Magazine article American Banker

Minnesota Banker a Natural for IBAA's 1999 Presidency

Magazine article American Banker

Minnesota Banker a Natural for IBAA's 1999 Presidency

Article excerpt

If the Independent Bankers Association of America had a poster boy, he could well be its incoming president, Robert N. Barsness.

Mr. Barsness is president, chairman, and chief executive officer of Prior Lake (Minn.) State Bank. Like many IBAA-member banks, Prior Lake State is family-run, located in a small town, and has assets of roughly $100 million.

The bank is so down-home that its senior citizens program is run by Mr. Barsness' 82-year-old mother.

"We have a real vested interest in the community we're in," Mr. Barsness said.

IBAA members are expected to elect Mr. Barsness, 54, the group's nominee for president, this week at the trade group's annual convention in San Francisco. He would succeed William L. McQuillan, a Nebraska banker who is to become chairman of the IBAA's board of directors.

Also at the convention, members are expected to back a proposal to change the 59-year-old trade group's name to the Independent Community Bankers of America.

"Community is really what we are," Mr. Barsness said. "We felt it was important to incorporate that name into our title."

Prior Lake State Bank has been in the Barsness family for nearly 35 years.

Founded in 1909, it was bought by Mr. Barsness' father, a onetime pharmacist, in 1965. Mr. Barsness joined the bank four years later, after a three-year military tour that included 18 months in Vietnam. He inherited the top job in 1989 after his father died.

As president of the 5,500-member trade group, Mr. …

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