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Stearns Financial Services Announces Margrette Newhouse as Board of Directors Member

Posted on: Aug 19, 2022

St. Cloud, Minn. (August 19, 2022) – Stearns Financial Services, Inc. (SFSI), the holding company for three Stearns Bank charters, has added Margrette Newhouse to its Board of Directors.

Over the past 17 years, Newhouse has taught courses in business, leadership, and entrepreneurship at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Central Minnesota.

Newhouse is eager for the opportunity to serve on the SFSI Board of Directors as she turns a page in her career, noting, “It’s an interesting time to be in the financial industry. The dynamics of the world, the market, and trends are changing rapidly. With Stearns Bank always operating in an innovative state, it’s an exciting place to be.”

She points out that aligning with Stearns Bank N.A., which focuses heavily on serving small businesses nationwide, is, in many ways, a connecting of dots placed over the course of her life and career. A native of Ely, Minnesota, where Stearns Bank once had a branch, Newhouse’s father started a road construction business serving Northern Minnesota, which remains in the family today. From her own family’s business to a 17-year banking career prior to her work in higher education, she says that helping entrepreneurs and business leaders start and grow, and organizations thrive throughout her life has been inspiring.

“Each of those businesses had something in common,” she explained. “They were all founded with a mission to make an impact on their community, their employees and their families, and other stakeholders. I was easily connected to that service mentality.”

Newhouse was drawn to SFSI, saying, “The fact that [Stearns Bank] continues to innovate in its response to the question of ‘how do we help businesses do what they want to serve their own customers, and to live up to the vision for their company?’ is very impressive. There is a clear commitment to excellence – you can feel the wheels in motion on multiple initiatives – proof that the tagline of ‘We get the job done!’ is spot on!”

Current and upcoming trends, namely threats of inflation and business cash flow, make Newhouse strategically curious as she joins the board. Understanding customers’ business aspirations and strategies to provide tools and financing options to businesses during times like these is crucial, she says.

“Business owners are focused on what they are the experts at – trying to serve their customers the best way that they can,” she said. “Whether it be fintech tools that Stearns Bank is exploring and investing in, cybersecurity, cash management products, loan options or other financing structures, we need to recognize that they rely on us to know and share the new financial trends.”

Kelly Skalicky, President & CEO of Stearns Financial Services, Inc. appreciates the immediate impact Newhouse will have in helping SFSI stay ahead of the current trends in financial services.

“Margrette’s 17+ years of banking experience and family business background, along with her background in higher education guiding entrepreneurs and future business owners, strengthens SFSI and provides additional Board leadership with a deep understanding of the changing banking needs and growth priorities of today’s business owners,” said Skalicky. “It’s a tremendous advantage for Stearns Bank and I’m personally thrilled to have Margrette join our holding company board offering her expertise and insight to help lead our strategic plan and ensure we grow and continually evolve while achieving industry-leading earnings, disciplined risk management and strong capital.”

For more information on Stearns Financial Services and the Stearns Bank charters, visit



About Stearns Financial Services, Inc.

Stearns Financial Services Inc. (SFSI) is a well-capitalized, $2.4 billion independent financial holding company based in St. Cloud, MN. It is the holding company for Stearns Bank N.A., Stearns Bank Holdingford, N.A., and Stearns Bank Upsala, N.A.


About Stearns Bank N.A.

Minnesota-based Stearns Bank National Association is a $2.3 billion, independently-owned financial institution with locations in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona, and over 35,000 small business customers nationwide, in every state across the U.S. Recognized as having a bulletproof balance sheet with 20% capital and earning top rankings as one of the nation’s highest-performing banks by American Banker, and most recently ranked ninth in the U.S. among banks having more than $1 billion in assets by Independent Banker’s May 2021 Best of the Best ranking of banks with the highest 3-year average Return on Assets, Stearns Bank specializes in nationwide commercial construction lending, USDA and SBA lending, and small business and equipment financing. Driven by a passion to help others achieve their greatest ambitions, Stearns Bank's mission is to Get the Job Done! For more information, visit



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