United Prairie Executives
After graduating from Minnesota State University (Mankato) in 1985 with a Bachelors degree of Science in Finance and Real Estate, Stuart joined United Prairie to manage the Worthington office. This was not Stuart's first job in banking as he had began working for his father, United Prairie Bank founder, James G. Sneer, at Farmers State Bank in Mountain Lake during his high school years. Stuart started his career there working in the summer months as a bookkeeper and teller.
Stuart worked as a part-time teller for Norwest Bank in Mankato throughout his years in college up until 1985 when he began leading the Worthington office of United Prairie Bank. During his tenure there, Stuart gained knowledge and experience in most departments of the bank until the early 1990's when he began mentoring with then Chief Executive Officer, R.R. "Roy" Schoon.
During the late 1990's, the vision of a one-charter organization was being formulated and Stuart worked closely with Roy Schoon to start the beginnings of a one-bank, multiple branch concept. This concept was fostered by Stuart and the current leaders at that time and Jeff Weldon, CPA (current Chief Operating and Financial Officer) was brought onboard to complete the process of combining the bank charters into one. Stuart takes pride in the growth of the bank and organization over the years.
Stuart enjoys running, biking, swimming and other fitness training activities. Also in his spare time, Stuart hunts pheasant and deer as well as runs triathlons.
Scott started his banking career in Southwest Iowa in 1983 at the First State Bank of Tabor as a junior lender where he spent two years. He then joined First National Bank of Glidden as a Vice President of lending where he was engaged in commercial and agricultural lending. Scott took a Vice President position with Swea City State Bank, now known as BankPlus, in 1991. Scott opened a de novo branch with the organization in 1997 in Estherville, Iowa and led the branch up until 1999 when he joined United Prairie Bank. Scott was hired as an Executive Vice President and led the Wilmont, Worthington and Round Lake offices until 2004 when he was promoted to the President of the Mountain Lake bank charter which added the Mountain Lake, Windom and Springfield locations to his leadership. In 2006, Scott was named the Regional President of the then Southwest Region of United Prairie Bank which included the Jackson and Slayton offices in addition to the six he was leading at that time. Scott was promoted to the Executive Management team of United Prairie in January of 2010 as the Chief Risk Management Officer and took on the Chief Executive Officer position in August of 2010. In addition to his decades of banking experience, Scott is also a 1991 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin.
Scott is a 3rd generation banker following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather, who were both bank executives. Scott currently serves on the South Central College Foundation Board as Treasurer.
In his spare time, Scott enjoys motorcycle touring, boating and time with his family.
Scott Cooper joined United Prairie in June 2011 as the Chief Risk Management Officer, leading the credit, audit and compliance departments of the organization. Scott's career in the banking industry began as a part-time bookkeeper in a small, hometown community bank where he gained experience on the teller line, data processing center, IT and the proof department. Scott eventually worked in public accounting upon graduating from college and then re-entered the banking world as a Comptroller. He was promoted to the bank's Chief Financial Officer and went on to oversee the bank's lending operations. Scott was President and CEO of First Brandon National Bank for nearly 11 years before moving from his home state of Vermont to Minnesota as North American State Bank's Chief Operating Officer for some time before joining United Prairie. Scott has a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, Graduate School of Investments and Finance-University of South Carolina, Bank Marketing School - University of Colorado, School of Bank Administration - University of Wisconsin and Northern New England School of Banking- University of New Hampshire.
Concurrent to his career in banking, Scott had a 24-year career with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division as a Deputy State Game Warden and 12-year career with the Orange County (VT) Sheriff's Department, where he retired as a lieutenant and patrol commander
As for a special area of interest for United Prairie, Scott says, "While I like the diversity and involvement in all the areas that entail enterprise risk management, what I like best is the interaction with bank customers and working with our bankers to help them succeed in making their clients a ‘customer for life’ with ‘value added’."
Mark began his banking career in January 1974 at Ogilvie State Bank in north central Minnesota working in the teller and bookkeeping departments. While working at Ogilvie State Bank, Mark met and married his wife of 36 years, Myrna. In March of 1977, Mark began working for First National Bank in Lake Wilson, Minnesota in operations, consumer lending, bond entry and regulatory and call reporting. He was with this organization for 2 years before he joined United Prairie Bank in 1979 to work for founder, James G. Sneer as Assistant Cashier at United Prairie's (then Farmers State Bank) charter bank in Mountain Lake, Minnesota. Mark was promoted to Head of Operations in 1983. In 2006, Mark's role changed from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Administrative Officer. Mark attended Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota from 1971-1974 also joining the U. S Army/National Guard in 1971 until 1984 when he was honorably discharged of his duties as a NCO of Fire Direction Control and Field Artillery.
Mark has been with the organization since it was made up of one bank, one insurance agency and nine employees to its current make up of 13 bank offices, 12 insurance offices, 5 investment offices, service center and administrative offices comprised of 217 employees.
Mark is proud of the energy he has devoted over the years to operations as well as his ongoing efforts to hold the company's facilities to the standards employees have come to expect of United Prairie. Mark takes great pride in taking part in the career development of many longtime United Prairie employees who have become leaders in the organization. Mark values his years of working side-by-side with the Sneer family and the staff of United Prairie.
Jeff began his career in the financial services industry with TCF National Bank in 1997 and worked his way up to Senior Accountant during his four years with the organization before moving into public accounting. Jeff joined CliftonLarsonAllen in 2000 and became an Audit Manager/Bank Consultant where, in addition to auditing, he consulted with banks regarding regulatory capital planning, estate planning and financial forecasting. In 2005, Jeff joined United Prairie as the company's Chief Financial Officer, a role he currently maintains along with leading Operations and Information Technology for the organization. Jeff is a 1996 graduate of Minnesota State University (Mankato) with a Bachelor's degree in Finance (Cum Laude) and earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in 2000. Jeff is also a 2004 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado.
Jeff has been a driving force in the advancement of technology and efficiency that United Prairie has taken on over the past 8 years for not only staff utilization, but customer technology products as well. Jeff has also helped lead efforts in consolidating the separate bank charters into one and developing our centralized operational service center.
Jeff is an avid runner, having competed in multiple marathons, half-marathons, RAGNAR and relays across the United States. Jeff is also a Harley Davidson enthusiast in his spare time.
Chris began his financial services career with ITT Financial Services in 1989. In 1991 Chris joined American Family Insurance in the Regional Office in Eden Prairie as a Financial Officer in the consumer credit division. His banking career started in 1993 when his hometown bank approached him to join the bank as a Vice President of Ag/Commercial Lending a position that he held for 10 years. Chris then had the opportunity in 2003 to become President of CornerStone State Bank. He was successful in rebuilding the bank and grew deposits and loan volumes significantly. In 2011 he was offered a consulting opportunity with Bremer Financial Corporation as a Corporate Credit Officer. In this role Chris was involved in the special assets division which included working with distressed relationships in the range of $5 million dollars or greater. In this position he was also involved in the syndicated/participation loan portfolio of the corporation.
On May 1, 2012 Chris became part of United Prairie Bank as Senior Credit Officer. He was then quickly promoted to Chief Credit Officer for the bank which is the role that he continues today. He is responsible for the management of the credit administration department which includes credit analysis, loan portfolio management, collection and loan workout situations.
Chris graduated from Mankato State University (now know as Minnesota State Mankato) with a degree in Business Administration in 1990. He has continued to develop his education through numerous banking schools over the course of his career. He has been a licensed real estate appraiser, licensed insurance agent and also operated a commercial leasing company.
Chris has been very involved in his community of Belle Plaine including Fire Chief/Firefighter for 21 years, Chamber of Commerce President, Economic Development Corporation Officer as well as numerous other volunteer and charitable organizations. He currently started his tenth term as a Director of the Minnesota Bankers Association Government Relations Council. Chris recently became a Director of the Belle Plaine Dollars for Scholars Chapter in the role of Financial Officer.
Chris resides in Belle Plaine, MN with his wife Janene and two children Amara and Jonah.