Our Team

A Conversation with Director Patrick Dwyer

A Conversation with Director Patrick Dwyer

Today we continue our series that features the extraordinary, dedicated individuals who serve our customers and our community as members of The Bank of Elk River’s Board of Directors.

MEET DIRECTOR PATRICK DWYER

Patrick Dwyer’s contributions to our community include a banking career that spans five decades and a passion for Elk River history. A life-long Elk River resident and 1967 graduate of Elk River High School, Mr. Dwyer became employed at The Bank of Elk River in 1965, working part-time for his father. Mr. Dwyer’s father grew up in South Dakota and started his banking career there, moving on to banks in Iowa and then The Bank of Elk River in 1947, where he was President from 1951 until his retirement in 1979.

Patrick Dwyer continued to work part-time for his father during high school and college, earning money to pay for tuition and living expenses. At that time, there were only seven or eight employees. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Cloud State University in 1971 and returned to The Bank of Elk River full-time, mainly working with consumer loans and reporting to the regulatory authorities. He eventually worked in commercial lending as well, and for a long time had the bank’s largest commercial lending portfolio. He held the positions of CFO and COO, and then followed in his father’s footsteps when he became President in 2008. After serving The Bank of Elk River for 50 years in various capacities, Mr. Dwyer retired in July of 2014, and has remained a member of the Board of Directors.

A history buff, Mr. Dwyer finds the story of The Bank of Elk River fascinating, particularly the early- to mid-twentieth century and how The Bank faced significant historical events like the Great Depression, World War II, the sixties, and the explosion of technology.

“I like looking back on the bank and how it grew… not only the bank, but also the town, because the two are so intertwined,” he reflected.

COMMUNITY BANKING TRADITION

Since 1885, The Bank of Elk River has contributed to economic growth by backing small businesses, many of which grew to become large businesses.

“The big banks were never going to finance the mom and pop places,” Mr. Dwyer said, “but the community bank is always into that. The town and the merchants grew because of access to financing to buy equipment, expand the building, buy a car.”

With that financing, local establishments can expand to serve more people, which has had a significant impact on the area.

In grade school, Mr. Dwyer would accompany his father on visits to customers. This is a tradition he and others have carried on throughout their service at the bank.

“The advantage of a community bank is the sincere, personal relationships and trust that they build with the owners of business and even the consumers,” Mr. Dwyer said.

CONTINUED PROGRESS & CHANGE

Mr. Dwyer noted the changes he’s seen as technology has advanced to serve the banking industry. For example, in the early days of his career, his job included sorting and filing checks in alphabetical order and running a proof machine to balance transactions. Check processing is now completed electronically. Before direct deposit and ATMs, The Bank of Elk River was bustling with customers bringing in their paycheck every Friday night. But as more and more people deposited paychecks automatically, Friday night traffic slowed down, and online banking became a reality.

“I could have never guessed I’d be able to pick up my wireless phone, look at the balance on my account or pay a bill, and not have to go into the bank,” Mr. Dwyer said.

This technological shift has expanded The Bank of Elk River’s capabilities and provided a gateway for even more banking solutions for its customers in addition to the individualized, friendly service they receive in person.

Mr. Dwyer looks back on his decades of service with pride. “What The Bank of Elk River did to finance our town’s growth and prosperity is far and away the best legacy of community banking,” he said.

Learn about The Bank of Elk River’s rich history and contact us for additional information about the services we provide.

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Our Team