Points West Community Bank: A Hometown Bank Built on a Century of Grit and Determination
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Many Americans live in cities and towns with an abundance of grocery stores. And they may not realize the agricultural-focused 4-H network remains one of the nation’s largest and most influential youth development organizations.
More than 6 million active participants count on 4-H to help them develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility, and life skills through experiential learning programs and a values-based approach to education and entrepreneurship.
The mission of 4-H is to offer broad-based community support and assistance. But one of its traditional goals is to train the next generation of farming and ranching professionals. Each year, hundreds of thousands of 4-H members participate in agricultural and livestock projects and exhibit their work at county and state fairs.
Those projects earn young members recognition and prizes and can even result in income when a member’s valuable animal finds a buyer. It’s a significant career development opportunity, but the key to success is for members to have the funds to get up and running.
In small communities across the agricultural regions of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado, Points West Community Bank helps young people participate in 4-H projects by extending loans to 4-H families. It’s one way the bank lives up to a 115-year legacy of helping a predominantly rural customer base address challenges and prepare for the future.
Throughout its history, Points West has remained a true locally owned and managed community bank, committed to ensuring customers come first, according to CEO Mark Brase. Points West operates 21 branches, many of which are in small, rural communities.
“We live and breathe our communities — our children are in the schools, our families are in the churches, and we see everyone come in as customers throughout the weeks and months,” Brase said. “So we do all we can.”
Connecting People to Financial Services and Education
Longevity is a point of pride at Points West. The bank started in 1906 as Lisco State Bank, founded by rancher Reuben Lisco, who also gave his name to the town of Lisco.
Lisco State Bank was the financial backbone of the community for decades, reflecting the grit and determination of its customers — Ag producers who have faced economic and technological change and pressure to consolidate and do more with less.
Generations of families consider Points West an essential partner. The great-grandfather of the bank’s current Marketing Associate, Marin Olson, purchased the bank from Reuben Lisco and later handed it down to his son, Olson’s grandfather, who instituted an era of expansion.
“When my grandfather returned from the military, he partnered with his brother-in-law and two local farmers to purchase the Dalton State Bank — that’s where we began our growth,” Olson said. “Our history is rich and engrained in our blueprint, for sure.”
Lisco still has a branch, but the town is losing its population. At last count, only 35 residents lived in Lisco, but Points West stands by the town.
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