State Bank opens Gladstone branch
GLADSTONE — Construction on the Upper Peninsula State Bank’s Gladstone branch began roughly a year ago, and the grand opening of the facility was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning.
According to Gladstone Mayor Joe Thompson, the bank approached the city with its plans for the new branch in early 2017. They had started the process of acquiring the parcels the bank is now located on more than three years ago.
Thompson said the plans for the facility were not approved immediately.
“There was a lot of work done prior to that (approval),” he said.
The Gladstone City Commission gave its final approval for the project on June 12, 2017. A groundbreaking ceremony was held that July.
“We started construction just under a year ago,” Upper Peninsula State Bank President and CEO David Williams said.
The Gladstone branch was designed to resemble the Upper Peninsula State Bank’s branch in Escanaba, Williams said. Among other design elements, the new facility features a version of the Escanaba branch’s “tower,” which serves as a place for local business and organizations to display their products.
“We call that branding … people recognize that that’s our bank,” Williams said of the Gladstone branch’s design.
This branch had a soft opening date of June 28.
“It has all been working absolutely fantastic,” Williams said.
Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place, various people who played a role in bringing the Upper Peninsula State Bank to Gladstone spoke about the project. Upper Peninsula State Bank Board Chairman Bob Bink discussed the bank’s mission.
“We’re a community bank that’s here to make people’s lives better … to help them,” he said.
Thompson spoke at this time, as well.
“This truly is a very exciting day for the U.P. State Bank and the City of Gladstone,” he said.
Upper Peninsula State Bank Senior Vice President Todd Salo said he has appreciated the opportunity to bring the bank to this community.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to lead the new Upper Peninsula State Bank office in Gladstone,” he said.
Salo attributed the Gladstone branch’s successful completion to the involvement of Williams, the bank’s board of directors, its management team, and the local staff. He said the bank as a whole has done well thanks to their emphasis on customer service.
“(Customers) are treated with a high level of professionalism,” he said.
Williams shared his thoughts on the new branch. He said while e-banking has grown in popularity over the years, it was important for Upper Peninsula State Bank to have a physical presence in the Gladstone area.
“This is and always will be a people business — always,” he said. The bank does offer online banking options, including mobile deposits, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and access to other banking services through its mobile apps and Internet banking platform.
Williams also noted local companies (including Roy Ness Contracting & Sales, among many others) played key roles in building the new branch.
“This is a local job,” he said.
President of Roy Ness Contracting & Sales Dennis Ness said he was happy with how this project turned out.
“(They’re) great people to work with, and we’re pleased with the results,” he said.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, event attendees were able to celebrate with complimentary hot dogs, beverages, and cake.
State Sen. Tom Casperson, who was in attendance at the event, voiced his satisfaction with Upper Peninsula State Bank’s new branch.
“This is great for the community — what a wonderful thing to happen in (Gladstone),” he said.
Senior Vice President/Chief Lending Officer for Upper Peninsula State Bank Eric Lundin said he has been glad to see the bank operating in Gladstone.
“We’re very, very excited about it,” he said.
“We are absolutely beyond thrilled to be here,” he said.
Upper Peninsula State Bank will continue to celebrate the opening of its Gladstone branch with an ice cream social and bean bag contests from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.