As a prelude to our Chamber’s 75th anniversary in 2018, we will highlight the original charter members who have been chamber members since 1943. Here is our first charter member revisited: Clear Lake Bank & Trust Company
Clear Lake Bank & Trust is one of our community’s premier companies with a rich history in Clear Lake.
The bank first opened its doors in 1934. It showed steady growth and community acceptance over the next decade. One of the initial benchmarks in the bank’s history came in 1941, when M.A. Arneson purchased a controlling interest in the bank, which at that time had 10 employees and $1 million in assets. This proved to be a pivotal point for the bank’s future.
In 1943, the bank became a charter member with the newly incorporated Clear Lake Chamber. In 1943, the Chamber had two Board presidents serving at different times, Harold Crane and C.A. Pease. Over the ensuing years, the bank took on a growing presence in the downtown area of Clear Lake, with the addition of a second floor to its current location.
In 1973, Mr. Arneson brought in a new Executive Vice President and Director, Ray Hewitt. Hewitt was then named President while Mr. Arneson assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. Under Mr. Hewitt’s tenure, the bank showed progressive and steady growth in assets and introduction of new bank departments.
The 1980s and ‘90s showed continued growth for the local community bank. Expansion included a Garner bank location in Hancock County, and additional remodeling and expansions of its current location. By the end of the 1990s, the bank had assets exceeding $130 million had more than 55 employees, along with a new President & CEO, Mark Hewitt. Ray Hewitt assumed the position of Chairman of the Board, while Mr. Arneson was named Chairman Emeritus.
The new century saw the bank continue its journey of solid growth and stability, with a new bank location on Mason City’s west side, enabling the assets to grow to $205 and 67 employees by 2007. In 2009, the bank had much to celebrate and show for its 75th anniversary. Once again, in 2013, opportunity enabled the bank to acquire the Community National Bank offices in Mason City, where it now has a downtown presence.
In addition to Mark Hewitt as its President & CEO, his top leadership team includes Paul Stevenson, Executive Vice President/Chief Credit Officer, and Matt Ritter, Senior Vice President/Chief Information Officer/Bank Cashier. The bank prides itself on its top talent that it attracts, to include key Vice Presidents and assistant officers.
To add to its accomplishments over the years, in 2014, the bank was named a Top Performer by ICBA Independent Banker (the magazine of Independent Community Bankers of America) and as one of the top 25 community banks from the 5,000 community banks across the United States. This is added to the bank being named for four years in a row as one of the top 14 businesses in Iowa.
The Chamber works with the bank in numerous ways, to include its sponsorships of many of our activities (the bank is a major supporter of our community), along with bank employees involved in various activities of the Chamber. We are very grateful for their continuous Chamber involvement since 1943!
Click here for 5 Questions with Mark Hewitt.