Security State Bank of Marine recently bid a farewell to Greg Isaacson, longtime President and chief executive officer (CEO). After 41 years of service, Isaacson officially retired May 26, 2022.
“The only reason I picked that date was simply because it was May 26 of 1981 when I first walked through the door as a part-time employee. I was a sophomore in college and started working at the bank as a teller,” said Isaacson, “When I started we literally filed checks and sorted them alphabetically by hand. And at that time we calculated loan interest, kept track of checking accounts and did transactions on a machine called the Post Tronic. That was done manually, it was like a glorified typewriter.”
By 1983 he was working full time at the bank. In 2009 he became President and CEO. During his tenure, Isaacson worked out of the Scandia office where his main duties included: management and oversight of the bank and bank holding company, real estate, commercial and construction lending, investment portfolio management, bank financial planning and bank holding company corporate functions.
Security State Bank of Marine was established in May 1919.
“When I started we had one location, the bank in Marine. Throughout the years we expanded to different areas,” he explained. “We had a branching strategy in the 90s and 2000s which really helped propel our growth, but our focus has been and always will continue to be providing exceptional service to the community.”
Today, there are four branches: Marine on St. Croix, Scandia, Chisago Lakes, and Forest Lake.
“In 2019 we celebrated 100 years. We have close to 30 employees and it doesn't happen without them. We are fortunate to establish relationships with our members. We can't and we would not have survived without the loyal customers that we serve, they are the backbone of what we do. Without them, we wouldn't have been here for our hundred plus years,” Isaacon said.
“Another one of the keys to our success has been low turnover with staff. The previous CEO received a Pioneer Award from the Minnesota Bankers Association for having served over 50 years in some capacity in the bank. Adam Motoz, who is on now President and CEO has been with us for over 25 years and we have other employees with over 20 years of service,” said Isaacson.
According to Erik Newville, assistant vice president and branch manager at Forest Lake location, “Greg was involved in all aspects of the bank during his career. He assisted all businesses and personal customers with all of their banking needs.
“Greg is very knowledgeable about banking, finance, the economy and current market conditions. That knowledge helped him lead the bank, and assisted the bank in being a successful local institution. He was a mentor to many of the current bank management team, Newville said.
“Greg’s presence will be missed both personally and professionally,” said Newville, “We won’t be able to readily bounce ideas or questions off him on a daily basis and we will miss hearing daily stories about his travels and family life.”
Even though he officially retired, Isaacson will continue to serve on the credit and investment advisory committee. As far as plans for retirement, “We have a grandchild that's 21 months old, so we plan to spend time with family. We have been blessed and love to travel so we will continuing to do that.”
Last Tuesday Isaacson and his wife Jan left for a safari in Africa. After that, according to Isaacson, “We’ve got some other things planned.”