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Weness recognized as Amazing Outside Director

WORTHINGTON — Erlin Weness, retired educator with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, has been named a 2019 Amazing Outside Director for his board service to First State Bank Southwest, Worthington.

Eide Bailly LLC, Fargo, partners with BankBeat as sponsor of the Amazing Outside Director program, which is designed to recognize business leaders who guide, counsel and provide governance to community banks throughout the Upper Midwest.

“Weness’ quiet yet thoughtful leadership over the years stood out as we considered candidates for this recognition program,” said Jacqueline Nasseff Hilgert, BankBeat’s editor-in-chief. “HIs blend of agricultural know-how and level-headedness allowed him to contribute to the bank success from the day he first began to serve back in 1986.”

“Erlin has been incredibly kind and generous in his service on the bank’s board and in the community,” said Greg Raymo, president and CEO of First State Bank Southwest. “He wants to be behind the scenes getting stuff done. He’s a great listener, so when he does speak, his comments are well thought out.”

Weness served throughout the farm crisis of the 1980s, a period that left an impression.

“Some of your friends were getting forced out of farming, some of your peers that you knew, and it was difficult,” Weness said. His success on the board was due, he said, to the “excellent employees and excellent bank management.”

BankBeat serves the commercial banking industry. In its third year, BankBeat’s Amazing Outside Director program is one of the most popular regular features appearing annually.

Weness is one of five business/community leaders to receive the 2019 recognition, and only one of two Minnesotans to be honored. The other is Audrey Johnson, retired CEO of Johnson Companies, who serves on the board of New Market Bank, Elko New Market, Minn. All honorees are chosen based on reader nominations.