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– Kenneth A. Palmer, the longtime chairman, president and CEO of Range Financial Corp. has announced he will retire on June 1, 2018. He will be succeeded by Roxanne M. Daust, who has served Range Bank in several leadership roles over the past two decades., September 7, 2017
The Range Financial Board of Directors unanimously selected Daust, who currently serves as executive vice president, to the new roles of president and chief operating officer, effective September 1, 2017. In the coming months, she will work closely with Palmer, who will remain chairman and CEO until his retirement, to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
During his 19-year tenure at the helm of Range Bank, Palmer, expanded its footprint and scope of services, growing it into one of the largest community banks serving the Upper Peninsula. He is ending a nearly five-decade career in the financial services industry at Range Bank, which now has 112 employees working in 12 branches in three Michigan counties, along with a loan production office in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“Ken has served Range Bank exceptionally well since joining us in 1998,” said Dr. John F. Pillote, lead independent director. “His steady hand and conservative approach allowed us to weather the Great Recession much better than our competitors. In fact, we were one of the only banks in Michigan that continued to grow during the downturn.
“Ken understands the key role that community banks play in the financial health and long-term success of the communities where we live and work. On behalf of the entire board of directors, along with our shareholders and employees, we wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Palmer joined Range Financial, the holding company for Range Bank, as its chairman, president and CEO in 1999. He is the seventh president in the bank’s history since its founding in 1887. Key achievements under his leadership include:
· Significantly growing assets under management
· Expanding the bank’s footprint in – and beyond – the Upper Peninsula
· Establishing a trust & and wealth management department
· Acquiring First National Bank of Calumet-Lake Linden
· Moving the headquarters to Marquette
· Supporting dozens of local community organizations through financial contributions and personal volunteering
· Earning numerous awards for business and civic engagement
Palmer also served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis for three years. He currently serves as chair of the advisory board for Northern Michigan University’s College of Business and as a board member of the Negaunee City Police Retirement Fund.
Throughout his tenure with the bank, Palmer has served in numerous leadership roles in the community, including on the boards of Michigan Association of Community Bankers, Marinette and Menominee Hospital, Northern Michigan University Development Fund, Lake Superior Community Partnership and the Marquette County Ambassadors, among others. He is a past president of the Menominee Lions Club and a past chair of the Michigan Catholic Conference Pension Board.
Prior to joining Range Bank, Palmer held positions with First of America Bank and Associates Finance.
“It has been a privilege to lead Range Bank for nearly two decades,” Palmer said. “I am very proud of what my team and I have been able to accomplish for our stakeholders during this time.
“Roxanne has played a key role in Range Bank’s success. Her vision, expertise and track record make her a natural choice as my successor, and she has my full support, along with the support of the board.”
Daust joined Range Bank in 1997 as chief financial officer and senior vice president. In these roles, she was responsible for the finance and operations areas of corporate and the bank, leading Range Bank in identifying and implementing new technologies. Daust played a key role in the First National Bank merger, consolidating backroom functions to successfully merge the two banks into a single entity.
She was promoted to executive vice president in 2011. In this role, she has been jointly responsible with Palmer for the day-to-day operations of the bank and has worked to grow assets under management. Daust has lead the development and implementation of a strategic corporate plan and successfully helped to launch the trust & wealth management division.
“Ken has done an exceptional job leading Range Bank, and it has been an honor working with him,” Daust said. “He embodies the true spirit of community banking, which always strives to put the community first.
“I am honored to be selected to succeed Ken. We have been a great team, and I look forward to continuing to build on our accomplishments well into the future.”
Active professionally and within the community, she serves on numerous boards and committees, including Teaching Family Homes, Operation Action U.P., UPPCO and Lake Superior Community Partnership, where she serves as treasurer. She is a past president of the Marquette Area Zonta Club and past Group 1 president of the Michigan Bankers Association. She also serves on the dean advisory council for Northern Michigan University’s School of Business.
Daust began her banking career with MFC First National Bank in Marquette. She also served as an auditor with Anderson, Tackman & Company CPA in Marquette.
A graduate of the Graduate School of Banking, Daust holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer information systems and accounting from Northern Michigan University. She can be reached by phone at (906) 228-8043 or at the Range Bank headquarters located at 100 North Front Street in downtown Marquette.