Excellence through the Years


In 1934, First National Bank in Clear Lake opened their doors under their new name, Clear Lake Bank & Trust (CLB&T). M.A. Arneson purchased controlling interest of CLB&T in 1941. The grandfather of current CLB&T CEO, Mark Hewitt, Arneson’s vision began the progression of CLB&T’s success.

M.A. Arneson

Being family-focused, M.A. brought on his son-in-law Ray Hewitt in 1973, as the executive vice president and director. Within a few years, Ray was named President, assuming the role at a time when expansion and growth were at the forefront.

“All of those dates you see listed with remodeling and building projects, that was my dad,” Mark stated with a smile.

Ray Hewitt was big on “building” as you can tell from the bank’s timeline of events on their website.  Lobby remodels, additions, acquisitions.  Clear Lake Bank & Trust grew exponentially, going from only 10 employees up to 55 in its first 45 years.

What many people might not realize, however, is Clear Lake Bank & Trust is a family business.  Twenty-five years ago, Mark Hewitt came aboard as President/CEO, beginning the third generation of leadership within the company.

Throughout the years, Clear Lake Bank & Trust has kept employees at the top of our priority list.  “We value our employees more than anything else,” Mark said emphatically.  “If we treat our employees well, they’ll be happy, which translates into a happy customer.”

When the Des Moines Register puts out their Top Workplace survey each year, the employees at Clear Lake Bank & Trust show up to answer.  In fact, their responses are off the charts, and the bank routinely comes away as a “Top Workplace” award recipient.

It’s a point of pride for Hewitt.

While he knows they’ve created a great place of business, it helps to know his employees are happy.  “I’m proud of this award every year,” he said.  “It just meshes with our goal.”

That goal?  To create a place where people want to come to work and provide the best service to their customers.

While employee morale is a high priority for Clear Lake Bank & Trust, community involvement is right up there, too.  They are actively involved in various community events and school activities as a way to establish meaningful relationships and give back.

In fact, they have been an active member of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce since the Chamber was formed 80 years ago.  Being a charter member who still plays such a crucial role in our organization says they believe in us.

They believe in Clear Lake.

Their dedication and commitment has helped make our community such an amazing place to live, work, and play.

“Clear Lake is unique being a tourist town,” Mark stated.  “The Chamber is the glue that holds us together.”

Without the support of members like Clear Lake Bank & Trust, we wouldn’t be able to facilitate such incredible events.  They are a key player in helping us be a champion for business success and quality of life.

With locations in Clear Lake, Garner, and Mason City, be sure to contact someone at a location most convenient for all yoru banking needs.