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Union Bank & Trust names new president, community banker Jeff Schrempp

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 25, 2011

Jeff Schrempp

The new president of Union Bank is the son of a union meatcutter who worked across the street and the grandson of a Minneapolis firefighter killed
on the job

.
 

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — Union Bank & Trust has named a new president, Jeff Schrempp. Schrempp, 55, is a longtime community banker with strong ties to the neighborhood and to labor. He began his new position February 14.

Schrempp replaces Greig Payne, who retired after serving 14 years as the bank’s president.

“It’s an outstanding, financially sound and strong bank,” Schrempp said. “It’s a unique structure,” he added. “Its stockholders are primarily local unions.”

Union Bank opened March 27, 1976 as the anchor tenant in the then brand-new United Labor Centre at the corner of Central Ave. and University Ave. SE.

Schrempp knows the community well as an area where he has lived and worked.

“I saw how the neighborhood had changed,” he said. “To see the surge and revival of this area… puts the bank in the hub of something very positive.”

“I grew up a mile from here,” Schrempp related. He graduated from Edison High School in 1973.

When still in high school, Schrempp started working part-time as a “jack-of-all-trades” at the former Northwest National Bank at 23rd and Central. Schrempp worked at that location 30 years and advanced in a banking career, while the bank branch there became Norwest and then Wells Fargo.

“I learned my trade along the way, similar to a union and being an apprentice and working my way up to a journeyman,” he observed.

Schrempp left Wells Fargo eight years ago and went on to positions at Associated Bank and, most recently, Alerus Financial Bank & Trust, where he was metro commercial bank manager.

The job as Union Bank president was advertised in local banking journals and was a great fit for Schrempp and his 30 years building customer relationships as a banker in northeast Minneapolis. “The bank was looking for someone who had good experience who knew the area,” he said.

“It’s great to be back in the neighborhood and be part of something I’ve been close to all my life,” Schrempp said.

“I come from a labor family,” Schrempp noted. “My father Dell is a retired meatcutter. He spent a number of years across the street at what used to be the Eastgate Shopping Center working for Red Owl.” Dell Schrempp worked 40 years as a member of the meatcutters union.

Schrempp’s maternal grandfather, Arthur J. Tyczynski, also was a union member who was a City of Minneapolis firefighter. “He was tragically killed in an accident going to a fire,” Schrempp said. Arthur J. Tyczynski, who died in 1941, is one of the firefighters memorialized in the local Firefighters Hall and Museum in northeast Minneapolis.

“I always wanted to be a fireman,” Schrempp revealed. “I took the test… I failed to become a fireman so I became a banker instead.” He noted: “both have risks involved.”

Looking ahead to his work at Union Bank, Schrempp  commented, “I want us to be one of the community bank leaders that everybody recognizes and knows.”

The bank regularly has been named one of the top community banks in the nation with assets under $100 million by the Independent Community Bankers of America. Union Bank currently has $75 million in assets.

In an era of giant regional and nationwide banks, an  independent community bank offers “very, very close ties to their customers,” Schrempp observed. “A community bank really delivers on that.”

“Our clients are our strongest advocates… and we are our clients’ strongest advocates,” Schrempp said.

Schrempp credits the many long-term Union Bank employees — most of whom are OPEIU union members — as another reason for the bank’s success. “If it’s a good environment for the employees, it’s a good environment for our customers, current and prospective,” Schrempp said.

Schrempp lives in St. Anthony. He and his wife Laurie have two grown children. Daughter Andrea, 27, works in banking and son Tony, 25, is an engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

For more information on Union Bank, visit www.ubtmn.com or call 612-379-3222.

 

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