Page 4 - UP Business Today -- August 2018
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U.P. State Bank Opens Gladstone Branch
By Jordan Beck
GLADSTONE — Construction on the Upper Peninsula State Bank’s Gladstone branch began roughly a year ago, and the grand opening of the facility was celebrated with a ribbon-cut- ting ceremony.
According to Gladstone Mayor Joe Thomp- son, the bank approached the city with its plans for the new branch in early 2017. They had started the process of acquiring the parcels the bank is now located on more than three years ago.
Thompson said the plans for the facility were not approved immediately.
“There was a lot of work done prior to that (approval),” he said.
The Gladstone City Commission gave its final approval for the project on June 12, 2017. A groundbreaking ceremony was held that July.
“We started construction just under a year ago,” Upper Peninsula State Bank President and CEO David Williams said.
The Gladstone branch was designed to resemble the Upper Peninsula State Bank’s branch in Escanaba, Williams said. Among other design elements, the new facility features a version of the Escanaba branch’s “tower,” which serves as a place for local business and organizations to display their products.
“We call that branding ... people recognize that that’s our bank,” Williams said of the Gladstone branch’s design.
This branch had a soft opening date of June 28.
“It has all been working absolutely fantastic,” Williams said.
Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place, various people who played a role in bring- ing the Upper Peninsula State Bank to Glad- stone spoke about the project. Upper Peninsula State Bank Board Chairman Bob Bink dis- cussed the bank’s mission.
“We’re a community bank that’s here to make people’s lives better ... to help them,” he said.
Thompson spoke at this time, as well.
“ThistrulyisaveryexcitingdayfortheU.P. State Bank and the City of Gladstone,” he said. Upper Peninsula State Bank Senior Vice Pres- ident Todd Salo said he has appreciated the opportunity to bring the bank to this commu-
“It’s an honor and a privilege to lead the new
Upper Peninsula State Bank office in Glad- stone,” he said.
Salo attributed the Gladstone branch’s suc- cessful completion to the involvement of Williams, the bank’s board of directors, its man- agement team, and the local staff. He said the bank as a whole has done well thanks to their emphasis on customer service.
“(Customers) are treated with a high level of professionalism,” he said.
Williams shared his thoughts on the new branch. He said while e-banking has grown in popularity over the years, it was important for Upper Peninsula State Bank to have a physical presence in the Gladstone area.
“This is and always will be a people business — always,” he said. The bank does offer online banking options, including mobile deposits, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and access to other banking services through its
mobile apps and Internet banking platform. Williams also noted local companies (includ- ing Roy Ness Contracting & Sales, among many others) played key roles in building the
new branch.
“This is a local job,” he said.
President of Roy Ness Contracting & Sales Dennis Ness said he was happy with how this project turned out.
“(They’re) great people to work with, and we’re pleased with the results,” he said.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, event attendees were able to celebrate with compli- mentary hot dogs, beverages, and cake.
State Sen. Tom Casperson, who was in atten- dance at the event, voiced his satisfaction with Upper Peninsula State Bank’s new branch.
“This is great for the community — what a wonderful thing to happen in (Gladstone),” he said.
Senior Vice President/Chief Lending Officer for Upper Peninsula State Bank Eric Lundin said he has been glad to see the bank operating in Gladstone.
“We’re very, very excited about it,” he said. Williams agreed.
“We are absolutely beyond thrilled to be here,”
he said.
Soo Locks Are Vital To Economic Prosperity
Amy Clickner, CEO,
Lake Superior Community Partnership
You may remember back in April, during a visit to Michigan, President Trump called on Congress to fix the Soo Locks. The locks remain the largest waterway traffic system in the coun- try and allow freighters to carry critical supplies through the Great Lakes of Michigan. Just a Michigan issue? Not at all. The viability of the locks has a significant impact on the entire North American economy.
So what is the problem with the Locks you might ask? There are currently only two locks that are operational, the Poe and MacArthur. MacArthur is too small for modern freighters, leaving the Poe Lock to handle all that traffic. But the 49-year-old Poe Lock needs major repairs, which cannot be done without shutting the lock down, leaving no way for freighters to pass.
That is why it is critical to not only repair the Poe Lock but construct a new lock that can han-
dle the same type of vessels. The new lock will be operational while the Poe lock is being fixed and will remain in place to provide stability moving forward. We no longer will need to be concerned that there may be an unexpected clo- sure of the Poe Lock, representing millions of jobs nationwide and impacting our national security.
Here are some interesting facts about the locks:
• Shipping on the Great Lakes saves $3.5 bil- lion a year in transportation costs
• They handle 75 million tons of commerce annually
• 100 percent of iron ore mined in the U.S. comes through the Soo Locks
• $500.4 billion of iron ore pass through annu- ally
• One freighter equals 3,000 trucks of capaci- ty
• The locks are ranked first in economic sig- nificance (out of 196 locks)
So what if the Locks were to shut down com-
pletely? We would see:
•100 percent of North American auto produc-
tion halted within weeks
• In 30 days, there would be a negative $160
million economic impact
• A six-month shutdown would result in the
loss of 11 million jobs nationwide
• The gross domestic product would decrease
by $1.3 trillion
Believe it or not, back in 1986, upgrades were
approved by Congress but funds never appro- priated. At this point in time, the expansion would cost up to $900 million (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimate) but it is anticipat- ed that a second lock could generate $1.7 billion a year in new economic benefit! Now I can hon- estly tell you, that is the largest potential project on my desk right now.
Again, this is not just about Michigan or the Upper Peninsula, it is much greater than that, and it will need all of us rowing in the same direction to accomplish it.
So what can you do to help?
• Support this project by understanding its
• Work with your local and state chambers to
support the effort
• Contact your Congressional delegation and
state Legislature on support for this effort
• Be active on social media about the impera- tive need for this project using the hashtag #fix-
• Be sure to visit
soolocks for more information about the project and to thank the president for his commitment to this upgrade
• Send a support letter or resolution to decision makers
The Lake Superior Community Partnership website,, will have all of this information including sample support letters and resolutions for your use. Check back often, as we will continue to be a part of the process and provide updates.
Upper Peninsula State Bank President and CEO David Williams, center, does the honors as representatives of the Ambassadors of Delta County and bank employees and board members look on during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the bank’s new Gladstone branch.

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