A relationship that's worth banking on
When State Bank of Taunton President Duane Peterson was pondering a new hire at the bank recently, he checked with his vice president Doug DeSmet to get his input on the idea.
"I said I was more than fine with the hire," said DeSmet. "In fact, I told him it would be an honor working with her."
The person Peterson was about to hire was DeSmet's mother, Monica DeSmet, who had left her position after 23 years at Bank of the West in Minneota, where she and her husband Dave live a few houses away from their son.
"I talked to Doug for a long time about the possibility of working at the bank where he works," said Monica. "I was fine with it and he was fine with it."
Monica started her new position with State Bank of Taunton as teller/customer service on Monday, Jan. 4.
"I wasn't sure how to address her at work," said Doug, laughing. "I didn't know if I should call her Monica or mom. I'm still not sure."
Doug graduated from Minneota High School in 2003 and attended Southwest Minnesota State University for Business Administration. He landed his first job at U.S. Bank in Marshall where he spent 10 years in customer service and as a credit underwriter. He then worked for four years at Bremer Bank in Marshall before being hired by Peterson at State Bank of Taunton a year ago.
"Doug contacted me about a possible position here," Peterson recalls. "I thought he would make a good fit. If I had advertised around the country for the position I don't think I would have found anyone as good as Doug."
In fact, Doug had no idea that at Tuesday's board meeting, Peterson would promote him to Senior Vice President/Senior Lending Officer.
"Doug has been excellent at bringing in new business," Peterson said. "He deserved this promotion."
Doug is also glad he inquired about an opening at the bank in Taunton last year.
"Duane is like a father figure," Doug said. "He coaches me when I need it, but he also will let me figure things out and do what I'm good at."
Doug lives in Minneota with his wife, Leah, and their four children, Regan, 9; Brynley, 7; Corbin, 4; and Eiley, 2.
"I love helping people out," Doug said. "And it's much easier to do that in a small town. This bank is all about helping people out, so it's a perfect fit for me."Monica has as extensive banking background.
After being a stay-at-home mom for a few years, she landed a job with Schwartz's Drugstore in 1995. That business on Jefferson Street was next door to where she would eventually work in banking for the 23 years.
"Bob Nelson, who was with the bank then, asked me if I would be interested in working there," Monica recalls. "It was called Community First Bank then. I worked as a part-time teller there for a year starting in 1997 before I became full time."
In December of 2004, the name changed to Bank of the West. Over the years, Monica worked as a teller and compliance/audit certification and then as a Universal Banking Officer handling new accounts and loans.
She lives in Minneota with her husband, Dave, a butcher at Brad's Market. They have five children and nine grandchildren.
And now mother and son are employed at the same place after all these years.
"It's going well," said Doug. "We have a great respect for each other. We both have a similar heart, care for our clients and people we serve, and have strong faith."
And Peterson couldn't be happier that another DeSmet has joined his team.
"I'm really happy both Doug and Monica decided to join the bank here," he said. "They are excellent additions to our team.”