Meet Business Banker Joe Arends

"As a community banker, I'm able to take the time to get to know my customers and their specific needs."

“The road well-traveled” is a phrase that takes on special meaning when it comes to Joe Arends; it was a literal road—U.S. Route 212—that led him to his career in banking.

That road began in Sacred Heart, a small west central Minnesota town, where Joe grew up with a love of numbers. He went on to earn a degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Willmar Community College and planned to become a certified public accountant.

“But, before taking the CPA Examination, I decided to give banking a try,” says Joe. “So, I left my hometown and headed east on U.S. Route 212, stopping at banks along the way. I met a lot of great people and became even more convinced that banking was the career for me.”

When Joe got to the Twin Cities and saw Edina’s landmark water tower, he stopped at a nearby bank to apply. “The bank wasn’t hiring, but the banker I talked with suggested I go down the street to Excel Bank.” Joe did, and the bank became his home for the next 28 years—until 2005, when North American Banking Company recruited him as senior vice president of Business Banking.

The position has been a great fit. “As a community banker, I’m able to take the time to get to know my customers and their specific needs,” says Joe. “I also have the flexibility to develop creative solutions that address those needs. Plus, there’s a lot of variety. In one day, I might close a real estate deal in the morning, negotiate an SBA loan in the afternoon, and help a startup evaluate its financing options in the evening.”

One of Joe’s favorite responsibilities is helping businesses such as Ampersand Shops secure both short- and long-term financing. “When the company wanted to expand its Galleria and online stores, I knew a cookie-cutter loan from a big bank wasn’t going to get the job done. But our bank could because we can be more creative. I felt especially proud because the loan helped Ampersand create 19 new jobs right here in our community.”

If you’re a business owner looking for a community banker who can help you add jobs by providing the financing you need to start a new business or expand an existing one, Joe Arends can help. Call him today at 612.455.1126 or email him at

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