Showing posts from 2017

Happy (Semi-)Retirement Cathy!

I will be retiring from my full-time position at LSB the end of this year. I have worked in several different positions, first as a teller, then loan clerk, and finally as executive assistant. All of it has been so enjoyable, so making the decision to retire has been very difficult for me. My husband has been asking when I was going to retire since I turned 65, but I haven’t been able to make up my mind. I have enjoyed my work at LSB and my co-workers so much, the idea of leaving all that behind just didn’t feel right.   When struggling with a decision, they say to take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle and put the pros on one side and the cons on the other. I decided to give it a try. On the pro side, I listed the things I would like to do in my retirement. I guess you could call it my bucket list. On the other side, I listed the things I would miss by not working. I will have to admit the pro side was much longer, but I still wasn’t convinced I wanted to leave work beh

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 comprom

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 ex

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    


By: Deb Troutman Pool side on last year's vacation.

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 a

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 w

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 fo

Last Field Trip for Libertyville Elementary

Wow, where did the school year go?   As we started out the school year in August of 2016 we had heard some rumbling that they were planning on closing our small, close knit school, Libertyville Elementary.   So, at the next board meeting a large group of community members and school employees gathered to learn that yes, our school was on the chopping block.   The next few months were full of emotions and by January we learned the fate of our school, it was set to close at the end of the school year.   In the next few days I had to sit back and think how am I going to make this ok for my student as well as for the other students.   Everyone is upset, but we had to be able to move on and make it the best year ever.   So, our parent group decided we were going to take an all school field trip to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, IA.   Lots of planning and organizing had to be done and we all pulled together and got it all planned.   The morning of the trip was still very stressful

Addition to the Family...

No, it’s not a new grandchild yet, but if either one of our kids are reading this you know your mom likes to shop, and that would give her a valid reason that I couldn’t argue with.   You know how when you’re young and just married everyone tells you that getting a dog is good practice for when you have kids?   Well, I think there’s some truth to that.   I’ve had dogs my whole life.   From the time I could walk until now.   They’ve been some of the best companions a person could ever ask for.   Over the last 30 years I’ve been partial to German Shorthair Pointers.   I enjoy pheasant and quail hunting and these dogs have always served the need extremely well.   Not only are they excellent hunters and retrievers but they are extremely family oriented pets.   They love being part of the family.   Last summer, “Lucy,” my 14-year-old shorthair passed away, leaving her son, “Jake,” as our only dog.   My son, Davis, had recently purchased “Bella” a 3-year-old shorthair.   He said, “Dad, wh

Paying at the Pump

What is the safest way to pay for fuel at the pump?   We recommend that you ALWAYS run your debit card as a “credit” when paying at the pump.   There are a couple important reasons for this recommendation. First, when you run your debit card as a “debit” the gas station can pre-authorize $50 - $100 on your account to ensure that funds are available to pay for the fuel that you are about to pump. These pre-authorizations can be held for up to 3 business days on your account. If instead you run your debit card as a “credit” the gas station will only pre-authorize $1 on your account.   Second, and most importantly, these machines are not monitored 24/7. If you select “debit” you are using your pin to pay at the pump. Someone could have put a skimming device or a camera on the pump which could not only obtain your debit card number, but your pin number as well. With that information, they can then create a fake duplicate card. The fake card could be used to withdraw cash at an ATM or


“Your life doesn’t get better by chance; it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn             Change is something most people fear. I, on the other hand, have always embraced change. I have always wanted to see if I could help make things better, faster, cheaper, etc. When I was a kid, I modified my family’s golf cart to be the fastest cart on the course. Through high school, I worked for my father’s company as a surveyor. He encouraged me to find ways to work quicker and get more done. He’d always say, “You have to crack an egg to get an omelet!” Sometimes, I would find ways to get the job done faster just to go home sooner. Today, I spend my time finding or tweaking products and processes to make sure that we are meeting our company goals. I love efficiencies. I love looking at a process and trying to figure out how we can make it better. As a person who loves change, I am often taken aback by those around me who fear or avoid it. I remember being a young 20 something kid, fresh


As many of you know, I have had my share of dogs over the years.   When I was a little girl, I think I asked for a puppy every year for Christmas. Finally, after what seemed like years and years, my wish came true.   There he was. A Blue Merle Collie that I named Duffy.   He was my companion on the farm growing up.   A friend that I have never forgotten.   Since that first friend, there has been very little time that my family has not had a dog.   When I got married I gave my husband a Black Lab for Christmas one year. We have had more than one Lab over the years.   They are great dogs. One of the best dogs we ever had was a Blue Heeler (Angus) that we got my daughter as a puppy for Christmas when she was around 6 years old.   He was with us all the time.   He went with us when we went horseback riding, 4wheeler riding, mushroom hunting, you name it he was there. He never let you out of his site and was as loyal as they come.   As he aged he became diabetic.    His vision became we

Surviving My First Year Of College

In my last blog, I talked about Zach deciding where he was going to go to college, scheduling college visits and how I was feeling about that whole process.   Now a year has flown by and he is home for the summer after his first year of college.   It is hard for me to believe that this school year is over already. It seems like just yesterday we were dropping him off in Iowa City.   I remember that day vividly as I was dreading leaving my oldest son to begin his future.   T he first few months were very challenging for me. Although Zach seemed to have adjusted rather quickly.   I found myself texting him just to check in to see how his days were going and usually I would get a one word reply, which was fine, because then I knew that he was alive.   I did make it through the first semester without any major breakdowns and got used to not worrying about him being out until God knows when.   Then came the month-long Christmas break.   I was so looking forward to him being home.   Funny

What brightens your day?

     Have you recently thought about the many things in life that brighten your day?   How often do you think about your daily routine and what brings excitement to your otherwise ho-hum world?   Well, maybe you don’t ever have a ho-hum world, but if you do, what are the things you enjoy in life that re-charge your batteries?   Sharing time with family and friends is a common thread in all of us that is unbeatable.   So what do we all share with family and friends in day to day life that makes it special?   Maybe you like to go fishing, hunting, biking, golfing, gardening, farming, attend spectator events, cultural events, listen or play music, go on vacation, volunteer to help others, eat, sleep, aggravate someone, and the list goes on and on.   If you re-read the previous sentence, you will find some things that are toward the top of the list for me.   Of those that I enjoy, it’s kind of a toss-up on what is the greatest, or maybe not.        One of my favorites is golf.   Eve

Clues From Cash

  KnowBe4 Security Tips - Unexpected Emails   When you receive an email from an online service or business partner that you are not expecting, proceed with caution. For example, if you receive an email from eBay stating that you have just won an online auction, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself. Are you a member of eBay? (This goes for online banking as well. If you receive an email from a bank you do not have an account with, do not click any links) Did you bid on any auctions recently? (If you did not bid, you cannot have won)   This does not apply to eBay alone. The bad guys can use any online service such as banking, shopping and social networking to try and trick you. Remember to Stop, Look, and Think before clicking on any email links. When in doubt, open a web browser and visit the company website of the person who sent you the email

Thoughts for Spring

As I write this it is raining and April 5 th , 2017. It appears things are pretty soggy right now. The weather is cold and gloomy out and most people are longing to see the sun shine. Some years at this time the farmers are running hard and some of the early birds already have tried planting a little corn. Two weeks ago it looked as if this could be the case this year. It is interesting how things can change essentially overnight! It appears that it could be a week or two before we even have the opportunity to get in the fields! Right now I am thinking about the Rye that I need to kill on my farm and how it is getting taller than I want. How much will this affect ground temperatures? How quickly the corn will be able to emerge? Will the corn act sluggish on emergence like it did last year? How will the markets react to the threat of delayed planting? So many questions with so many different outcomes! As farmers, there is one thing that we can count on and this is the fact that everythi


Culture, in business, is one of those new terms that is fuzzy, warm, and challenging to define.   LSB has spent the last decade developing, celebrating, measuring, and preserving our culture. It started slowly, approximately 10 years ago, when we began to write and define standards for different areas of the bank.   One by one these standards were developed, practiced, shopped, and celebrated. Our culture team experimented and learned through success and failure.   The staff created a code to live by at work.    Each year this culture team creates their own strategic plan on how to improve and maintain the LSB culture. They meet regularly to move projects ahead and are relentless in their vision.   LSB has been selected a “Top Places to Work in Iowa “three years running. We have also been ranked as one of the top culture banks in the nation through independent 3 rd party surveys.   I am proud of our staff, culture team, and leadership team for their dedication in making LSB

Live Your Life A-Z

Live Your Life A-Z A ttitude -i s half the battle B elieve – in yourself and others C hange – accept and embrace it D ream – dream big; the opportunities are endless E xercise – your mind and your body F un – have fun with everything you do G rateful – show appreciation and be grateful for what you have H ealth – take good care of yourself; it all starts with you I ndependent –don’t depend on someone else to take care of you J oy –always find joy in your life K ind – be kind L i ve, Laugh, Love –live every moment, laugh every day, love beyond words M anners –always use good manners N atural –excel in what comes natural to you O ptimistic – be and think positive P roductive – accomplish things in life Q uiet –enjoy some peace and quiet R esponsible –be responsible S uccessful –make good things happen T ough – be able to handle adverse or difficult situations U nique –make yourself different V alue – value yo