Lindholm reflects on life of banking [UPDATED]Published 6:23am Monday, December 31, 2012 Updated 8:25am Monday, December 31, 2012
By Seth Johnson
After 52 years in the banking business, 24 of which were spent as owner of Security State Bank in Fergus Falls, Paul Lindholm is passing the torch to his son Steve.
Paul wasn’t raised around banks, however. After graduating from high school, he spent nine years working on his family farm near Ortonville before he decided to give higher education the old college try.
He attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned a four-year degree in business administration in just two years, graduating with honors.
Paul was first introduced to the banking world when he got a job at Farmers State Bank in Madelia, Minn. Less than three years later, he accepted the position as president of Blue Earth State Bank in Blue Earth.
Seventeen years later, he made the move to Clarkfield, Minn. where he acquired ownership of Farmers State Bank in 1977. After about 10 years, Paul sold the bank to his son Steve and moved to Fergus Falls where he took over ownership of Security State Bank.
Now in his mid-80s, Paul is taking a step back from the banking business and selling the popular Fergus Falls bank to his son, Steve and his wife Mary Jane, along with her brother John Virnig. Steve, who also owns Farmers State Bank in Clarkfield and The Granite Falls Bank in Granite Falls, will only be around part time but act as CEO.
Between 1988 and 2012, assets at Security State Bank have jumped from $34,057,000 to $139,835,256, but Paul said the best part about banking is helping people make good financial decisions and watching them become successful.
“When I was in Blue Earth, I went to visit a fellow, and he was only 18, but his father wasn’t well,” he said. “He was supporting his father, mother and five brothers and sisters by milking cows and raising chickens. I helped him buy land, and now he is more than a millionaire. He owns about 800 acres of southern Minnesota land.”
Paul’s farming background served him well even in his days as a banker. He received the Bruning award, a national award for outstanding agricultural banking. He also served on the board of directors for the Minneapolis Grain Exchange for three years.
While he will miss many of the joys of banking, Paul said he is happy to now have more free time to travel the world. So far, he has visited Africa seven times, Russia three times, Romania five times and many other countries. While overseas, Paul does mission work and speaks at universities.
As an avid outdoorsman, Paul said he looks forward to doing more fishing in his retirement. Many Security State Bank members have seen the results of one of Paul’s successful hunts without knowing it. He has a mounted caribou that overlooks the lobby of the bank.
Paul also might use his extra time to visit his three sons, daughter and seven grandchildren with Ruth, his wife of 64 years.
Paul said he is excited to pass the bank to his son, and he wants bank members to know Security State Bank will not change due to the transition.
“The main thing is, the bank will continue to operate as it is now, and the personnel will remain the same,” Paul said.