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Pennock bank employee marks her 40th year

Kevin, left, and Melanie Crowley congratulate Nancy Stockland, center, during an event Thursday marking Stockland's 40-year career as a customer service representative at Heritage Bank in Pennock. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

PENNOCK -- The price of gas was fast approaching 40 cents a gallon when bank president Wally Westrom pitched his job offer to Nancy Stockland.

She could join the staff at the State Bank of Pennock and walk half a block from her home to work each day, instead of making the daily commute to her job in Willmar.

She's stayed close to home ever since. A good thing too, judging by the crowds of people who made their way to the bank on Thursday. Customers, friends and neighbors by the dozens joined for coffee and cake to mark Stockland's 40th anniversary at the bank, now the Heritage Bank of Pennock.

"She knows everybody in the community,'' said Kevin Crowley, vice president, who has worked alongside her for 27 years. Crowley said Stockland's friendly nature, her knowledge of the community and her experience all have made her an invaluable employee for the bank.

He said she's always been the "go to'' person when questions need to be answered.

She plans to keep it that way too. The customer service representative said she has no plans to retire.

Texas Instruments was starting to produce the world's first pocket calculator when Stockland started her duties at the bank on Feb. 1, 1971. Yes, the world of banking has changed dramatically since then, she said. When she started, much of the work of managing accounts, sending out statements and the like was all done by hand.

Today, computers have improved efficiency and made easier many of those tasks, she noted.

She's seen lots of other changes in the last 40 years too, but at heart her job hasn't changed a bit, and that's why she has stuck to it. "I like the customers and getting to know them,'' she said.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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