After 25 Years, Lenz Retires as Branch Manager
Cherie Lenz, Prevail Bank’s branch manager in Phillips, retired January 27 after 25 years in the banking industry.
“Working in the banking industry has been very rewarding in so many ways,” said Lenz. “but, my husband and I promised ourselves that we would retire together so we could resume wood crafting and sell our handcrafted art and décor at local and regional community fairs. It’s time; we have a lot of enjoyable work ahead of us.”
Lenz, a resident of Phillips for 33 years, graduated from Northcentral Technical College with an accounting degree at age 38 while working full-time in a sewing factory. “One of my oldest and fondest memory is of Colleen Guzinski, then Prevail Bank’s [formerly known as Time Federal Savings Bank] branch manager, called me for an interview as a loan assistant/teller,” said Lenz. “This was before I had graduated from NTC. She said she really liked my cover letter and was willing to give me a chance in banking. I still remember sitting in front of her doing the interview.”
When asked if she still had a copy of the cover letter that changed her life, Lenz laughed and said, ‘Unfortunately, no.’
The personal relationships that Lenz made during her banking career will remain long after her retirement, not only with the staff, past and present, but also with the many customers that she now calls friends.
“I learned a lot about the politics of banking and banking products and services,” said Lenz. “I am still a very shy individual, but the positions I held forced me out of my shell. I really enjoyed being part of the events Prevail Bank sponsored, like the Harvest Festival Pumpkin Patch and most recently Prevail Day in the Park.”
“I truly appreciate the years of service Cherie has provided our Phillips branch as well as the surrounding communities,” said Renée Leinfelder, senior vice president of retail. “She has built some amazing relationships and friendships over the years. I have enjoyed working with her and wish her many years of happiness in her retirement.”
“It’s hard to put into words how much Cherie’s actions affected our family,” said Kendal Patrie. “She offered to purchase [on behalf of Prevail Bank] my children’s blue-ribbon sheep when she noticed their sad faces. They were too young to participate in the county fair’s animal auction ring. Her heart and compassion will always be remembered.”
“Daily interactions with my staff and customers were my reasons for coming to work every day,” said Lenz.
Lenz joined Time Federal Savings Bank on July 1, 1998 as a loan assistant/teller. She eventually transitioned to a savings leader and then branch manager. She felt lucky to get the initial job offer because she was a ‘newbie’ in the industry. But once secured, she did plan to stay till retirement.
“I have truly met many wonderful and unique individuals,” said Lenz. “It’s amazing how all of the different backgrounds and leadership styles have made a lot of memories for me. I have learned a lot from my teammates and will take that knowledge into my next chapter.”