How did a vibrant trucking business and a brand new custom beet harvest business come to take roots in rural Minnesota? This story starts with rural Bird Island native, Chris Rodel at the young age of 16. He opened his first personal checking account at HomeTown Bank in Olivia, and not long after, his (ultra-cool) parents helped him obtain his first auto loan for a 1998 Mustang. “I learned to make regular payments and helped pay off the loan. My relationship with HomeTown Bank grew from there.”
When Chris recognized an opportunity to start a trucking company to haul grain and feed, he turned to HomeTown Bank. Joe Schulte, Vice President, loaned Chris the money to purchase his first truck and trailer. Over the years, the fleet has grown to 10 trucks and 9 trailers through series of subsequent commercial loans. As Chris’ business and equity grew, so did his relationship with HomeTown Bank. “I value being able to run business decisions past Joe. I trust his advice and honest feedback.”
When Chris moved to Illinois and later Alabama, Joe encouraged him to find a lender in his area. Within two years’ time Chris contacted Joe to consolidate his loans and bring all his business back to HomeTown Bank where he has strong trust and values his relationships. “I’d rather keep my money in Minnesota where I’m from and continue working with HomeTown Bank. They’re awesome to work with and incredibly helpful.”
While Chris’ new custom beet harvest business will be in full swing this season in rural Minnesota, he continues to live and work in Alabama as an engineer for Cargill. He always takes time to come to Minnesota for harvest and reconnect with those in the area.
Chris is impressed with HomeTown Bank’s progressive style and willingness to use technology to make all his long distance banking needs fast, simple, and completely seamless. “Chris’s parents are here, so he flies home often. When he’s in the area, he always stops in to say hello,” says Joe. They both echoed each other’s sentiments that the mutual trusting relationship is what really makes HomeTown Bank shine. “They go to great lengths to be helpful and make things extremely convenient for me. I don’t think my trucking company would be around today if it weren’t for Joe. He took a chance on me, helped me get started, and is always eager to listen to my next idea.”