EDMOND — While touring the country in a 40-foot Winnebago, it's not uncommon for retired banker Larry Marik to ask waitresses and cashiers where they do their banking.
Mark and wife, Mary Ann, maintain the blog Bankers on Wheels for the American Bankers Association Journal, where they write about their travels visiting community banks across the country.
The couple stopped at Citizens Bank of Edmond on Tuesday to visit with the staff after Jill Castilla, executive vice president and chief credit officer, sent an email inviting them to visit.
Founded in 1901, Citizens Bank is Edmond's oldest community bank.
“I had followed their blog and sent them a note asking them to consider stopping by,” Castilla said. “It's so nice to have somebody show an interest in community banking and what we do.”
The Mariks were returning to their hometown in Nebraska from their winter residence in Arizona when they stopped in Edmond on Tuesday.
They were traveling via car instead of Winnebago, and apologized to bank staff for not bringing their RV.
“Usually, we pull up in front of a bank in our big Winnebago,” Mary Ann Marik said.
The Mariks typically keep their eyes peeled for roadside billboards and banks on street corners as they travel and stop at banks on an impromptu basis.
“All but one bank has been pretty welcoming,” Larry Marik said.
Larry Marik is chairman of First National Bank in Columbus, Neb., and is passionate about learning about community banks across the country.
The Mariks have visited community banks ranging in size from one institution with $16 million in deposits in Kansas to one with $1.5 billion in deposits in Tennessee.
“It's people like you that make Edmond work,” Larry Marik told staff during his visit to Citizens Bank. “Community banks are the conduit between the financial markets and people.”
The Mariks' blog can be viewed at: www.ababj.com/blog/1994.html