Banking Head Continues Family Legacy 5/9/17 05/09/17 11:24:40 AM
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Banking Head Continues Family Legacy
By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record
The Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) held its annual convention May 3-5 at the Embassy Suites La Vista, and during that event elected Kris Holoch, CEO of Cornerstone Bank in York, as its chairman; and Dave Dannehl, First Bank of Loomis, as its chairman-elect.
Before assuming her position, Holoch spent the last year as chairman-elect, accompanying Jerry Catlett, president and CEO of Bruning State Bank in Bruning, across the state to learn “the ropes.”
This year, Dannehl will do the same.
“This is a two-year deal,” he said. “I will go everywhere the chairman will go. The chairman speaks; the chairman-elect observes. We attend various functions, and deal with a wide variety of topics that impact Nebraska and the nation.
“I’ve been in banking for many years; it’s my family’s business,” Holoch said, “but I’m not an ag-banker/lender, so I’ve learned a lot from doing this; it’s been a good learning experience.”
Ag issues were very much on both Holoch and Dannehl’s minds.
“Nebraska is a rural/ag state,” Dannehl said. “The current economic situation is on my mind. This is the third and fourth year of price declines.
“Five to six years ago, we had high commodity prices. Farm revenue was at an all-time high. If this continues, we may see producers exiting this business. There has been a slow decline in commodity prices. We have seen some instances in livestock. Two years ago, producers couldn’t hedge a profit. We are hoping that markets turn around.”
That said, one shouldn’t panic, he said, because the ag business is cyclical. “It’s been this way before; we’ll see it again. It’s a peaks-and-valley industry.”
“Everyone is concerned about the price of ag commodities,” Holoch added. “The producers are watching their spending.”
Another issue on both of their minds is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, better known as the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which places major regulations on the financial industry.
“The bill has made it harder for community banks to serve their community; lending got so complex and cumbersome that many banks exited the industry,” Dannehl said. “It has been a regulatory burden. It’s difficult for smaller banks to comply. It adds costs, and that creates a shrinking bottom line. The current administration is committed to rewriting or revamping some of the regulatory challenges put into the bill. That’s welcome news to bankers across the state; it’s refreshing news to hear.”
“Some regulations are good,” Holoch added. “We all need rules, and we all want to do the right thing, but the smaller banks don’t have the staff to deal with all of these regulations. We want changes as long as they aren’t a detriment to the customer.”
Finally, Dannehl said that, nationwide, the number of new bank charters has “continued to decline,” and “bank consolidation is taking place.”
“It’s harder to be competitive. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the trend continue.”
If a bank doesn’t close, it is usually bought by a larger bank, which, to be more efficient and save money, will move the smaller bank’s operations to its main branch. “The result could be a cut in staff,” he said. “It’s good when a bank stays open. The bank has a lot to do with the identity of the community.”
Holoch began her professional career as an office manager at York General Hospital in York. She left in 1990, to join Kopsa Otte CPAs & Advisors, where she was an accountant. She has been at Cornerstone Bank since 2000, starting as executive vice president of retail banking. She is currently its CEO and serves on its board of directors.
She plays an active role in the NBA, serving on the NBA Board of Directors, Nebraska Bankers Insurance & Services Co. (NBISCO) Board of Directors, Kansas and Nebraska Schools of Banking Board of Directors, and the NBA University Foundation.
She is the third member of her immediate family to hold the position of NBA chairman. Her father, C.G. “Kelly” Holthus, chairman of Cornerstone Bank, served as NBA chairman from 1986-87. Her late brother, Kendell Holthus, held the position from 2011-12.
She and her late husband, Greg, have three children.
A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Dannehl began his professional career in college, working at Dana F. Cole & Company LLP and then at First Federal Lincoln as a loan representative. After graduating with a degree in agricultural business, he moved to Superior, Neb., where he was assistant vice president at Farmers State Bank & Trust Co. for six and a half years. He has been president and CEO of First State Bank of Loomis since 1996.
Over the years, he has been very active with the NBA. “I started at the beginning of my career attending various schools that NBA puts on and volunteered for various committees,” he said. “It’s a progression. As you get more involved, you take on more responsibility. You get encouragement and support.”
He is a graduate of the NBA Leadership Program Class of 2000; the Nebraska LEAD Program Class 22; and the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado. He also has completed the Kansas and Nebraska Bankers Associations’ Intermediate School of Banking, School of Agricultural Lending, and School of Banking Fundamentals. He has served on the NBA’s Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Government Relations, Executive Management Committee, and Agriculture Committee.
He is married to Stephanie and they have three children.
The Nebraska Bankers Association (www.nebankers.org), founded in 1890, is the voice of Nebraska’s $76 billion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional, and large banks that together employ more than 15,000 people, safeguard nearly $59 billion in deposits, and extend more than $57 billion in loans, all within the state of Nebraska.