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Bank workers find their niche


Mon, Oct 19th, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

Juanita Gilbert, Kimberly Ptacek, Renae Lange, and Ann Keim pause during their work day at First State Bank in Spring Valley. Photo by Rich Wicks

First State Bank in Spring Valley first opened in 1993, and moved into their current building in 2002. The branch boasts many loyal employees, and several volunteered to share their thoughts and experiences. Juanita Gilbert (Bank Teller), Renae Lange (Bank Teller), Ann Keim (Loan Officer/Insurance Agent), and Kimberly Ptacek (Head Teller) each have unique stories, but with several similarities. The common threads that ran through their conversations were the love of this area, their appreciation for their coworkers and employer, and a commitment to handle the challenges of finding a balance between work and family.

All are full-time employees, but their tenure in their current position varies greatly, ranging from less than a year to twelve years. Juanita Gilbert shared that she went to school for cosmetology, and worked in that field for a while, then later worked in a clothing store before coming to First State Bank. She said, “I have two children, both in school, so trying to juggle work and family is kind of a challenge at times. But I have an amazing husband that helps out.” She said with young kids at home, there’s a constant need to keep up with homework, backpacks, and lunches, but that she relishes it all. Regarding her work, she beamed, “I really enjoy working with people…I love my job!”

Renae Lange shared that she’d gone to school for daycare, then worked at Sunshine Foods for 17 years before starting at the bank. She and her husband raised three kids, and they now have five grandchildren (“and one on the way”). She added that she also serves as her township’s treasurer, and keeps busy going to the grandchildren’s activities. When asked what she makes the bank a good place to work, she said, “They’re really good for families…these people are really nice!”

Kimberly Ptacek is a lifelong resident of the area, and has worked in the banking field for 24 years, but just started at First State Bank earlier this year. She and her husband Rick raised four children, and now have one grandchild. She recalls that when her children were younger, “I had to miss a lot of school functions sometimes”, but she handled this as a necessary part of working full-time. Regarding her current job, she added, “I just started here in April. So far, I find it very rewarding and they’re very accommodating.”

Ann Keim attended college at UW River Falls, earning a degree in Ag Bu .....
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Thin Blue Line Memorial vehicle visits Spring Valley Ag Days

Mon, Aug 31st, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

The Thin Blue Line Memorial Vehicle made a stop at Ag Days in Spring Valley on August 13. Fillmore County Sheriff Tom Kaase was present at the event and reported that there were many positive comments and reactions by those who stopped to view the c ..... 
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Once Upon a Reader moo-ves into region Moo-velous opportunity at Spring Valley public library

Mon, Jun 15th, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

Join author David LaRochelle, illustrator Mike Wohnoutka, and Cow – the star of their book Moo! – for a one-of-a-kind show at Spring Valley Public Library! The fun begins at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23. After interviewing Cow about her travels, D ..... 
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Highway 63 detour begins May 18 from Spring Valley to Iowa border

Mon, May 18th, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

ROCHESTER, MN – Motorists on Highway 63 between the Iowa border and Spring Valley will encounter a detour beginning Monday, May 18 as concrete road repair work begins, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The $3.6 million pr ..... 
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Matt’s Body Shop & Tire Service

Mon, Apr 27th, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

When something unexpected happens to your vehicle, you want it fixed and you want it fixed now. Matt’s Body Shop of Spring Valley, Minn. can help. In 2001, owners Chris Czapiewski and Dave Blazing purchased Matt’s Body Shop, which had been in ..... 
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Limit Creek Fishing Rods, a labor of love

Mon, Apr 13th, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

Jim Wernimont has lived in Spring Valley since 2000 and for most of that time, he co-owned several Culver’s Restaurants, which kept him busily commuting to the Rochester area to oversee operations. That made it tough to find enough time to spend ..... 
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Fillmore County resident is a lottery winner

Mon, Apr 6th, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

ROSEVILLE, MN. – Congratulations to David Ewald of Spring Valley. Ewald won $21,000 by playing the Lottery’s Spring Fever Crossword scratch game. Ewald claimed the prize on April 1, 2015. The winning ticket was purchased at Fareway Stores Inc. ..... 
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Traffic stop turned into high speed car chase

Mon, Apr 6th, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

On Friday evening, March 27, 2015, at approximately 7:57 p.m., a Fillmore County Deputy conducted a traffic stop at East Grant St. and North Section Ave, in the City of Spring Valley. The traffic stop was for an equipment violation. As the deputy ap ..... 
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Safety and Storm Spotter Training offered by National Weather Service

Mon, Mar 30th, 2015
Posted in Spring Valley Features

The National Weather Service (NWS) will be holding a Severe Weather Safety Presentation and a SKYWARN Spotter Training in Spring Valley, Minn. on Monday, April 13. The safety class will begin at 5 p.m. and the spotter training will start around 6:30 ..... 
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