She was dressed perfectly for the job interview


February 23, 2024

Robyn at her Desk

by Jeff Olsen

Robyn (née Boroos) Wiskow, a 1978 Roseau High School graduate, knows how to make an impression, then and now.

In early February, Stuart McFarlane, the president of Citizens State Bank in Roseau, recalled the day in 1978 although he was still in high school and hadn't been present.

"I heard this second-hand. She came over from the swimming pool, the way I understand it, in a two-piece swimsuit and walked into Allen Dallum's office and applied for a job."

There was a big smile.

"He hired her on the spot."

Recently, that incident was related to Robyn, who will retire on February 28 after 45 and a half years.

Is the rumor true that you were a lifeguard and applied for a job at the bank in your swimsuit?

She smiled sitting behind her desk.

"It is positively true!"

She recalled that she was 18 and right out of high school.

"It wasn't even a month after I turned 18."

She explained that money was tight and a girl needs a job. College would have to wait.

"I'm 63 and my husband, Kevin, is retired."

She was single the day of the job interview. Doug Ammerman was her boss at the pool and suggested that she go right over and apply.

"His girlfriend worked here, and he said that if you don't know what you're going to do, go over to the bank."

Robyn applied thinking she'd stay for a year starting as a teller.

"I've pretty much been in every department," she said, and it was like the Johnny Cash song, "I've Been Everywhere."

But never the bank president!

"I did all the scheduling, I was in charge of all the tellers, I was in charge of all the scheduling in the whole bank, I worked with the bond portfolio, all the bank's bonds we buy, and I do the overdrafts every day."

Are there lots of overdrafts?

"Plenty," she almost whispered.

The cost for an overdraft is $10, $25 and $50. The heaviest fine is for multiple overdrafts that arrive almost simultaneously.

Have you ever been overdrawn?

"Maybe when I was real young."

Then, she stated the obvious.

"You can't be overdrawn being an employee. You can't!"

She will walk out of Citizens State Bank on February 28.

Why didn't you retire on February 29?

Robyn laughed.

"Because I didn't realized when I put in my time, there were 29 days."

What date did you start here?


Ever work at Marvin Windows?

Another smile.

"For two weeks. I couldn't take it. They sent me to get a wood beam stretcher, and I went. I knew it wasn't the place for me."

Citizens State Bank was the right place, and Robyn got an education all right. Sometime during her tenure, she dealt with the Bank Secrecy Act.

"That's like money laundering and money terrorists. I've been in charge of it, and that's why I'm an officer."

She is a notary public and a Gold Medallion notary public - a step higher up from a notary public.

"Our bank is the only bank in the area that has that program."

She was hired when the late Banker Bob Foley, a man of considerable height, ran the bank.

"I called him Big Bob. I liked Big Bob."

What do you call Junior?

"I call him Robert," and then added his nickname - "Woofer."

She was an athletic lass at Roseau High School playing on the volleyball and tennis teams.

"I can't play basketball, that's for sure. I skated a lot. I grew up on the rink."

She was on the traveling figure skating and racing teams.

Are you a grandma?

"Yes, I am! McKenzi is 10, Lincoln is 6 and Monroe is 1," she said, mentioning that her daughter, Michele, is married to Shannon Grove.

So, you have two grandsons and one granddaughter.

"No, two granddaughters."

So, Monroe is a girl's name?

There was amusement in her smile.

"Monroe, like in Marilyn Monroe!"

There was more laughs when she was asked where she and her husband, Kevin, a former City of Roseau employee, went on their honeymoon.

"We first went duck hunting out in Juneberry and then we went to Duluth after that."

She shot a goose.

"We went out in a canoe in the bog by the Przekwas camp. I had graduated with Shar."

Any big changes in banking over the years?

"Banking has changed tremendously. It wasn't computerized back then," she said.

"Now, we've got the integrated teller machines. Years ago, the tellers had their own cash drawers to balance everyday. Now, we have machines that give them the money to give to you."

Once more, she emphasized that everything has changed in the decades she has been at Citizens State Bank.

What's the biggest bill you've ever held?

"A $1,000 Canadian bill, but I have handed out $85,000 to a person."

It wasn't in $100 bills but a cashier's check.

She's been in charge on many consecutive Polaris Bonus Days.

"We order in a lot of money, and then we give it out," she said, noting that she has been in charge of the Polaris Bonus Days for the past 35 years.

"Getting everything prepared, getting everything done. You know what? I do a lot of stuff!"

She was smiling.

Who's going to replace you?

"Adele Cummings. I started training her in almost a year ago."

When did you decide to retire?

"Before last summer, I decided to take off one day a week and used up a lot of my vacation time. Kevin's been retired for five years. I said it's my turn. I've been banking long enough."

There's a personal comment on her longevity.

"I feel like I'm part of the woodwork sometimes. I'm very dedicated. I believe we are the best bank."

Ever been a loan officer?

"Yes, Stuart and I worked student loans. Stuart and I go way back."

Yes, they do!

"Robyn's an officer of the bank and was here 10 years before I got here," he said, noting that he started as a teller."

He was just warming up on her qualities.

"She's dedicated and loyal. Robyn tends to say what she's thinking. So, she doesn't beat around the bush," he said, describing her as a straight shooter.

For the two of them - the past 45 years for Robyn and the past 35 years for Stuart - now the bank president, the changes in technology have been remarkable.

CEO Robert Foley is currently vacationing in Florida. Whether that includes swimming among the sharks wasn't discussed.

Robyn Wiskow was!

"She has been working with us since 1978 and is an amazing officer of our corporation. Robyn has been instrumental in helping us build the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) guidelines and they get trickier every year."

He noted that wherever she has served at Citizens State Bank, she's been appreciated and highly respected.

"She's trained in so many people and knows almost everyone in the community. We will miss her, but Kevin retired awhile back and Robyn deserves her retirement."

And the girl who once applied in a two-piece swimsuit proved to be quite the find!


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