In 1963, four Española car dealers (Art Houle, Roy Honstein, Dom Cimino, and C.L. Hunter) met at the Blarney Stone Cafe to discuss plans to open up a new bank in the community. An out of town bank had plans to move in the Española Valley and this group, being totally opposed to the idea, decided that it was time for the locals to start their own bank. The organization committee was comprised of five members: Mr. Honstein, Ozzie Reeves, Mr. Houle, Richard Cook and Mr. Hunter.
The original incorporators exercised an option for the purchase of an old service station-garage and hardware store combination at our present site. Remodeling was started and finished on time for an opening on September 24, 1964. Portions of the original building and design are still visible and used today.
The growth and success of the bank have been attributable to the extreme friendliness of officers and employees, mergers of our major competitors, and our commitment to provide the best "customer service" to our customers. We remain dedicated to the customers in our area and have resisted efforts to become "big time" oriented.
The bank still sits where it did the day seven employees and 15 directors started in 1964. Mr. Cook is a charter board member who still serves today. It is one of the last banks around where the president or vice-president will see you in line, come out from behind his or her desk, and shake your hand and ask about you and your family by name. That tradition no doubt started with the late Bill Sultemeier, one of the bank's long time employees, board members, president and Chairman of the Board.
Our personal touch, hard work and community leadership are a few of the many things that makes "hometown" banking what it is. We are confident that our style of banking will more than meet your expectations. We want your business, so let us show you that we've got the "hometown spirit".