Citizens First Bank. Banking as it should be!
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CFB Customer Appreciation Picnic:
Money Smart Essay Contests Offer Students a Chance to Win $1,000 for College
Statewide financial literacy essay contests open to students in grades six to 12
Clinton, February 18, 2020
Citizens First Bank is proud to participate in Money Smart Week April 4-11, 2020, and encourages all area students to enter the Money Smart Kid and Money Smart Teen Essay Contests, sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Eligible junior high school students (in grades six to eight) can enter the Money Smart Kid Essay Contest by writing an essay of 500 words or fewer, addressing the following:
“Many families fall prey to predatory lending every year, which is a term used to describe a wide range of unfair financial practices that involve borrowing, lending and check cashing. Please explain the most common types of predatory lenders and share reasons why people might use them. Please explain the financial consequences or negative effects for people who use predatory lenders. Consider examples from your own community or neighborhood. Please also offer financial tips (one or two ways) a person could avoid taking out these types of loans.”
Eligible high school students (in grades nine to 12) can enter the Money Smart Teen Essay Contest by writing an essay of 650 words or fewer, addressing the following:
“If an investor gave you $25,000 to solve an economic issue in your community, what would you create to help solve the problem? This creation should improve the financial health and wellness of your community. Examples of possible solutions are a service, business, product or mobile app. Make sure to include specific issue areas that are relevant to your community such as violence prevention, obesity, food deserts or predatory lending. Also include supporting data points that demonstrate the need for this service and people affected by the problem.”
“The Money Smart Kid Essay Contest is a fun way to start the next generation thinking about the importance of saving,” said Stephen Clements, Senior VP – Senior Loan Officer. “We would love to see a student from the Gateway Area receive this year’s award and we encourage all eligible students to participate.”
Essays are due by March 13, 2020, and interested students can download the applications here:
The students with the winning essays will be selected as Iowa’s Money Smart Kid and Money Smart Teen for 2020 and will receive $1,000 toward their savings funded by the Iowa Bankers Association. Additionally, in each category a runner-up will be awarded $500 and three semifinalists will receive $250 toward their college savings. For more information about the Money Smart Kid and Money Smart Teen Essay Contests, visit the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Money Smart Week
Money Smart Week is a national public education program coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and delivered by a network of supporters that empowers people with the knowledge and skills to make better-informed personal financial decisions around the key financial pillars of saving, spending, borrowing and planning. Throughout Money Smart Week, community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations and financial experts from across the state host dozens of free educational events to help Iowans of all ages learn to better manage their personal finances.
About Citizens First Bank
Chartered in 2000, Citizens First Bank plays an important role in community banking. Its products provide customers with effective, locally owned banking choices, e-solutions, and services expertise. Citizens First’s main office is located at 1442 Lincoln Way in Clinton, with branches also at 403 South Washington Boulevard in Camanche and at 1329 N 2nd Street, Clinton. This year, Citizens First Bank is happy to be celebrating 20 years of Banking as it should be.
Citizens First Bank Supports Pangaea Academy's 2020 Chinese New Year Event
Clinton, January 29, 2020:
Citizens First Bank employees recently presented a donation to students and faculty of the Pangaea International Academy, for their upcoming Chinese New Year celebration scheduled to take place on February 1, 2020, at Clinton High School. Pangaea International Academy, the US high school project of the Confucius International Education Group, is located at the Six Arts International Education Park in Clinton, Iowa.
Citizens First Bank is supporting the Chinese New Year celebration with a contribution of $500 toward the event, which will be organized by students, staff and members of the community. The event is in its second year and has been expanded to include a variety show, calligraphy and abstract art demonstrations, and games for attendees to enjoy, all with a goal to share the Chinese culture with the community during the Chinese New Year. The event is free to the public and child friendly.
Abstract artist Matthew Vegh presented Citizens First Bank President Kathy Forrest, with an original artwork, in thanks for the sponsorship of the event. Vegh will be hosting a demonstration as part of the Chinese New Year festivities on February 1.
Forrest, states, “It is a pleasure for Citizens First to support the Pangaea Academy and its endeavors. In particular, an event such as the Chinese New Year program is great for our community and will bring the students’ celebration to life.”
Artist Matthew Vegh (not pictured), parent and supporter of Pangaea International Academy, presented Citizens First Bank with an original artwork, in thanks for their support of the Chinese New Year celebration, which will take place February 1, 2020, at Clinton High School. Citizens First Bank staff are pictured here receiving the painting. The painting is on display in the lobby of the bank's main location, 1442 Lincoln Way in Clinton.
It is With Sadness We Share the News of Tom Soenksen's Passing
Thomas D. Soenksen, 66, of Wanatah, formerly of Clinton, Iowa, passed away Tuesday, December 31, 2019. He was born November 11, 1953 in Clinton to Robert and Luella (Naeve) Soenksen. Tom attended and played football at the University of Northern Iowa and Coe College. He made his career as a Banker, most recently with Citizens First Bank from March 2000 until February 2018, when he retired. Tom was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Clinton, and was involved in serving on the board of directors of the Clinton Regional Development Corp., Clinton YMCA, the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, River King/Queen Boosters, and the Clinton Country Club. He loved golfing, football, fishing, camping, and spending time with his family. Tom will be remembered as a hardworking and dedicated man, who gave so much to his job and his community. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
On June 29, 1974 in Clinton, IA, Thomas married Julia C. Crigger, who preceded him in death in 2013. He is survived by their children: Kelli (Chris) Bennett of Wanatah, IN, Eric (Sara) Soenksen of Virginia Beach, VA, Joseph (Traci) Soenksen of Jacksonville, FL; grandchildren: Hunter, Emma, and Owen Bennett, and Liam, Oliver, and Hooper Soenksen; mother, Luella Anderson; siblings: Cindy (Cal) Swanson, Ron (Barbara) Soenksen, James (Maureen) Soenksen; brother in law, Jeff (Tracie) Crigger; and many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Soenksen; and step-father, Kenneth Anderson.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in Clinton, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Make A Wish Foundation of Clinton, Iowa.
Citizens First Bank Donates Vehicle to Camanche Automotive Class
December 17, 2019
Citizens First Bank employees recently presented a donation to the Camanche Schools Industrial Technology program, for use in the automotive class. Citizens First Bank recognized an opportunity to provide the vehicle as a resource to the school, to support the automotive class. Stephen Clements, Senior Vice President – Senior Loan Officer, and Eddie Dunham, Vice President of Business Development at Citizens First, recently met with Camanche High School instructor Roy Shaft and several students to present the vehicle.
According to Clements, “Citizens First is a proud supporter of all of our area schools, and we were happy to find this opportunity to donate to the Industrial Technology program in Camanche. We acknowledge the importance of education in trades such as automotive technology. It is our hope that the students benefit from having this resource.”
Instructor Roy Shaft stated, “We are very grateful to Citizens First Bank for this gift. In this age of ever-advancing technology, the automotive students will have an opportunity to improve their practical skills and knowledge of the automotive industry with the use of this vehicle.”
About Citizens First Bank
Chartered in 2000, Citizens First Bank plays an important role in community banking. Its products provide customers with effective, locally owned banking choices, the latest technology, and services expertise. Headquartered at 1442 Lincoln Way in Clinton, Citizens First Bank also has branches at 403 S Washington Blvd, Camanche and at 1329 N 2nd St, Clinton.
Pictured above: Stephen Clements, Senior Vice President – Senior Loan Officer; and Eddie Dunham, Vice President of Business Development from Citizens First Bank, with Camanche High School students and Automotive Technology Instructor Roy Shaft, pictured in their classroom at CHS.
Citizens First Bank a Drop Off Location for "Scott for Tots" Toy Drive
Bellich Receives Scholarship
Bellich among select group to attend Community Banking Leadership conference
Clinton, Iowa, September 10, 2019:
Shauna Bellich, Vice President of IT and Operations at Citizens First Bank, has been selected to receive a full scholarship to attend the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) LEAD FWD Summit in New Orleans. The scholarship is awarded to a select group of community banking professionals.
The LEAD FWD event is designed to drive innovation in community banking, and move the industry forward by developing leaders through workshops and collaboration. The attendees are able to work hand in hand with community banking leaders and experts, and will participate in personalized training to attain their goals.
“With the continued rapid growth in technology, and the great opportunities in community banking, I am really looking forward to attending this summit. It’s a great time to participate,” stated Bellich. “I feel fortunate to have been selected for the scholarship, and look forward to helping Citizens First Bank reach our goals as our area’s premier community bank.”
Bellich has accepted the scholarship and will attend the ICBA LEAD FWD Summit this month in New Orleans, LA.
Citizens First Bank Donates to Camanche Police Department
Clinton, August 20, 2019:
Citizens First Bank staff gathered recently at the bank’s Camanche branch, to present a donation to the Camanche Police Department. Camanche City officials joined the police department for the presentation.
The Camanche Police Department is working to provide additional training for police officers who respond on medical calls with the Fire Department. The additional skill level is needed to respond to frequent medical calls, and in particular to calls for senior citizens. The donation from Citizens First will be used to help with the cost of training and the associated materials.
Kathy Forrest, bank president, stated, “We appreciate the Camanche Police Department and their willingness to respond to the community’s needs. CFB enjoys being part of the Camanche community.”
Citizens First Bank Donates to Clinton Police Department
Clinton, August 19, 2019:
Citizens First Bank employees recently presented a donation to the Clinton Police Department at the bank’s main location on Lincoln Way in Clinton.
“The safety and security of our employees and customers is always top of mind for us,” stated Citizens First Bank President Kathy Forrest. “We appreciate the support of local law enforcement for bank safety and security, and having the Clinton Police Department as a resource.”
The Clinton Police Department is currently working to improve their hiring and recruitment program. They have earmarked the donation from Citizens First for the purchase of upgraded equipment to be used during public presentations, training and at career fairs.
Citizens First Bank Donates to Gateway After Prom
Pictured above are representatives of Citizens First Bank, KROS Radio, the Gateway After Prom committee, and area students from Fulton, Clinton and Prince of Peace. From left to right: Shelly Davies, Emily Qualman, Jenny McClary, Keith Hook, Andrew McClary, Janet Buer, Kathy Forrest, Emma Ludvigsen, Gary Determan, Jenna Clarke, Greg Farwell, Tasha Cody, Susie Vogel, Heather Farwell, and Evan Tiesman.Citizens First Bank employees recently presented a donation to representatives of the Gateway After Prom committee. Gateway After Prom is a safe and fun-filled annual event that extends the fun of area proms at Clinton, Fulton, Camanche, and Prince of Peace High Schools. The committee is comprised of parents and volunteers who make the annual event possible.
Citizens First Bank Makes Donation to Make-A-Wish
Pictured: Staff from Citizens First Bank, and members of the Make-A-Wish committee.
Citizens First Bank employees recently presented a check to the Clinton County Make-A-Wish representatives at the bank’s Lincoln Way location in Clinton. Citizens First Bank, KROS Radio, Make-A-Wish and the Clinton High School basketball teams all partner to create the Swish for Make-A-Wish program in our community!
Citizens First Bank has been the sponsor of the Swish for Make-A-Wish program for the past 19 years and donates to the Clinton County Make-A-Wish each time the Clinton High School River Kings and Queens make a three-point basket during the regular basketball season. This year, Citizens First Bank provided $500 to the organization to help wishes come true.
Gary Determan, with KROS Radio, commends Citizens First Bank’s support of the program, “It’s pretty remarkable that CFB has supported the Swish for Make A Wish since Day One.” Gary is a long time announcer and supporter of Clinton High School Athletics.
Clinton County’s annual Make-A-Wish event is scheduled for Saturday, April 6 at the Vista Grande in Clinton. Tickets are still available, but will not be sold at the door. The theme for the event this year is Red, White and Blue makes Wishes come True. To purchase tickets, or for any questions about how to get involved with the organization, contact Barb Jacobsen at 563-249-9016 or the state office at 1-800-797-9474.
Citizens First Welcomes Shauna Bellich
Clinton, March 20, 2019: Citizens First Bank welcomes Shauna Bellich to their staff, as Vice President of Information Technology and Operations.
Shauna brings over 14 years of experience in banking, including lending, operations, information technology, human resources, and finance. Most recently, she was employed at the Savanna – Thomson State Bank as Chief Operations Officer.
Kathy Forrest, President & CEO of Citizens First Bank, stated, “Shauna is a great fit for CFB. Her knowledge and banking experience really complement our team. We are happy to have her on board.”
Shauna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, with a minor in Business Administration. Currently, she attends Western Illinois University, where she is studying for her Master’s degree in Business Administration.
Shauna resides in Thomson, IL with her husband and two children. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and also enjoys shopping, sports and photography.
Citizens First Announces Shareholder Results
Citizens First Bank Contributes to Chinese New Year Celebration at Pangaea International Academy
Citizens First Bank Makes Donation to United Way of Clinton County
Trenkamp Earns Certificate from Commercial Lending School
Evan Trenkamp, Loan Officer at Citizens First Bank, successfully completed the 2018 Iowa Bankers Association’s Commercial Lending School held last month in Ankeny, Iowa.
The school is an intense one-week program sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association. The purpose of the IBA Commercial Lending School is to prepare commercial lenders who have not been exposed to formal commercial lending education or lenders who want to broaden their commercial lending knowledge to serve effectively and profitably as commercial loan officers.
This is accomplished by developing a better understanding of the economy and how it affects the lending decision; developing an understanding of how a business is structured and how it competes; developing an understanding of the role of company management and how to analyze and evaluate that management. Additionally, the students are instructed on the application of basic and advanced analytical techniques, and relationship banking to meet and maintain multiple customer financial needs.
Evan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Platteville with a degree in Agriculture Business; additionally he holds a degree in Accounting from Upper Iowa University. In addition to the commercial lending school, Evan is a 2017 graduate of the Iowa School of Banking and has received the Iowa Bankers Association certifications in Ag and Consumer Credit. Evan has been an Officer with Citizens First Bank since 2014.
Senior Vice President - Senior Credit Officer, Keith Hook, stated, “Evan is a great asset to Citizens First Bank and his completion of the IBA Commercial lending School reinforces that. Evan will apply the knowledge obtained to improve upon the already great service he provides to his customers.”