Our banking professionals are the best at what they do, giving you the expertise you depend on and the personal care you need.

Executive Team

 
Duke Pogatchnik
President / Chief Executive Officer
 
 
 
 
Kathy Neels
Executive Vice President / Chief Operations Officer
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507-823-4391
Russell
 
David Smith
Executive Vice President / Chief Credit Officer
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507-823-4391
Russell
 
Thomas Koerber
Senior Vice President / Senior Lender
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507-823-4391
Russell

Staff

 
Alyssa Newborg
Senior Customer Service Representative
507-658-3311
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Ruthton
 
Amberlee Thooft
Cashier
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Amy Korman
Operations Specialist
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Andrea Babcock
Customer Service Representative
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Angela Plaetz
Personal Banker
507-747-2214
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Lucan
 
Ashley Bloom
Customer Service Representative
507-658-3311
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Ruthton
 
Audie Sanderson
Senior Vice President / Personal Banker
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Barbara Paradis
Customer Service Representative
507-734-2100
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Balaton
 
Bradley Salfer
Senior Vice President / Business Banker
507-747-2214
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Lucan
 
Carol Wixon
Senior Personal Banker / Mortgage Banker
507-337-4031
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Cheryl Bouman
Customer Service Representative / Loan Technician
507-658-3311
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Ruthton
 
Colleen Donner
Customer Service Representative
507-532-2710
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Marshall - Walmart
 
Connie House
Vice President/Market Manager
507-485-3111
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Wood Lake
 
Constance Lidstrom
Customer Service Representative
507-532-2426
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Courtney Haaland
Customer Service Representative
507-658-3311
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Wood Lake
 
Darla Rohlik
Customer Service Representative
507-747-2214
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Lucan
 
Darlene Neyens
Credit Technician / Administrative Assistant
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
David Gau
Internal Auditor
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Dawn Schroeder
Customer Service Representative
507-532-2426
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Dianna Ellingson
Customer Service Representative
507-485-3111
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Wood Lake
 
Dorothy Marquardt
Customer Service Representative
507-747-2214
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Lucan
 
Dustin Turgeon
IT Technician
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Heather Murphy
Personal Banker / Market Manager
507-532-2710
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Marshall - Walmart
 
Hilary Buchert
Operations Specialist
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Holly Stelter
Mortgage Loan Technician
507-532-2426
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Marshall
 
James Sykora
Information Systems Administrator
507-532-2426
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Jennifer Onken
Senior Customer Service Representative
507-734-2100
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Balaton
 
Jeri Whortenbury
Loan Technician
507-532-2426
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Jessie VanDeWiele
Assistant Cashier / Senior Customer Service Representative
507-747-2214
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Lucan
 
Jody Kruger
Loan Technician
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Joyce Gravley
Operations Specialist
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Julie Engel
Customer Service Representative
507-532-2710
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Marshall - Walmart
 
Justin Stuefen
Senior Vice President / Business Banker
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Karolyn Barron
Corporate Secretary / Sr. Compliance Officer
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Kathryn Spielman
Customer Service Representative
507-734-2100
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Balaton
 
Kathy Issendorf
Personal Banker
320-265-6122
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Beardsley
 
Katie Fry
Customer Service Representative
507-768-3437
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Hanley Falls
 
Kelly Garrels
Senior Customer Service Representative
507-532-2426
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Kimberly Zych
Customer Service Representative
320-265-6122
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Beardsley
 
Kyle Homan
Vice President / Business Banker
320-265-6122
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Beardsley
 
Laurel Steen
Senior Vice President / Mortgage Manager
507-337-4029
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Lexi Grathwohl
Customer Service Representative
507-532-2710
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Marshall - Walmart
 
Mackenzie Goodmund
Personal Banker
507-658-3311
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Ruthton
 
Marilyn Opdahl
Customer Service Representative
507-532-2426
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Mary Folk
Customer Service Representative / Loan Technician
320-265-6122
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Beardsley
 
Mary Petersen
Executive Assistant
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Melissa Kleindl
Assistant Cashier / Senior Customer Service Representative
320-265-6122
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Beardsley
 
Miranda Louwagie
Customer Service Representative
507-532-2426
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Paul Enderson
Vice President / Business Banker
507-485-3111
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Wood Lake
 
Rebecca Velde
Assistant Cashier / Customer Service Representative / Loan Technician
507-485-3111
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Wood Lake
 
Richard Hagen
Branch Manager / Insurance Agent
507-768-3437
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Hanley Falls
 
Robert Larsen
Senior Vice President / Business Banker / Market Manager
507-658-3311
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Ruthton
 
Samantha Hook
Customer Service Representative
507-823-4391
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Russell
 
Samantha Petersen
Customer Service Representative
507-532-2710
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Lucan
 
Shelly Grant
Personal Banker
507-532-2710
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Marshall - Walmart
 
Stanley Holmberg
Senior Vice President / Business Banker / Market Manager
507-337-4030
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Marshall - Market Street
 
Tanner Hansen
Vice President / Business Banker
507-337-4028
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Marshall
 
Tara Kockelman
Loan Technician
507-734-2100
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Balaton
 
Teresa Swanson
Senior Vice President / Personal Banker / Business Banker
507-734-2100
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Balaton
 
Trent Hess
Senior Vice President / Business Banker / Market Manager
507-734-2100
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Balaton
 
Trisha Grant
Operations Specialist
507-823-4391
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Russell

Russell

300 Front Street
PO Box 360
Russell, MN 56169

Phone
507-823-4391

Lobby Hours
Mon-Fri: 8:30-4:00

Drive-Up Hours
Mon-Thurs: 8:30-4:00
Friday: 8:30-5:00
Saturday: 8:30-12:00

Russell Location - Map

Marshall-Market Street

105 South Market Street
Marshall, MN 56258

Phone
507-532-2426

Lobby Hours
Mon-Fri: 8:30-4:30

Drive-Up Hours
Mon-Fri: 7:30-5:30
Saturday: 8:30-12:00

Marshall Location - Map

Marshall-Walmart

1221 East Main Street
PO Box 449
Marshall, MN 56258

Phone
507-532-2710

Lobby Hours
Mon-Fri: 8:30-7:00
Saturday: 8:30-4:00

Marshall - Walmart Location - Map

Balaton

108 3rd Street
PO Box 180
Balaton, MN 56115

Phone
507-734-2100

Lobby Hours
Mon-Fri: 8:30-4:00

Drive-Up Hours
Mon-Fri: 8:30-4:00
Saturday: 8:30-12:00

Balaton Location - Map

Wood Lake

53 2nd Avenue
PO Box 99
Wood Lake, MN 56297

Phone
507-485-3111

Lobby Hours
Mon-Fri: 8:30-4:00

Wood Lake Location - Map

Hanley Falls

110 North 3rd Street
PO Box 120
Hanley Falls, MN 56245

Phone 
507-768-3437

Lobby Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8:30-3:00

Hanley Falls Location - Map

Lucan

106 Main Street
PO Box 138
Lucan, MN 56255

Phone
507-747-2214

Lobby Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8:30-4:00

Drive-Up Hours:
Mon-Thurs: 8:30-4:00
Friday: 8:30-6:00

Lucan Location - Map

Beardsley

101 Main Street North
PO Box 187
Beardsley, MN 56211

Phone
320-265-6122

Lobby Hours:
Mon-Friday: 8:30-3:30

Beardsley Location - Map

Ruthton

339 Aetna St
PO Box 10
Ruthton, MN 56170

Phone
507-658-3311

Lobby Hours:
Mon-Fri 8:30-4:00

Ruthton Location - Map

 

Telephone Voice Access: 507-823-4500

 

First Independent Bank

Big Enough to Know Business. Small Enough to Know You. 

Who We Are

First Independent Bank provides personal care for each customer while having the expertise and resources of a large bank.

With broad experience and the ability to work with more types of financing solutions than many competitors, First Independent Bank is a collaborative group of advocates for businesses and families in Minnesota. We care about our community, and that's why we do what we do. 

Why We're Here

From individuals to families, farms, and businesses...
From getting things started to keeping them working...

First Independent Bank exists to be a thriving independent community bank by building mutually beneficial relationships with our customers, employees, and local communities.


Big Enough to Know Business.

With the expertise and resources of a large bank, and with over 100 years of banking leadership, First Independent Bank advocates for businesses and farming operations of all sizes. We make financial solutions available that will keep farms and businesses healthy and growing. 

Small Enough to Know You.

We are your neighbors and friends, looking out for you and your interests as we provide access to the banking services and solutions that you need. Whether you are looking for personal banking services that will advocate for you or for a bank that can handle the high demands of a growing farm or business, First Independent Bank is here for you. 

Experts          |          Advocates          |          Neighbors  

Our Story

Our Incorporation

The Bank was reorganized in 1902, but January of 1903 was when it actually became incorporated, marking the official beginning of the present Bank, which was called First State Bank of Russell. The Bank was built of brick in 1904. In 1921, there was a disastrous fire on Main Street; the Bank only suffered water damage because of the brick structure as the flames spread throughout the wooden structures along the street.

Changing Hands

In 1923, the First State Bank purchased the Farmers State Bank and moved into the new brick building because it was better equipped to handle the increase in business. It was named Farmers and Merchants State Bank, with Harry Tillmans of Minneota as President.

Uncertainty, Robbery, and More Change

Like so many banks throughout the country, at the height (or depth) of the Big Depression, the Russell Bank closed their doors the fall of 1930 and remained closed until March 23, 1931. When it reopened in 1931, William Palmer was President.

On January 3, 1933, three masked gunmen robbed the Bank. One man was armed with an automatic weapon, one stood at the door with a machine gun, while the third remained in the car. No one was hurt in the robbery and the men were never captured.

Russell nearly lost its Bank again in 1934, when stockholders voted to move it to Marshall. Fortunately for the town, the Commissioner of Banks would not allow the move.

Over the next several years, the Bank changed hands several times and on February 1, 1947, the name was changed to Farmers State Bank.

Jim Ulvilden came to the Bank in 1953 as Ag representative and later bought the Bank. Upon Jim’s death, his wife, Irene sold the Bank to Tom Rustand.

New Ownership

In 1982, Tom Rustand sold the Bank to the current owners with Duke Pogatchnik as President and his father, Lowell Pogatchnik as Chairman of the Board.

In 1983, the new owners made plans for an expansion and remodeling project, giving Russell the finest, most modern and up to date banking facility in Southwestern Minnesota at that time.

A New Identity

In December of 1994, Farmers State Bank of Russell changed its company name to First Independent Bank. Not long after the name change, the Bank opened a branch in Marshall in January of 1995 as an added way to serve our customers. Many customers employed in Marshall had little opportunity to use the Russell office. Placing an office in Marshall satisfied many of the customer's needs.

Growing and Changing

The Marshall connection proved valuable in First Independent Bank’s next endeavor, the purchase of the Wood Lake Bank and its branch Bank in Hanley Falls in August of 1996. Wood Lake would continue to operate under its own charter for the next 12 years, but shared the same record keeping system. In November 30, 2008, Wood Lake merged with First Independent Bank and gave up their charter. This proved to be a good step for both the Wood Lake staff and customers. The merger gave the customers of the Wood Lake office the advantage of using the Marshall facility to do their banking and offered the staff more flexibility. In the fall of 2009, the Wood Lake building was remodeled and an additional office added

In April 1999, the First Independent Bank purchased the former 21st Century Bank in Balaton. By purchasing the Balaton location, we not only increased our customer base, but we were able to offer our present customers yet another location to do their banking.

In 1999, there was much talk about the Y2K compliance issues. After much preparation, First Independent Bank breezed through the big Y2K scare with no incidents.

On September 27, 2000, the First Independent Bank’s Russell Office was robbed for a second time in its history. The robber walked up to one of the teller windows, claimed to have a gun, and asked for her money. The robber then walked out of the Bank with the cash without incident. Again no one was hurt and eventually the robber was found and arrested.

On December 5, 2001, United Prairie Bank – Slayton entered into an agreement to sell the assets and liabilities of its Marshall Branch office to First Independent Bank. This move allowed the existing Marshall Branch office to move from their facility, which they were outgrowing, into a bigger facility.

In 2003, First Independent Bank celebrated their 100th Anniversary, serving Russell and the surrounding areas. To recognize 100 years of First Independent Bank’s success, and to show appreciation for their customers that got them there, they held a celebration that included the re-enactment of the 1933 bank robbery, a performance by the “Great Pretenders”, a picnic and much more. We hope to spend the next 100 years improving and providing our customers with even better quality and wider variety of services.

Expanding into New Territory

In the fall of 2004, the Board of Directors at First Independent Bank were approached about opening an in-store branch at the new Super Walmart store in Marshall. Though in unfamiliar territory, the Bank embraced the opportunity and opened the location on April 13, 2005. Opening the Walmart branch provides another convenient location for our customers and has brought great success to First Independent Bank.

In 2005, the Bank constructed a new bank building for the Balaton office. This building features a drive-up, a 24 hour ATM and additional offices.

Due to the growth of the Bank, the Russell Office updated their building with a new addition to house a new and updated operations center, a much needed storeroom, conference room and three additional offices.

In October of 2011, First Independent Bank was presented with the opportunity to purchase the State Bank of Lucan. On December 30, 2011, the merger was completed and Lucan added $40 million in assets and offered yet another location for our growing customer base.

In March of 2013, two more offices were added to First Independent Bank with the purchase of Beardsley Bancshares, Inc. The Ruthton office was incorporated in 1917 as First Farmers & Merchants Bank with a name change to Buffalo Ridge State Bank in 1977 before being acquired by Beardsley Bancshares, Inc. in 1984.

Our nine area Banks make up half of the family Bank partnership that Duke Pogatchnik operates with his brother, Bruce Pogatchnik. The northern Minnesota side of the business includes a chartered Bank in Finlayson with locations in nearby Willow River, Barnum, Cromwell, Deer River, Floodwood, Grand Rapids, Sandstone, Askov, Kerrick, Hinkley and Park Rapids.

And the story continues...

First Independent Bank

Big Enough to Know Business. Small Enough to Know You. 

First Independent Bank provides personal care for each customer while having the expertise and resources of a large bank. With broad experience and the ability to work with more types of financing solutions than many competitors, First Independent Bank is a collaborative, relational group of advocates for businesses and families in southwestern Minnesota. 

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