Bankers Association honors New Ulmers

Submitted photo The Pioneers of Banking award winners from Brown County are: John Wisniewski, Alliance Bank; Sharon Nordby, Citizens Bank Minnesota; Rosemary (Rose) Jane Melzer, Alliance Bank; and Roger Schultz, Alliance Bank.

NEW ULM – Four area residents were honored by the Minnesota Bankers Association (MBA) for their long-time service.

Sharon Nordby, Rosemary Melzer, John Wisniewski and Roger Schultz were inducted into the Pioneer Banker Club at the MBA’s Annual Summit June 12.

“It is an award of the Minnesota Bankers Association to recognize and honor bankers who spend 50 years or more in the profession of banking in Minnesota,” Director of Education and Communications Eric Hauth said.

Nordby started as a full-time teller in January 1967 at Citizens State Bank of New Ulm, now Citizens Bank Minnesota.

In 1989 she was promoted to operations officer/assistant cashier. After her promotion Nordby was responsible for supervising tellers, managing the vault and security.

She retired in July 2011, but continues to work part-time. Nordby said one of the biggest changes in her years has been the technology.

“When I started, everything was done by hand – all the balancing,” Nordby said. “There were no teller machines, you paid out cash, you made the cash audit, you took cash in and at the end of the day you took and added up all of your ins and your outs and balanced your window that way. Whereas now everything is done on machines.”

The result is less congestion in the banks for customers and faster account management, as much of the math is now automated.

Melzer started her career at the State Bank of Hanska in September 1967 as a teller and a bookkeeper.

She also saw the changes technology wrought in the industry as banks went from manually balancing the books to automation with computers.

Remaining in the same building, which is now a branch of Alliance Bank, Melzer still works full time and is a loan administrative assistant, personal banker for opening accounts and services IRA accounts along with her teller duties.

Schultz began his career as a teller in August 1968 with Farmers & Merchants State Bank, now Alliance Bank.

He worked his way up to a senior vice president responsible for lending. He has involved himself with numerous local organizations including: the Chamber of Commerce, Brown County Fair Board, Farm-City Hub Club and more.

Wisniewski has worked in banking for 52 years. Much of his career has been in leadership positions.

He currently serves on the board of Alliance Bank. He previously served as president of Alliance for 27 years as well as senior vice president of commercial lending at Commercial State Bank for seven years.

Along with banks, Wisniewski has been a leader in the MBA. He served as the director, chairman of the insurance committee and a member of the services advisory board.

“It (the award) really shows their dedication to their industry, to banking and really importantly to their communities,” Hauth said. “What you will find from folks who have spent that kind of time working in banking is, they have also been tremendously involved in their communities.”

Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at