Gasterland, Sturm to switch roles
By STEVE CAHALAN | La Crosse Tribune
Dirk Gasterland, who recently was appointed to the La Crosse County Board and is in line for a seat on the American Bankers Association board, said Tuesday he will step down as president and CEO of Coulee Bank at the end of December.
But Gaster-land will keep his post as chairman of the board of the La Crosse bank, he said during the first Brown Bag Series lecture this academic year at Viterbo University. After Jan. 1, he might work at the bank three days a week.
The other speaker, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brad Sturm, will become the bank's president and CEO.
Gasterland, 62, joined the bank as a director in 1974. He became executive vice president in 1986, and president and CEO in 1988. The bank's assets have grown from about
$39 million in 1986 to about $130 million today, he said. It has about 35 employees, including a branch office in Onalaska.
Sturm joined the bank in 1993 as senior loan officer.
"I think the values that have been instilled at Coulee Bank have something to do with the values that Dirk and I have had over the years," Sturm told the audience.
He and Gasterland said Coulee Bank, established in 1961, has a value structure that includes accountability, being accurate, being committed, being decisive, being efficient, being ethical, fairness and involvement in the community.
With only about 35 employees, Sturm said, "We still have a nice feeling of community in and amongst ourselves. We pride ourselves on celebrating as a community and making sure that we all understand that we all are going to be successful as a bank as a team."
"There are very few home-owned banks left," Gasterland said. Coulee Bank is owned by 10 people, including him, his two brothers and sister, and six members of the next generation of the Gasterland family.
"We're in it for the long haul," Gasterland said of Coulee Bank's future.
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