By Roger Dey
Blackfoot Valley Dispatch 

New Citizens Alliance branch manager finds challenge, opportunity in small town banking

 

August 15, 2018



The new branch manager and loan officer at Lincoln’s Citizens Alliance Bank spent part of his Sunday morning with his wife flipping pancakes and cooking sausage and eggs for the Lincoln Heritage Alliance/Upper Blackfoot Valley Historical Society pancake breakfast at the Lincoln Arts Festival last weekend.

Shayne Lindsay and his wife Jan have only been in Lincoln for about a month, but showed up to help with the fundraiser as a way to get involved in the community.

“The longer I’ve been in my career and the older I’ve gotten, the more important community involvement has become to me,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay takes over management responsibilities of the Lincoln Branch of Citizen’s Alliance from Montana Market Director Ryan Fritz, who had been overseeing the operation here since Kenny Martin abruptly left his positions as Lincoln branch manager and Montana Market Manager on Dec. 11, 2017.


Lincoln is a far cry from the community the Lindsay’s left in April. After several years working for a large regional bank in Colorado Springs as the leader of a team of small business lenders, Shayne felt it was time to move back to Montana.

“Everything’s bumping south from Denver, real estate is going nuts, people are moving in. It just got rated the number one city for livability in the US. Of course, we ran screaming from it,” he said. “It was a good stop for us but it definitely wasn’t Montana.

He and Jan returned to his hometown of Billings, where she’d found a job, but when the opportunity with Citizen’s Alliance Bank came up it piqued his interest.

“I did the research I could on the bank,” he said. “It’s considerably smaller than what I’m used to, which was exactly what I was looking for. Its a family-owned bank, very community oriented. It seemed like a good fit for me.”

Lindsay brings with him an extensive history in business and in banking. He spent ten years running a retail business in Billings with his father, and has been in banking for the last 17 years.

Lindsay started out as a financial adviser and then spent four years managing a retail branch of the regional bank he left behind earlier this year. From there he took a promotion to Great Falls as a commercial lender. After eight years there, he took the promotion to Colorado Springs.


Making the transition from a city of about half a million people to one of a little more than a thousand has been interesting for Lindsay, as is the task of learning the ropes as a loan officer in a considerably smaller banking organization.

Lindsay’s primary focus will be on business and commercial lending, which has been his specialty for the last 13 or 14 years, and some personal lending.

Although the basic principles of banking are the same, he’s found Citizen’s Alliance has a different approach to lending.

“This is much more focused, particularly in this market, on doing the right thing for the market and for the people in the market,” he said. “That’s an exciting time for me. We look for a way to say yes here.”

He said the bank he left often said no unless things fell within a specific set of parameters.

At branch manager, Lindsay reports to Fritz in Great Falls but unlike either Martin or Fritz, doesn’t have responsibilities at the other branches.

“I’ve gotten that question a lot,” Lindsay said. “We’re going to be living here. I’m not going to say I won’t ever be in Seeley or Great Falls, but not on a regular basis at this point. I’ll be in the office almost every day. Just this one for me.”

He said he was made aware the Lincoln Branch has been running smoothly, and that they have a good team in place, so he doesn’t intend to make any changes to that. “We obviously have a great team here and they kind of keep me on the straight and narrow.”

The Lindsay’s hope to close on a house just west of Lincoln soon, and have been spending their spare time getting to know the town and exploring the area.

“Everybody’s been very friendly. We’re meeting lots of people and trying to get out and get involved in the community,” he said.

 

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