McHENRY – Despite being housed in an imposing four-story building with columns at its entrance and green floor-to-ceiling windows, Jim and Kathy Marinangel keep their offices on the ground floor.
The McHenry Savings Bank co-owners are celebrating 40 years with the bank this month, most of that time with Kathy as the chief executive officer and Jim as executive vice president.
“What the community banks provide is personalized service,” Kathy Marinangel said. “We know our customers. You know the people in town. You’re their neighbors. You help them, and they help you.”
Their customers know that if they need to, they can come right into their offices, Jim Marinangel said.
His office is lined with memorabilia related to his race-car driving – checkered flags, old newspaper articles and trophies. He’s a member of the Sports Car Club of America and the 1993 national champion.
He drew on that experience to put together the McHenry Kiwanis All-American Soap Box Derby. He’s been a member of the Kiwanis for more than 30 years.
The bank is dotted with Kathy Marinangel’s personal touch.
She enjoys picking up eclectic piggy banks at trade shows and antiques from auctions and sales.
Tucked into the corner of an upstairs office is an old-fashioned punch clock. Across the room is a miniature merry-go-round and sign from Klehm’s Pink Peony Doll and Mini-Museum in Long Grove, which her mother, Lois Klehm, opened after she and her husband, Carl, sold Charles Klehm and Sons Nursery in south Arlington Heights.
The window in her office is lined with pictures of their children and others showcasing the national work she has done representing community banks as an adviser to former Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan and from sitting on the board of directors for several national trade groups.
“Being involved in these trade associations and in the banking arena allowed me to get a pulse on what’s happening, know what products can be offered to the community, and I think that was very important, very broadening,” she said.
This work also helped McHenry Savings Bank keep up with technological changes, she said.
When they started with McHenry Savings Bank in 1973, the offices were very different.
The building on Bank Drive hadn’t been built yet, and there were no branches in Richmond or Johnsburg. They were still operating out of the Green Street office, which eventually became so overcrowded they had taken over the basement of the Green Street mall.
Fax machines didn’t become standard office equipment until the 1980s. Jim Marinangel remembers getting their first computer, and even when they had three, people would only use the computer when they had a big job to do, he said.
McHenry Savings Bank had the first quasi-ATM in the county, he said. Customers had cards worth $25 that they could insert into the money machine after hours to get cash if they needed it.
The transition to ATMs and mobile banking has led to a dramatic reduction in lobby traffic, Jim Marinangel said. It has about halved in the last five years and is expected to halve again over the next five, which is part of the reason the Huntley and downtown McHenry branches were closed last year.
As the Marinangels look toward the future of McHenry Savings Bank, they foresee new, more efficient ways of borrowing and more convenient ways to access accounts.
* * *
McHenry Savings Bank
What: A full-service financial institution.
Where: Its main office is located 353 Bank Drive in McHenry, with branches in Richmond and Johnsburg.
Information: Call 815-385-3000, o r visit mchenrysavings.com.