Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Clues From Cash

KnowBe4 Security Tips - Social Engineering Red Flags #​5: ​Email Body
The prevalence of phishing scams is at an all-time high. Because you are the key to preventing a cyberattack within your organization, it is important to question the legitimacy of every email you receive. Below is a list of questions to ask yourself ​about the content and body of the email ​that may help you realize that you are being phished.

​​Review the content of the email.
  • ​​Is the sender asking me to click on a link or open an attachment to avoid a negative consequence, or to gain something of value?
  • Is the email out of the ordinary, or does it have bad grammar or spelling errors?
  • Is the sender asking me to click a link or open up an attachment that seems odd or illogical?
  • Do I have an uncomfortable gut feeling about the sender’s request to open an attachment or click a link?
  • Is the email asking me to look at a compromising or embarrassing picture of myself or someone I know?
If you notice anything about the email that alarms you, do not click links, open attachments, or reply. You are the last line of defense to prevent cyber criminals from succeeding and making you or your company susceptible to phishing attacks.

Stop Look Think - before you click.​
The KnowBe4 Security Team

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First Time Homeowners

This fall my wife Emilee and I became homeowners for the very first time. We have been renting for the past year and a half from my mom’s family. We are very appreciative that they have let us rent my great-grandparents old farm house. It has been a great first place but we have been looking for a place of our own for a while now. We noticed our new house go up for sale late one Thursday night so we emailed the realtor to schedule to go look at it. We got a call back within five minutes to schedule a time to go see it. Little did we know it was going to be one of the fastest few days of our lives. We went and looked at the house on Sunday evening put our offer in Monday morning and had an accepted offer on Monday night. We were forced to move so quickly on this house because it had been shown four times since being listed and there were three offers on the table by Monday morning. The process of submitting an offer and then getting an accepted offer back went way faster than I was expecting it to.  Our new home sits on four acres just outside of Batavia. This is a great location since it sits between Emilee and I’s work. We should be closing on the house in the next two weeks and we are excited to be able to get into our new home before Christmas (Which is good because I already bought a Christmas tree that is too big to fit in our current house.). As we wait for the closing we have started to pack for the move. Emilee has brought more boxes home than we have things to put in them. Needless to say, she is very excited to move in to our new house. Once in there is not a lot of work we will have to do besides painting a few rooms.  We are very grateful for all the help we have received throughout this entire process and we are looking forward to moving to our new home soon.
By: Miles Gaston

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Meet Josephine

Ready for Halloween.
It was early April when Josephine became a bottle calf, at about a week old.  Being the animal lover that I am, I was all in for this adventure.  I have a hard time holding the line between a farm commodity and a pet; which isn’t a good farm trait.  I usually took the 6 am feeding.  As I would head out the door to the barn lot, a trio followed behind me faithfully every morning; Linus & Lucy (farm dogs) and Charlie Brown (farm cat).  Although bottle feeding finished several weeks ago, we still go out morning and night to feed and hay her, and to rub her ears.  She has been spoiled by many family and friends.  Now the harder part comes; convincing her she is a cow.  She doesn’t know that yet.  She looks at the rest of the herd like they are a different species.  We’ll get there.  Would it kill the bottom line to have 1 pet cow?  I don’t think so! 
By: Lori Mitchell

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Wave

         When most sports fans think of “the wave” they think of the synchronized action of fans that sweeps soccer, football, and baseball stadiums across the country, but a new tradition at Kinnick Stadium may very well replace what I think of when I hear the term.  At the end of the first quarter of Iowa home football games the stadium has begun waving to the children and their families on the top floor of the children’s hospital that overlooks the stadium.  I really can’t accurately describe the sensation I felt as I waved and looked up to see the kids and their families waving back.  The action itself was so simple, but it is so profound to me how at the drop of a hat my competitive spirit was wiped away.  For those few moments, the football game couldn’t have been any further from my mind.    
        The impact such a simple gesture has on the folks overlooking the stadium is what is truly amazing to me though.  The elation is so evident on the faces of these kids as they are broadcast across the video board in the stadium.  Many of these kids I’m sure are in a fight for their life, but I can tell that is the last thing on their mind during these brief moments.  I think a lot of times I feel as if there is nothing I could do to help someone that is in such dire straits, but it’s little moments like these I realize you don’t always have to do something grand to leave an impact.   
      Last Saturday as I was looking up and waving I couldn’t help but think about how blessed so many of us are to have healthy children.  As I’ve thought about it more though, I think about how little effort it really takes from us to make someone’s day during their toughest times.  As I wrap up I challenge myself to do more of these small things to brighten someone else’s day, and hopefully a few others that read this will follow as well.   

By: Drew Johnson

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Best Banks in America Case Study

How Jill Burnett and her team at Libertyville Savings Bank are redefining the game of banking... chosen as Best Place to Work three years in a row

ROXANNE EMMERICH: Jill, tell us a little bit about who you are and your bank.

JILL BURNETT: We’re about a $340 million community bank located in the southern portion of Iowa. We have five locations and are very ag oriented. I have about 50 employees—a great group of people. We’ve been blessed that our employee satisfaction rating is 6.36 out of 7 on our culture survey.

RE: Which is amazing. That’s one of the highest in the country.

JB: Yes, and run very efficiently. Our asset per employee is typically over $8 million.

RE: We’ve had a great partnership for a decade, and the transformation you’ve had is profound. I’m really interested in understanding what life was like before you started your transformation.

JB: We did not have a strong direction. We weren’t future-oriented. We weren’t looking ahead, and I would say we were transaction-based. That’s really what we were before we started working with your team.

RE: I know that choosing to work with The Emmerich Group is a big step for a lot of banks. Is there anything that caused you to hesitate before reaching out for our help?

JB: No, I can remember it vividly. The first time I saw you speak was at an Iowa Bankers convention. You had an hour presentation, and I walked out of there thinking, "I’ve got to have more of this." I came to the bank and tried to explain what I had experienced, which I probably didn’t do all that well. I grabbed two other executives and we came up to your next Profit- Growth Banking Summit seminar. After that, not only was I all-in, they were all-in, too.  

RE: I know you were over $9 million in assets per employee before you did an acquisition.
I don’t know of any bank that has a higher ratio before your acquisition than you did. What changes have you made that allow for you to be as effective as you are today?

JB: With a lot of help from your group, we’ve made some amazing changes over the last 10 years. It started with setting our service standards, then getting those rolled out and shopping them like crazy. Then we celebrated the successes on those standards. We started developing our strategic plan and got that congruent within our entire organization. It flows down to your Strategy Circles. It flows into our overall SWOT analysis, our department SWOTs, then down to each employee’s individual quarterly plan. Each employee has critical drivers tied into our overall profit strategy.
We’re using the game plan that shows all of our numbers every month. I’m reporting to those numbers to the board and to our staff so they know exactly where we are against plan. They know exactly what they’re doing to make sure that we’re getting where we need to be. To reinforce it all, it’s just constantly train, train, train, repeat, repeat, repeat, with a lot of celebration in there, too.  

RE: I was at one of your quarterly celebrations. It was wild. I saw all the employees running across the stage getting high-fived by all the executives for meeting all their "optimals" on their critical drivers. All I could think was, "Be still my heart." What’s life like now in comparison to what it was before?

JB: It’s fun. We have been blessed to be one of the top places to work for the past three years in a row in Iowa.

RE: Congratulations. That’s awesome.

JB Thank you. We hit our targets on our cross sales, our new accounts, our existing accounts. Our profitability has just continued to grow, grow, grow.

RE: Wow, 9.8 out of 10. That’s amazing. Your customers love you. That’s fantastic.

JB: Yes, so while life is really good, we also know there’s so much more to learn and to grow to keep trying to reach those goals.

RE: There’s always the next mountain isn’t there?

JB: Yes.

RE: What would you say to someone who is facing the same challenges that you were facing when you first started your transformation?

JB: Take one day at a time. Make sure your top management is completely and 100 percent in. If you don’t have that you’re not going to get there. Know who you are. I think that’s very important to know–understand your values as an organization and understand your customer’s values. I think that’s very important. Just remember you’re going to climb, climb, climb, and then you’re going to slip back a little bit, then you’re going to climb, climb, climb, and slip back. Don’t let that stop you. Just keep moving and have some fun along the way.  

RE: You do a good job of having fun. I can attest to that for sure. Thank you very much Jill, and congratulations! Who has that kind of a customer score? Who has that kind of a culture score? Who has that kind of an efficiency ratio in an ag bank in Iowa? You are redefining the game of banking, and what you are doing is legendary.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Volunteering for Hospice

In early 2016, I, along with several other LSB team members, became a Hospice Volunteer.  We completed an all day, Saturday training session, passed a background check, received our badges and were ready for service.  I can’t tell you for sure what compelled me to want to do this.  In my earlier years, it would’ve scared me to death, but it has been extremely rewarding and very instrumental in my development as a human being.

I’ve enjoyed a variety of patients from my own age to my parent’s age, both men and women and at various stages of their end of life.  I will say, that most families wait too long to get Hospice involved.  If on my first visit my patient is unable to communicate with me, I’m happy to sit with them, talk to them and I usually read to them, but that is the extent of my abilities to help or comfort.  If we can get to know each other better before they reach that stage, I feel like my visits mean more because at least they know who I am and what I am there for….to try and make something, just a small fraction of that day a little brighter. 

If you think you might be interested in becoming a Hospice Volunteer, please feel free to reach out to me or call HCI Care Services in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa at 319-385-4472 and ask for Machelle Lowe.  You’ll be glad you did.
Amber Stump McDowell