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Archive for Sunday, June 27, 2004

Sunflower Bank CEO retiring

June 27, 2004

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— When Jim Berglund started work at First National Bank of Salina in 1969, there was one office at Santa Fe and Iron.

"I could see everyone that worked for me just by looking," Berglund said. "Now, we're strung out all over the place."

The name changed to Sunflower Bank in 1988, and it has four branch offices in Salina and 26 overall, including offices in Lawrence, Hays, Junction City, Wichita and three cities in Colorado. Applications are pending for branches in Liberal and Salida, Colo.

While Berglund expects the growth to go on, he plans to retire at the end of the year after 20 years as CEO.

"It's a good time to retire," said Berglund, 69. "We have a succession plan in place and a great staff and everything going on full cylinders."

Mollie Hale Carter, Shawnee Mission, Sunflower Bank's chairwoman of the board, will become president and CEO upon Berglund's retirement.

Carter is a member of the Hale family that owns Sunflower Bank, and she represents the family on the board of directors.

Carter was traveling on Friday and was unavailable for comment.

She is a member of the board of directors for Westar Energy and is vice president of Star A, a company with Kansas agricultural and other investment interests held by her family. She is a 1984 graduate of Dartmouth College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and received a Master of Business Administration degree in 1988 from Harvard Business School.

Carter also is on the board of directors of the Rural School and Community Trust, Foley Equipment and the Kansas State University Master of Agribusiness Industry Advisory Board.

She will take over operation of a bank that has grown from $30 million in assets to more than $1 billion under Berglund's leadership.

"It's been a really, really, really good career here at the bank," said Berglund, who said he planned to stay in Salina. "I've enjoyed my 35 years at the bank, and I'd like to enjoy 35 years of retirement."

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