Weiler Named Chief Risk Officer

Jeff Weiler named Chief Risk Officer

Jeff Weiler has joined Cornerstone Bank as the Chief Risk Officer in Fargo.

With over 26 years of banking experience, including previous roles as Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Executive Vice President and an Enterprise Risk Manager, Jeff Weiler has been named as Cornerstone Bank’s Chief Risk Officer.

“We are excited to have Jeff join our team,” says COO Deneen Axtman. “He brings a depth of experience in managing risk, leading people, and thinking strategically all of which make him one of the best in the industry.“

Originally, from Dickinson, North Dakota, Weiler is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking and Northern State University. He currently resides in Fargo with his wife Beth. He has two grown daughters, a son-in-law and granddaughter, who are also in Fargo.

To see all of our leadership team visit the leadership page. 


50 Best Places to Work 7 Years Running

50 Best Places to Work
For the SEVENTH year in a row, we are proud to be named to Prairie Business Magazine’s 50 Best Places to Work!
The September issue of Prairie Business names and honors the 50 Best Places to Work in the northern Plains. Earlier this year, employees nominated the organizations by submitting anonymous employee-satisfaction surveys, and Prairie Business used the survey results in selecting the 50 Best.
The survey sought input on each employer’s benefits, workplace culture and employee morale, among other factors. And employees responded. Prairie Business this year received more than 1,700 nominations from employees from around the region.
“We are excited to see so many participants in this year’s contest,” said Prairie Business Editor Andrew Weeks. “It is good to see the many companies who have been here before, but also to see some new names on the list. This goes to show that there definitely are some great companies in our region.”

Bollingberg Joins Board

Bollingberg joins board

Bollingberg joins Cornerstone Bank Board

Karl Bollingberg has joined the Cornerstone Bank Corporate Board of Directors bringing extensive knowledge from 36 years in banking.

“I am pleased to welcome Karl Bollingberg to our Corporate Board of Directors,” says Chairman Gary Petersen. “Karl is a great addition to our organization with his broad experience and immense value.”

Bollingberg’s Background

Recently retired from Alerus Financial, Bollingberg has worked in a variety of roles including Loan Participation Advisor, Director of Lending, Director of Banking Services, Market Manager, and Director of New Business Development. He is an elected member and Vice Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines representing stockholders in the state on North Dakota. Bollingberg also serves as Chairman for the Bank of North Dakota Advisory Board and is the past Chairman for the Grand Forks Regional Economic Development Corporation. He has been active in numerous other civic organizations and has taken part in church mission trips to Honduras.

“I am very excited to join the Cornerstone Bank Corporate Board,” says Bollingberg. “Cornerstone has a long history of being a strong community bank and has so much potential going forward.”

A native of North Dakota, Bollingberg graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in agricultural economics and subsequently completed the graduate school of banking. Bollingberg currently lives in Grand Forks with his wife, Twila. They have three grown children.

Learn more about us!

Grave Named CFO of Cornerstone Bank

Brian Grave

Brian Grave named Chief Financial Officer of Cornerstone Bank

Brian Grave has joined Cornerstone Bank as the Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer in Fargo. He brings over 25 years of accounting experience and 23 of those years are in the financial services industry.

Originally, from Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, Grave graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a degree in Accounting. He currently resides in West Fargo with his wife, two kids and their three pets. In his spare time, Grave enjoys spending time with family, traveling, reading, and riding his motorcycle.

Grave gives back his time to many community organizations including the Fargo Lions Club and Lions Club International, The Village Family Service Center, United Way and Prairie Public Radio.

“I am pleased to welcome Brian to the Cornerstone Bank Team,” says President/CEO Jeff Thomas. “His broad experience in various aspects of financial services is a great fit with our growing organization.”

See the full list of Cornerstone Bank’s leadership by visiting the Leadership Page.

Wentz to Lead Cornerstone Bank Minot Location

Minot Team

Cornerstone Bank has opened a loan and deposit production office in Minot with an experienced team of community bankers.

Grant Wentz is leading the team as SVP Market President. A graduate of North Dakota State University, he brings over 30 years of banking experience.

Wentz has extensive knowledge in providing financial services to business, personal, and agriculture banking clients. A great fit with Cornerstone Bank’s mission of giving straight answers and the best possible financial options. Wentz enjoys working with clients to understand their financial situation and recommending options to meet those needs.

Joining Wentz

Joining Wentz at Cornerstone’s Minot office are VP Ag/Business Banker Mike Vendsel, VP Business Banker Jason Bentley, and AVP Business Banking Associate Tracy Brown.

Vendsel has over 30 years of banking experience. He brings a wealth of knowledge from working alongside business owners and agriculture producers through the ups and downs of their operations.

Bentley brings over 20 years of banking experience specializing in business and agriculture. He values his role as a neighbor and contributor to his community as an active member with the Boy Scouts, Lions Club, Y’s Men, Downtown Business and Professional Association, and Renaissance Zone Board.

With over 20 years of experience, Brown knows the ins and outs of business and agriculture loans. She will provide support to both clients and the banking team to help meet the needs of our customers.

“It’s very exciting to join the Cornerstone team and even more so to have Cornerstone Bank entering the Minot market,” Said Wentz. “The team and I feel a strong connection with Cornerstone’s company values and history. Collectively, we bring over 100 years of experience and are thrilled to put that to work helping Cornerstone Bank customers.”

With roots back to 1936, Cornerstone Bank continues to grow.

Now with locations in 10 communities across North and South Dakota, this growth is consistent with Cornerstone Bank’s vision of helping people make important decisions about their money.

Cornerstone Bank Chairman Gary Petersen said, “Minot fits perfectly into our footprint. It’s adjacent to some of our existing markets with long histories. This expansion into Minot allows us to welcome more clients to the Cornerstone Family and to welcome more experts to the Cornerstone Team.”

Johnson Retires from Cornerstone Bank, Tschetter Promoted

Johnson Retires, Tschetter Promoted in Dickinson.

Johnson Retires from Cornerstone Bank

After a distinguished career of 30 years in banking, Vaune Johnson is retiring as SVP Market President at Cornerstone Bank in Dickinson. As of April 15, 2022, Johnson will transition to a part-time Executive Vice President role to assist with special projects for the bank.

Gary Petersen, Chairman of Cornerstone Bank said, “Vaune is a true community banker. Her strong leadership has been felt within Cornerstone Bank, the industry, and the community. We are excited for her to stay on the Cornerstone Bank team in her new role.”

An Accomplished Career

Throughout her career, Johnson has broken barriers in the financial industry. In fact, she was the first female Chairperson of the North Dakota Bankers Association, paving the way for a time of officers being all female in the years following. Johnson also provided strong leadership within her membership on the American Bankers Association Grassroots Committee and the North Dakota Society of CPA’s. She has received numerous awards including being named a Fellow by Dickinson State University. Johnson received the Northwestern Financial Review Outstanding Women in Banking award, the Greater North Dakotan Community Leadership Award, the Dickinson Area Outstanding Community Volunteer Award and the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce Director of the Year Award.

Johnson has also been a leader not only in her community, but also in the region. She serves on the North Dakota Board of Medicine as well as the Dickinson Chapter of the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve. Johnson is Treasurer of the Greater North Dakota Chamber and Stark County Job Development Authority. She has also been an instructor at Dickinson State University in Accounting and Management Leadership.

Johnson Reflects

“I have been blessed in my public accounting and banking career with early mentors like Ron Kovash and Frank Fridrich. Along with family and friends, they provided the building blocks in knowledge, support and confidence,” Johnson reflected. She went on to say, “Joining Cornerstone has been my capstone and I am excited for Scott as he steps into the Market President role. We joined Cornerstone nearly eight years ago and have been true to our Cornerstone mission of helping people make important decisions about their money. The Cornerstone culture is unsurpassed and I am so proud of our team and our accomplishments. I believe the best is yet to come!”

Tschetter Promoted

Scott Tschetter has been promoted to SVP Market President. Tschetter joined Cornerstone Bank in 2014 as a VP Business Banker and has 20 years of banking expertise. He has worked alongside Johnson for many years thus ensuring a smooth transition for bank customers and the community alike.

Tschetter is a native of Watford City and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and minor in Banking and Finance from Dickinson State University. He is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, WI and the MN Commercial Lending School. Tschetter has been the recipient of Prairie Business Magazine’s top 40 under 40 award. He currently serves as Chairman of the Stark County Housing Authority.

This Calls for a Celebration!

To celebrate Vaune’s career and Scott’s promotion, there will be an open house on Wednesday, April 20 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Cornerstone Bank (3095 15th Street West, Dickinson). Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served.

To see the full Dickinson team visit our Meet the team page.

Pilch Retires from Cornerstone Bank, Hickel and Rush Promoted

Pilch Retires, Hickel and Rush Promoted

Jerry Pilch retires from Cornerstone Bank.

After a distinguished career of nearly 40 years in banking, Jerry Pilch will retire on March 31, 2022. Throughout his career, Pilch worked in various roles including Bank President, Senior Commercial Lender, and Certified Trust Financial Advisor. He joined Cornerstone Bank in 2017 as SVP Market President in Parshall.

“I have truly enjoyed the last five years with Cornerstone Bank, especially working with our great clients,” Pilch stated.

Gary Petersen, Chairman of Cornerstone Bank said, “Jerry has been the expert many have turned to when making important decisions about their money. His agricultural and commercial lending experience has made a positive impact on Cornerstone Bank and the Parshall community. I congratulate Jerry on his retirement.”

Hickel and Rush Promoted

Todd Hickel, SVP Ag/Business Banker, will continue serving Ag and business customers in addition to now serving as Market Manager in Parshall. Hickel joined Cornerstone Bank in September 2021 with over 17 years of Ag banking experience in addition to experience as a Landman and a Trust Officer.

Kathy Rush will continue to help customers with their financial needs as the VP Retail Manager. Rush joined Cornerstone Bank as a Customer Service Representative in September 2009. She was later promoted to Banking Associate and then Customer Service Supervisor.

Jeff Reiter, SVP Market President in New Town, will now also serve as Market President for Parshall, Plaza and Makoti.

To see the full Parshall team visit our Meet the team page.

Roth Joins Cornerstone Bank

Roth joins Cornerstone Bank

Logan Roth joins Cornerstone Bank as an AVP Business Banker in Sioux Falls.

Logan Roth joins Cornerstone Bank as an AVP Business Banker in Sioux Falls. Originally from Salem, South Dakota, Roth graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Accounting. After graduation he earned his postgraduate credits at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

Roth brings with him over 8 years of banking experience. He also give back to his community by serving on the Board of Directors for Unite Church and the McCook Country Club. Roth currently lives in Salem, South Dakota with his wife, Amanda and three kids. He likes to spend time outdoors hunting and fishing as well as on the golf course.

Set up an appointment with Logan today! 

Bohn Joins Cornerstone Insurance Services

Erica Bohn joins Cornerstone Insurance Services

Bohn Joins Cornerstone Insurance Services

Erica Bohn joins Cornerstone Insurance Services as an agent in Watford City. She holds her licensing in property and casualty insurance.

“I became an insurance agent to help people navigate their insurance needs and provide them with peace of mind. It is my goal to help clients understand their insurance policies and provide them with the coverage they need,” Bohn says. “McKenzie County is so special and close to my heart, I look forward to serving this community!”

Originally, from Linton, North Dakota, Bohn currently lives in Watford City with her husband, Colt. Together they have four daughters Annabelle, Sudora, Zamira, and Lenora. In her free time, you will find her volunteering as a coach for youth basketball, volunteering at her community church, reading, or traveling with her family.

To see our full list of insurance offerings visit our Insurance Page.

Melby Named Top 25 Women in Business

Krsitine Melby talking with customer

Kristine Melby named a Top 25 Women in Business

Kristine Melby has been named one of Prairie Business Magazine’s Top 25 Women in business for 2022. Melby’s 25 year career in banking started back in college where she worked as a teller while attending Minnesota State Moorhead.

Shortly after graduating with her Finance and Marketing degree, Melby moved into consumer lending. After about a year, she began in business banking. She has spent a majority of her years in banking working in business development.

“I truly enjoy listening to business owners tell ‘their’ story and share their goals for future success,” said Melby. “I now measure my success on how successful our team members are in contributing to our customers’ financial success.”

During her time as market president she focuses the importance of understanding what the customer’s needs are. And helping her team understand how to meet the needs of their customers.

Melby is a strong believer in family first. Outside of the bank she is an active member of her community volunteering whenever she can in the classroom, on the volleyball court, and at her church. She also serves on the YMCA, Bismarck State College Foundation, and the Young Professionals Advisory Board.

Top 25 Women in Business by Prairie Business Magazine.

Every year Prairie Business Magazine comes out with their list of the Top 25 Women in Business. And is meant to draw attention to the many successful businesswomen in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Western Minnesota. This lists gives an opportunity to highlight the impact women have on their communities and within their businesses. This year includes women from across many different backgrounds including banking, health care, and manufacturing.

“Prairie Business is excited to announce the recipients for the 2022 Top 25 Women in Business,” says Andrew Weeks, editor of Prairie Business. “We thank each of them for their contributions in the region and congratulate them for being among this year’s Top 25. “

Click here to see the full list and read more about Kristine and the other honorees.