Today’s Employee Ownership Month (EOM) story comes from ESOP Association member, First National Bank of Bemidji.
Howdy! Since 2006, First National Bank of Bemidji has chosen a week in October to celebrate employee ownership. The ESOP Communications Committee began planning this year’s events in mid-August to ensure a fun-filled week for all employee owners. Celebrating our 28th year being employee-owned, this year’s theme encompassed everything “Rodeo!”
The events began on Thursday, October 3rd, with a kick-off meeting to share all of the fun events planned for the following week. The bank’s President, Tom Welle, gave our quarterly business update, and then the Rodeo commenced! With the ESOP Communications Committee dressed as rodeo clowns, rodeo queens, and a rodeo announcer, members of our Executive Management team competed in tricycle barrel racing, lassoing, and a cowboy boot putting contest. Many laughs were had, and ultimately, Tom “Leader of the Pack” Welle, won the competition, riding his horse, “Nice Guy!”
The events planned for ESOP Week included: Lassoing, Cowboy Boot Ball, a Cow-Tipping Contest, Horseshoes, and of course the return of our favorite game from last year, Sling-Shotting. The goal of Sling-Shotting this year was to knock over cans of Pork ‘n Beans! All games were played in our bank’s courtyard. Throughout our ESOP Week, there was also a Western-Themed Baking Contest, an “ESOP-Themed” Belt Buckle Contest, and “ESOP-Themed” Stick Horse Competition, and an ESOP’m Poker Tournament where cards for each employee’s poker hand were earned by answering ESOP quiz questions correctly. Employee owners wore nametags throughout the week stating, “I’m and owner,” and local media outlets covered the events throughout the week, helping to promote Employee Ownership Month. With employees dressing in casual Western-Wear throughout the week, many questions arose from customers, and many opportunities were taken to share the benefits of employee ownership!
Thanks to Nikki Brink of First National Bank of Bemidji for sharing the company’s EOM story with the Association.
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