By Richelle Primm, SVI Media
Bank of Star Valley opened in 1996. Since then, it has become a $210 million company, maintaining over 140 shareholders, and holding the highest, 5-star, rating for over 10 years by Bauer Financial.
Photo Archive from Bank of Star Valley
Rod Jensen, president of the Bank of Star Valley, said, “[We’ve had this success] all because of the customers of the bank and Star Valley. Thank you for the support.”
Jensen said the bank heavily invests in the community. The Bank usually gives $30-40 thousand back to the community every year. It just recently donated $50 thousand to Star Valley high school for technology support.
Jensen shared some of the milestones the bank has experienced since opening.
First of all, opening and getting chartered. Opening branches in Alpine, Thayne, and Afton. Providing services bigger banks offer, such as online banking, despite it being a smaller and locally owned bank.
The biggest milestone in his career was navigating the bank through the great recession, lasting from 2008-2015, heavily hitting Wyoming from late 2009-2013, Jensen said.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, more than 500 banks failed during the recession.
Jensen said, “What [the bank] does doesn’t matter, it all comes down to the community support. The community is very kind to us and they do support us.”
Bank of Star Valley has been a member of Star Valley’s Chamber of Commerce for 22 years, since its opening.
“The chamber is the tool we really need to bring the businesses together and the community together,” Jensen said. “The chamber is what ties us all together in this 30-mile piece of paradise.”
Jensen said the chamber works with the business community and that’s very important to them. He said he encourages other entities to join the chamber.
“Star Valley needs the joint effort of everyone–we need as many voices as we can have. We need people at the table, not under it.”