Employee profile: Diana Pierzina

Diana Pierzina

Diana Pierzina is a living example that community banking has made drastic changes to keep pace with customer trends.

Diana was hired to work in the bookkeeping department at Grand Rapids State Bank in 1980, the most common entry-level position into banking in those days.  “When I began working here, the bookkeeping department was a very manual operation,” Diana explained.  "We filed checks manually.  We posted checks manually.  We hand-wrote ledger entries.  We ran the long proof machine that sorted all of the various items (checks, deposit slips, etc.) so we could encode each item manually.”

In 1980 the main bank was the only bank building, and there were roughly 30 employees in total.  Diana recalls that the operation was one big family.

“There were essentially only four jobs here at that time,” said Diana.  “You were either a teller, bookkeeper, lender or secretary.  We had to work closely together, so we knew a lot about one another and about our families.  We were family-owned, so the family atmosphere was natural.” 

Diana eventually moved from bookkeeping to the teller department and later became a teller supervisor in the drive-through department.  After five years she moved back downstairs to become part of the item processing/bookkeeping department. 

In 1999 Grand Rapids State Bank became one of the first banks in Minnesota to introduce internet banking, and a small group of people was selected to learn to support this new way of banking.  Diana worked with Noah Wilcox, the chief information officer at the time, and a couple of others to introduce that new product. 

“Noah would explain the new procedures to a few of us, and then we’d dive in and learn it,” said Diana.  “It was quite a process to be one of the first banks in this area to offer this, but I liked learning something new.”

GRSB was the second bank in the state to offer e-statements, too, and Diana was eventually appointed to be the electronic banking coordinator to support these e-banking services along with the wire transfer function.  As the workload grew, she relocated to the Pokegama Office where she had more elbow room and time to devote to this growing function.

The e-banking services have grown so substantially that it became apparent that Diana could not support them all on her own, so two years ago she relocated to the main office lower level again.  She joined forces with the Customer Support team whose duties were changing to include supporting all of the new e-banking services.

“As I think about it, this is the third time I’ve been part of what was known as "bookkeeping" when I started 33 years ago,” said Diana.  “The function is now called Operations Support, and our technology has forced many of the changes. 

“However, one thing hasn’t changed: we still help customers resolve their problems,” Diana continued.  “The only difference is the avenue used to help them.”

Diana enjoys her latest role.  “I like that I am back to learning new things,” she added. “I have to say that my ‘travels’ through various departments have given me an excellent overview of the whole bank’s operations.  It helps me resolve problems for customers, especially those who have questions in more than one area so they do not have to be transferred around the bank.”

Diana’s valuable service at GRSB is important.  Outside of work, however, she notes that family is the most important thing to her.  “Volunteering and helping others takes a great deal of my time,” she concluded. “The biggest blessing I have had in my life is the birth of my miracle baby 18 years ago.  He has brought so much joy to my life and I thank God for my son every day.”

When you visit with Diana, it’s pretty clear she has truly earned her well-rounded perspective about work and family. 


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