In June, our Benson Road Branch celebrated 20 years of building successful relationships with customers. With a milestone like this, we wanted to reflect on the history of the Benson Road location, as well as the Benson Road team’s commitment to our customers and communities.
A history of building successful relationships
In 1973 FNB opened the Industrial Branch, which was located near the Sioux Falls Arena. Eventually, as the area surrounding the Arena changed, we made the move out to Benson Road. It was at this location that we started building relationships with customers that still continue today, many of whom we now serve at Benson Road.
“Our Benson team is very well-rounded,” Branch Manager Cindy Woltjer said. “We have commercial banking, consumer lending, and personal banking all represented here. We also have a great working relationship with other FNB team members who are more than willing to come to our location to deliver full service to our customers, such as our mortgage or wealth management services.”
Not only does the Benson Road team serve our customers with excellence, but they also live out FNB’s core values in the process, helping each other through teamwork and the Bank’s family culture.
“When I think about the Benson Road team, I don’t just think about how we take care of our customers, we also take care of each other,” Woltjer said. “We are all in it to help each other and our customers be successful and achieve their dreams. We’re all a big FNB family. If I don’t have the answer, I always know I can go to someone who does.”
Serving a unique customer base
Nestled in a corner lot just off Interstate 229, FNB’s Benson Road Branch stands in an area dotted with industrial warehouses, truck and trailer dealerships, and truck repair shops. Its location, coupled with FNB’s longstanding history of building successful relationships, has made the Benson Road team known for providing specialty service to transportation industry customers.
“The main thing that sets us apart from other branches is that we have a really unique customer base,” Woltjer said. “A lot of our customers are involved in the transportation industry. Unlike other branches, we at Benson Road are located in more of an industrial area, so many of our customers are drivers for trucking businesses at or around our location.”
Without trucks and their drivers, nothing would travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to make it to store shelves. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the transportation industry has been critical in transporting high-demand goods, making deliveries to homes and businesses, and so much more.
“Take a look at what we’ve dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Woltjer said. “It’s been so evident that the transportation industry is something that we can’t be without.”
Leaving a legacy
Dakota Carriers is a trucking operation within FNB’s Business Banking clientele. Owner Tim Schenk has worked in the trucking industry for 25 years and has found great success through his relationship with First National, beginning in 2015 when he purchased Dakota Carriers.
“First National helped me combine two businesses (Schenk Trucking and Dakota Carriers), and they gave me a business plan to follow to make that work,” Schenk said. “They understand the trucking industry from top to bottom. They’re about the only people in town that do.”
Stories like Dakota Carriers are examples of our successful line of service to transportation industry customers, which has led overall growth in the customer base at Benson Road.
“When I think about the future of our branch, the first thing that comes to mind is growth,” Woltjer said. “In the eight years that I’ve been here, we’ve added an additional business banking associate, as well as a third commercial lender very recently. We are experiencing growth.”
FNB’s relationships-first mentality is why we are one of the oldest, independently owned financial services providers in the Sioux Falls area. We know the value of investing in our customers and our communities.
“We don’t know today who the successful people for tomorrow are going to be,” Business Banking Team Lead Russ Robers said. “The person who is willing to work with someone when they really need help is going to get rewarded with a long-term relationship, especially if they’re successful. They’re not going to forget that.”
That philosophy drives FNB’s commitment to investing in every customer that walks through our doors.
“We had a customer who moved here who had encountered some rough times and had very poor credit,” Woltjer said. “We worked with him. After 18 months of sticking to a job and following us as bank advisors on how to continue to build that good credit history, he was able to get approved for a home loan. He thought he would never be able to own a home because of his past.”
“It’s so rewarding to be able to give people hope and help them achieve their dreams when they feel depleted or like they’ll never make it,” Woltjer said. “That’s really the best thing about being a part of FNB.”
We planned to celebrate our anniversary and our customers with an event, but due to the concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans are on hold. We are so thankful to the customers we’ve served at Benson Road over the past 20 years, and we’re looking forward to many more!
Learn about another one of our Benson Road customers, K&J Trucking, in this video!