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Lester Prairie’s First Community Bank puts community first

In happy times and hard times, First Community Bank (FCB) has been a strong presence in Lester Prairie and Silver Lake for the past 100 years.

About half of the bank’s existence has been tied to the Jilek name, and Douglas and Sheila Jilek became the owners in 2000.

In memory of Douglas, who passed away in March, the bank is dedicating a new LED community sign in his name.

The 15-foot-tall sign across from the bank (in Central Square Park) will feature the time, temperature, and rotating messages informing citizens about community events.

Douglas started the sign project many years ago, and it is now being made possible through his memorial fund.

Sheila describes 2013 as a “transitional year” for the bank.

In January, for instance, First Community Bank Lester Prairie acquired First Community Bank Silver Lake, and the name of both was changed to First Community Bank.

Each office remains committed to serving its community, offering small business loans, fixed-rate mortgages, IRAs, online banking, and much more.

The bank’s former vice president, Matt Schuldt, was named interim president in April.

“I love it here,” Schuldt said. “I grew up in a small town, and it’s nice to be back in that environment.”

Schuldt graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in finance. He spent the early part of his career at an accounting firm, and joined FCB in 2009.

Schuldt is a member of the Lester Prairie Lions, and has enjoyed getting to know people through his volunteer service.

FCB supports many local organizations financially, and is a behind-the-scenes catalyst for various projects.

A strong history

FCB’s history began with identical twin brothers, Harry O. Milbrath and Harold O. Milbrath, who opened Farmers State Bank in Lester Prairie Sept. 15, 1913.

When Harold retired in 1963, Harry purchased the remaining shares of the bank.

Harry retired about six years later, and Loren Jilek (Douglas Jilek’s father), purchased controlling interest of the bank.

Douglas began working at the bank in 1990. The Silver Lake bank was purchased two years later, and was given the name First Community Bank Silver Lake.

Sheila has been at FCB since she and Douglas became its owners 13 years ago.

FCB turned 100 in September, and a celebration will most likely take place in spring 2014.

Interior improvements planned in the near future include new paint, carpet, and other updates.

Lobby hours in Lester Prairie are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Drive-up hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

To learn more, call (320) 395-1515 or go to www.fcblpsl.com.

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