoy all that this area has to offer. Do some local shopping, dine on fresh produce, and get out to enjoy the fresh air.

If wondering about the best investment out there, the old adage remains true. Invest in yourself – your knowledge, your health, and your relationships.

Never hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to make your financial life the best it can be.




Face mask we  careAugust 14, 2020 – We are dedicated to providing you with an extraordinary banking experience. Our lobbies are now open for teller traffic! While we welcome you with open arms, we are taking certain precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We care deeply about our customer’s and employee’s health and well-being. If you would like to visit us in-person, we appreciate your understanding and support of our new requirements upon entering the Bank.

  • Wearing a mask or face covering is required to protect the health & safety of our communities. Young children or individuals with underlying medical conditions are not required to wear a mask. We will provide a complimentary mask to any customer who does not have one.
  • In Decorah, enter only through the North (parking lot) doors; in Cresco, enter only through the Front (South) doors.
  • While in the lobby, we ask that you please maintain the 6ft social distancing recommendation set forth by the CDC and supported by our local health officials.
  • If you would like to meet with a banker in-person, please contact us to set up an appointment.

Digital banking services available to you:

  • Online and mobile banking
  • Online account opening
  • Online loan applications
  • 24/7 digital banking support, call Customer Support at 563.387.5230 anytime!

View Decorah and Cresco Bank’s lobby and drive-thru hours.

For more information about the Bank’s response to COVID-19, click here.

improvementJuly 31, 2020 – On Tuesday, August 4th, our Digital Banking platform and mobile apps will undergo a minor version update. This update should have little to no effect on any of our customers and will bring new functionality to the platform. There will be no downtime; however, anyone logged in at the time of the switchover may experience being “booted” from the system when the update occurs. If this happens to you, simply log back in, and you will sign on to the updated platform.

After the update, digital banking users will immediately be able to take advantage of the following:

  • Push Notifications
  • Transfer Editing

Mobile apps will likely update automatically; however, it’s recommended to check the app store on your mobile device after August 4th to ensure your app is up to date.

We know a high-quality digital experience is very important. We welcome our customers to contact a member of our Customer Support team or our eBanking Specialist with any questions regarding this update at 563.387.5230. You can also chat with our virtual web assistant, Cora, to initiate a live conversation with one of our team members.



twenty four seven phone serviceJuly 21, 2020 – Making your banking experience as simple and accessible as possible is important to us. We know we are not always available when you have digital banking questions.

That’s why we’ve partnered with a trusted U.S. based customer care center to provide you with after-hour phone support for your digital banking needs. You will be carefully and securely cared for by our extended support team of professionals. You no longer have to wait until the next business day for answers to those late-night banking questions!

Call Customer Support at 563.387.5230, 24/7 to receive the assistance you need to ensure all of your online banking needs are met. During business hours, this number will allow for our in-house customer support to assist you. After hours, this line will lead to the customer care center. Please contact us with any questions about this new addition so that we can better serve you!



face maskJuly 17, 2020 – To protect you and our community, beginning Monday, July 20th, we will require all customers to wear masks or face coverings in our branches. This requirement does not apply to young children or individuals who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition. Bank employees will also be wearing masks in common areas and when meeting with customers.

Our branches will continue to have one entrance, and drive-thrus will remain open to serve those who would prefer to bank in this way. We will provide complimentary masks at the bank entrance to any customer who does not have one.

We know that individuals have differing opinions on this issue. We believe requiring masks is the right thing to do with the current circumstances, and are following the guidance of local health officials and the CDC.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as things continue to evolve. We care deeply about the health and well-being of our customers and employees. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We are grateful to have such wonderful customers.

Ben Grimstad
Decorah and Cresco Bank CEO



July 10, 2020 – Many American’s are still waiting for their Economic Impact Payment (EIP). There are several different reasons as to why this is, depending on individual circumstances, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that many may have accidentally thrown their payment away.

Four million American’s received their EIP in the form of a credit card. The US Treasury has reported that at least 788,000 cards have not been activated and may have been thrown out. The IRS will be sending letters to notify individuals who received a card but did not activate it. To see what these letters will look like, view their uploaded image of the envelope and letter.

Visa issued these Economic Impact Payment Cards through MetaBank (The US Treasury’s financial assistant). The payments were sent in a plain envelope from “Money Cardholder Services.” Many thought that the cards were junk mail or spam and tossed them, according to the IRS.

If you think that you may have thrown out your EIP card, you can call the card’s customer service line at 800-240-8100 to report the lost card and request a replacement.

To read more about Economic Impact Payment Cards, visit our previous blog post: