Spaulding celebrates 30 years as local banker

This article submitted by Stephanie Everson on 03/04/97.

Joe Spaulding, executive vice president of Farmers & Merchants State Bank in Paynesville, officially reached his 30th year with the bank March 3. With his many duties, including general managing and granting loans, he, as well as his many customers, have enjoyed many years of challenge and success.

In 1960, he was working at a turkey barn when Henry Sauer asked him if he'd come to work for him at the First State Bank in Paynesville. Having been raised on a dairy and hog farm eight miles south of Paynesville, Spaulding figured bank work would be easier than what he'd been doing.

After a year or so, Spaulding transferred to the Minneapolis branch of First State Bank and went to work as an examiner. In 1963, he and his wife moved to Clark, S.D., where he spent the next four memorable years at the First State Bank of Clark, until 1967, when they returned to Paynesville.

In the 30 years he's served at Farmers & Merchants State Bank, he's found the most enjoyable and satisfying part of his work is the customers. The most rewarding aspect for him has been seeing people succeed; working their way from the first meeting requesting the loan, to the day they finally own their own house.
There's never been a day he hasn't learned something new; from the changing needs of customers, to the constantly changing bank regulations, which, he said, was one of the most challenging aspects of his job.

The process of banking is constantly changing, ďthough sometimes I'm not sure for the better,Ē he laughed; but he has experienced and adjusted to many changes in his years of banking that have definitely made business easier.

He remembers when he first started, most duties had to be done by hand. Without the computer and network systems we enjoy today, checks, for example, were posted manually using a Burrow's posting machine.

The past 17 years have gradually become more user friendly, with the bank having the use of computers since 1980.

With the expanding technology in our world, Spaulding foresees many changes coming in the future of banking. We are gradually expanding into a checkless society with the introduction of such concepts as check imaging and home banking, as well as the adjustments that come with bank consolidation.

All considered, his work has been challenging, yet always rewarding. One of his biggest concerns when working with people has been helping them feel comfortable. Many people feel intimidated asking for a loan, but he said they need to realize a bank is a retail business whose service is renting money. The many and varied customers are the ultimate source of income, without whom there would be no banks.

He is glad to help people succeed in their lives with the assistance he can bring with a bank loan, and would rather that people feel they are a needed asset rather than intimidated.

His greatest reward while with the Farmers and Merchants State Bank has been the wonderful customers and co-workers, like I.J. Muggli, Dick Setterberg, and the Johnson family, he has had the pleasure of working alongside.

There have been many memorable moments during his career, and quite assuredly, will be many more.

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