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Citizens Alliance Bank

Presidents' Day 

In observance of Presidents' Day, Citizens Alliance Bank will be closed on Monday, February 15th.  All branches will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, February 16th.  


Kelly Forstrom of Venice, Florida and Spicer, Minnesota was born on January 18, 1929 in Kandiyohi County to Herman and Rose Forstrom. He died November 17, 2015 at Rice Memorial Hospice of natural causes. He was 86 years old. His Christian funeral will be on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 11am at Bethel Lutheran Church, 411 Becker Ave. SW, Willmar, Minnesota. Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. the day of the service.

He was marked with the cross of Christ through baptism and confirmed in the Christian faith at Bethel Lutheran Church.

In 1947 he graduated from Willmar Public High School. After graduation, he began working as a teller at the First National Bank of Willmar (now US BANK).
Kelly was called to active duty with the Minnesota National Guard in January, 1951. He served in combat to contain the spread of communism in the Korean War until May, 1952. His service was in the United States 8th Army, Second Infantry Division, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Third Battalion, Head Quarters Company. He was in charge of the forward ammunition dump for his Battalion. Kelly was promoted in the battlefield several times and at age 20 he earned the rank of Master Sergeant. He exited his military experience in 1953 as a First Lieutenant. Kelly also served as commander of the Willmar National Guard station until 1954. 
On July 25, 1952, Kelly returned to work at First National Bank of Willmar. He was then employed as the bank’s assistant cashier.
On July 25, 1953 he married Norma Thram of Lamberton, Minnesota at Bethel Lutheran Church.
In December, 1955 Kelly, Norma and son Philip moved to Clara City, Minnesota as they began purchasing stock in Citizens State Bank of Clara City (now Citizens Alliance Bank). Later, he became President and Chairman of the Board. By 1964 he had acquired 100% of the bank’s stock as well as the stock of Citizens State Insurance Agency. In 1955 when Kelly started at Citizens State Bank the total assets of the bank were $3 million.
In 1964, Kelly, along with four other Willmar businessmen and friends (Thomas B. Torgerson, Barney Nelson, George Hulstrand Sr. and Oscar Johnson), became a one-fifth charter shareholder of the Citizens National Bank of Willmar (now Heritage Bank, NA).  He was initially president of the bank and remained Chairman of the Board from its inception until the bank was sold in 1979. 
In 1967, Kelly and Thomas B. Torgerson purchased the First State Bank of Lake Lillian (now a branch of Citizens Alliance Bank). 
In 1973, he co-founded and developed the Holiday Inn in Willmar with Thomas B. Torgerson.
In 1978, Kelly and his cousin Duane H. Lindgren co-founded First State Marketing Corporation (FSMC) of Lake Lillian. FSMC was the nation’s largest processor of consumer rebate checks and WIC (Women, Infant and Children) drafts. He was the Chairman of the Board for both the First State Bank of Lake Lillian and FSMC until FSMC was sold to Travelers Group in 1997 and the bank was sold to Citizens Alliance Bank in 2006.
In 1983, Kelly became Chairman of the Board of Forstrom Bancorporation Inc, a parent bank holding company of Citizens whose subsidiary also included Security State Bank of Howard Lake (acquired in 1982) (now also a branch of Citizens Alliance Bank).   During his career as an independent community banker, Kelly also acquired Americana State Bank of Clara City (1988), and Security State Bank of Maynard (1989).
He and his wife, Norma, resigned from active participation in Forstrom Bancorporation Inc. and its subsidiary entities on December 31, 1990.
Kelly was a member of the Lions Club of Clara City, Elks in Willmar, Ducks Unlimited, the independent community bank group, the Gopher Exchange Club, and the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota. 
He also taught Sunday School and served on the church board of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Clara City.
He had a passion for creating success as his “own boss” as an independent businessman. Kelly was motivated by the challenges and opportunities of capitalism. He was born into the economic hardships of the Great Depression. He never forgot the lessons learned during those lean times. Daily, he was grateful for being in business for himself. Kelly especially enjoyed working with the farmers around the Clara City area. He had enormous respect for their abilities and integrity. 
Throughout his life Kelly enjoyed hunting and fishing with family and friends. He also liked traveling with his wife of 62 years. He valued his time with friends that he made while spending winters in Venice, Florida and summers relaxing on Green Lake in Spicer. He enjoyed gardening, other yard tasks and walking the family dog, Pebbles, who will miss him dearly. He looked forward to the autumn leaves, duck hunting on the Florida Sloughs and treasured great conversations in front of the fire at “The Shack.”
Those who knew him will remember he liked things done “right” and liked them done “on time.” He was not afraid to work and knew how to save! Ambition more than compensated for what he lacked in advanced education. He believed strongly in the concept of self-fulfillment. Kelly often said, “If you take care of the businesses, they will take care of you.” He led by example and with conviction. He savored mentoring his four sons in the dynamics of independent business and held many lessons on entrepreneurialism around the dining room table. Kelly was the epitome of a kind patriarch.
Kelly is survived by his wife, Norma, 3 sons and their families:
Philip (Marsha), Perry (Erin) & John (Janet). Grandchildren – Alison (Marco) Cruz, Amanda (Joe) Mallon, Ashley Forstrom, Nicole Forstrom, Zachary Forstrom, Olivia & Amelia Forstrom, Alex Forstrom. Great Grandson Antonio Cruz. Sisters-in-law – Mae Forstrom & Shirley Thram. Nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by father Herman (1982), mother Rose (1997) brother Herlon (1999), son Paul C., (2001) and granddaughter Lauren Kelly Forstrom (2003).

The entire Forstrom family would like to express our sincere gratitude to William Galvan, the 24/7 in-home caregiver who left the comforts of San Diego to care for our parents’ needs these past 20 months. 

Memorials preferred to Bethel Lutheran Church. 

Construction "Halfway-Mark" on the New Citizens Alliance Bank Building Redevelopment of Block 9  

Construction for the new Citizens Alliance Bank building and redevelopment of Block 9 in Clara City is well underway and on track for anticipated completion in late 2015. While half of this building will be occupied by Bank administration personnel, the remaining half of the building will be home to a new division of the Chippewa County-Montevideo Hospital Clinic, which once again brings a local clinic back within the Clara City limits. 

After almost four months of construction under their belt, Chester Contracting crews are completing the retaining walls, sidewalks, curbs, and parking lot, and are nearly completed with the stucco and stone work on the exterior of the building. Additionally, they have just recently finished the sheet rocking and taping and will soon finish the final painting and wallpaper on the interior space of the building.   Once the painting and wallpapering is completed the tilework and carpeting will be installed. According to John Chester, President/Owner of Chester Contracting, “The leveling of the parking lot will happen soon, along with the laying of the pavement. Some items such as landscaping will not be able to occur until spring of 2016.”

According to John Gill, President/COO of Citizens Alliance Bank, “We are hopeful that the favorable weather conditions will continue a little longer which will ensure that construction can be completed and the Bank can begin to occupy its space by early December. The new building is another example of the Forstrom Family’s commitment to Clara City and should complement all of the recent redevelopment efforts in town nicely. We are excited about the new Bank annex. The official name of the new building will be - Citizens Alliance Bank North Annex.

The Board of Directors of Citizens Alliance Bank has appointed Kerry Ness as its Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Risk Manager.  For 13 years Mr. Ness was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the The Business Bank where he led all finance, accounting, and treasury activities of the bank.  In 2013, The Business Bank was acquired by Bell State Bank & Trust (formerly known as State Bank of Fargo) at which time Mr. Ness served as its Senior Vice President of Accounting.

Mr. Ness holds a Bachelors Degree from Mankato State University with a major in accounting.  He has been a Certified Public Accountant (currently inactive) and has been an active member of banking and investment securities industry groups, TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners Endowment Fund and Cherish All Children.  Citizens Alliance Bank is proud to welcome Mr. Ness to the organization where he will join its Senior Leadership Team and leverage his many years of knowledge and experience in banking and accounting.

Citizens Alliance Bank has total assets of $625,000,000 and is among the larger independent community banks chartered in Minnesota offering a full array of consumer and business banking services.  Citizens Alliance Bank has provided innovative, high quality financial solutions to its customers and communities since 1902.

For more information, contact John Gill, President/COO, Citizens Alliance Bank at (320)847-1589.


Helpful Travel Tips from Citizens Alliance Bank 

- Make two photocopies of all your travel documents (Passport, Itinerary, Airline Tickets, Driver’s License, Credit Cards, Hotel Info, etc.) in case of emergency or if your documents are lost or stolen. Leave one copy with a friend or relative at home. It is always a great idea to let at least one person know exactly where you will be staying and how to contact you case of an emergency.

 - Before you leave, notify your bank, credit card company or other financial institutions that you are traveling. Let us know the states or countries you will be visiting, dates of travel and how to contact you while you’re away.

- Check the daily cash withdrawal limit or credit limit on your debit/credit cards.

- Sign up for Online Banking so you are informed of account activity.

- Do not flash large amounts of money.

Please contact your local branch with questions.


Citizens Alliance Bank Announces 'Mobile Banking'!

Our Citizens Alliance Bank Mobile App makes it easy for your to bank on the go 24/7.  You can monitor your account, transfer funds, make loan payments, locate branches, find ATMs, and more.  Mobile Banking works on iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and Android tablets.  For more information, please view the Online Banking page or Contact Us 

Search for Citizens Alliance Bank at the following stores:

Simple Ways to Rev Up Your Savings

- Save for specific goals.
- Commit to saving money regularly.
- Put your savings on auto-pilot.
- Make use of tax-advantaged retirement accounts and matching funds.
- Decide where to keep the money intended for certain purposes.
- Think about ways to cut your expenses and add more to savings.

To read more about these simple steps visit:

Go Green in 2016!

Start the year off right and sign up for E-Statements!

1. Read the Disclosure and complete the Enrollment Form.

2. Return the Enrollment Form to the Bank.

3. Check your E-Mail Inbox for further instructions.

Once you are enrolled you will receive E-Statements beginning with your next statement cycle.

How are E-Statements Beneficial?

  • Secure: E-Statements can be retrieved in online banking or received in your e-mail inbox which requires a password to be retrieved.
  • Convenient: You can view, print or download your e-statement to your computer hard disk any time you want, organizing them in one central location.
  • Easy: Just complete the E-Statement Enrollment form found on our Forms page or Click here to view our online forms and return it to the bank.
  • Fast: You'll receive your E-Statement one or two days earlier than you typically receive your paper statement.

 For more information, please contact us.


Member FDIC

Clara City
Phone: (320)847-3702
Phone: (320)367-2183
Granite Falls
Phone: (320)564-4522
Lake Lillian
Phone: (320)664-4111
Seeley Lake
Phone: (406)677-2464

Eqal Housing Lender

Phone: (507)925-4133
Howard Lake
Phone: (320)543-2151
Phone: (952)955-2992
Phone: (320)875-2431

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