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New bank manager’s glad to be back in small town

Lee Anderson succeeded Tami Langer as manager at the BMO Harris Bank in Ellsworth last month. Anderson brings extensive experience in retailing and banking to her new role. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)



@ct:Lee Anderson succeeded Tami Langer as manager at the BMO Harris Bank in Ellsworth last month. Anderson brings extensive experience in retailing and banking to her new role. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

@h:New bank manager’s glad to be back in small town

@by:By Bill Kirk

@t:She used to sell store products and now sells bank services.

Lee Anderson mainly did the former in the Twin Cities, but has done the latter in both urban and rural areas, she said Wednesday. The Lake City, Minn., native is pleased about returning to a small town as she assumed manager duties at the BMO Harris Bank in Ellsworth, succeeding Tami Langer, last month.

“I enjoy working with people,” she said.

Anderson viewed her new role as supporting and guiding the staff of this bank branch, with its personal banker, service manager and three service representatives (tellers). She said her focus will be on small business clients, who are important to local development. She’ll deal in all aspects of banking, ranging from deposits to lending, and rely on outside partners who assist with mortgages plus other private and premiere services.

“We can help with financial needs, drawing on the knowledge of advisors,” she said.

The new manager said she’s presently getting settled, reaching out for introductions. The bank’s support system can connect clients with resources up to a certain dollar amount, she added.

The banking industry veteran was aware Langer was moving on, she said. Most recently based in the Cities, she wanted to return to a less populated environment, mindful of her early years in a small town.

The 1987 graduate of Lake City High School is the daughter of Ray and Sandy Langdon, with a sister, Susan, who’s now living in Shakopee, Minn., she said. She enjoyed sports while in school, especially basketball, cross country and high jump.

At age 15, Anderson began a couple of jobs, she said. The first was at Pepin Heights Orchard, where she sorted apples. Then, she worked the checkouts at her hometown Supervalu store.

She enrolled in the University of Minnesota’s junior college at Waseca, Minn., pursuing an associate degree in merchandising, she said. She later switched to South Dakota State College in Brookings, S.D., where she ran track, having gotten a scholarship. A home economics-type program was her field of study.

Anderson said she started her retail career at the former Dayton-Hudson, which later became Field’s. She moved on to be an assistant manager, employed by Bath and Body Works and Lens Crafters in the metro area. She was living in Golden Valley, Minn., at the time.

Her entry into banking occurred 10 years ago at the former First Federal of La Crosse, she said. Within a month of her joining the staff, Associated had bought that bank.

“My values didn’t line up with theirs,” she said about a shift to the former M&I Bank, with which she worked in Prescott at the outset. She was made branch manager in July of 2006, eventually transferred to Hudson in the fall of 2008 and continued when the announcement of M&I’s purchase by Bank Montreal happened in 2010.

“Hudson supported Prescott,” she said of the two branches’ relationship.

She stayed through 2012, then moved to the much larger Roseville, Minn., office, staffed by two personal bankers, a service manager and three tellers, she said. M&I had bought Excel, a big commercial bank, to acquire that location.

The banker and her husband, Nate, working for Delta Airlines via Northwest, live now with their two Papillion dogs in Lakeland, Minn., she said. When not at work, they are fond of boating, biking, hiking and the outdoors in general.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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