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F & M Community Bank celebrates 105 years


Mon, Jun 20th, 2016
Posted in Preston Features

Dan Christianson stands outside of the Preston branch of the F & M Community Bank. Photo by Hannah Wingert

When the F & M Community Bank was first started in March of 1911 by a group of local individuals, they had no idea how much the bank would grow and change over the next 105 years.

“When I started working at the bank full-time in September 1982, we didn’t even have a computer in the bank. Now we couldn’t function without them.” reminisced Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board Dan Christianson. “The changes that have taken place with technology over the last 20-30 years are amazing. The way we do banking is so different today than when the bank first opened.”

The bank currently offers services such as remote deposit capture where customers can scan or take a picture of their checks to deposit them, smart debit cards with chips in them instead of magnetic strips, credit cards which are offered through a third party, online banking that includes an app for customers’ smart devices, gift cards, and more.

F & M Community Bank was originally operated in the building that the Preston branch of Arndt Chiropractic occupies now. In 1965, it moved into its current building in the heart of downtown Preston. In 2000, the first expansion branch was built in Chatfield, with another in Rochester in 2015. It has always been locally owned, first by the group of locals who started it and then by the Garratt family. In the 1960s, the Christianson family bought it and have owned it ever since.

“We have about 35 employees at all three locations.” said Christianson. There are no plans to expand further at this time, but he’s always open to any opportunities that might present themselves.

“The bank today is probably 105 times bigger than when it was first started 105 years ago.” Christianson noted. Tim Penny from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation recently mentioned the F & M Community Bank in a talk he gave, saying that communities that are successful and do well are ones that have successful local banks. The F& M Community Bank certainly fits that bill.

The 105th anniversary will be celebrated with a lunch in Preston in the bank’s parking lot on June 22 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. They will also be grilling in the Chatfield branch’s parking lot during Chatfield Western Days and participating in the August 11 Preston Family Fun Night. “We’re trying to commemorate it in little ways,” remarked Christianson.

POET Biorefining opens employee fitness center

Mon, Jun 6th, 2016
Posted in Preston Features

The forty-two team members of POET Biorefining in Preston can now get a workout in before they head home after work. A new fitness center in the plant’s office building was opened in November 2015. The center features weights, an elliptical, a t ..... 
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Semcac senior dining to open at traditions

Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in Preston Features

Semcac Senior Dining will re-open in Preston! Meals for seniors will now be available at Traditions of Preston. Beginning on Monday, March 7, meals will be served to senior citizens on Monday thru Friday each week. Arrive at 11 :45 a.m. for noon s ..... 
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Chili Cook-off has positive turnout despite negative wind-chill

Mon, Jan 25th, 2016
Posted in Preston Features

As temperatures dropped outdoors, some contestants brought the heat indoors with their chili entries during the annual Candlelight Ski and Chili Cook-off event in Preston, Minn. on January 16, 2016. Although the Candlelight Ski and bonfire were ca ..... 
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National American Legion Commander to visit Preston

Mon, Jan 25th, 2016
Posted in Preston Features

If you are a member of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, or Sons of American Legion, you will want mark your calendar for noon on Thursday, February 4, 2016. On this special day, National American Legion Commander Dale Barnett and St ..... 
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Preston’s Candlelight Ski & Chili Cook-off

Mon, Jan 4th, 2016
Posted in Preston Features

Let it snow - just in time for Preston’s annual Candlelight Ski & Chili Cook-Off event! Bundle up and come on down to the Trailhead Inn office on Saturday evening, January 16, to ski on the trail and to sample some wonderful chili contest entries. ..... 
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Bells will be ringing

Mon, Dec 7th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

Bells will be ringing for the Salvation Army in Preston on Friday, December 18 at the F&M Community Bank, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Preston Foods, 4 – 8 p.m. 100% of the money collected in Fillmore County will be available to be distributed in Fillmo ..... 
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Up-Up And Away

Mon, Dec 7th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

Up-Up And Away On a perfect fall afternoon in October, a huge Phoenix balloon rose into the sunny sky with three passengers and a balloonist. The passengers were John and Bernie Finke and Sama Karram, an exchange student from Israel/Palestine, who ..... 
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PACF Give to the Max Day followup

Mon, Nov 30th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

On Thursday, November 12, the Preston Area Community Foundation participated for the 4th consecutive year in Give to the Max Day, Minnesota’s annual great day of giving. During that 24 hour period, the Preston and Fountain communities raised a r ..... 
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