Employee profile: Mary Salisbury

 Mary Salisbury

 Mary Salisbury is a mentor and teacher, and she knows the business of bank tellering backward, forwards, inside and out.  She has earned the title of senior teller.

Mary began working at Grand Rapids State Bank in 1976, hired by Clair Wilcox into an entry-level position in the bookkeeping department.  Clair’s mother, Cecelia, was still active in the bank at the time, so Mary is proud to claim that she is one of the few remaining employees who has worked for all four generations of Wilcoxes. 

“One of the changes I notice from those earlier days is the impact of technology,” explained Mary.  “On Blandin payday we would have eight tellers across the front line, we had that much lobby traffic.  There have been a lot of changes, and even though we still have a lot of customers, they interact with us using technology more than ever before. 

“As a teller, I like working with people.  However, we offer different ways for customers to interact with us, so our customer interaction isn’t always face-to-face.”

Mary Hoolihan and Bart Salisbury graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1972.  The two didn’t date in high school, and Mary admits that she “really didn’t like him.”  However, after they graduated, she saw him at a hockey game and they visited for a while.  Something must have clicked, however.  Mary was a student at Itasca Community College and waitress at Country Kitchen.  Bart began frequenting that restaurant and visiting with her frequently. 

“Bart had a 1956 orange Willy’s Jeep, and I think we fished every lake and hit every mud puddle in Itasca County,” said Mary.  “We had great fun!”  Mary’s life with Bart was just beginning; they were married in 1974.

Mary and Bart live nine miles north of town on Shoal Lake, and that setting allows Mary to enjoy what she loves about living outdoors: everything!  “Because of Bart, our whole family loves and appreciates what Minnesota has to offer.  Our two children and granddaughter, Jasmine, love the outdoors.” 

Hunting, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, bonfires, biking and gardening are all favorite activities.  In addition, Mary loves spending time with their seven-year old granddaughter, at the beach, at home or anywhere outside. 

“I have to say that this is one of the best times of my life,” she continued.  “I enjoy working; I have my health; I love life. 

“When my daughter, Megan, was diagnosed with cancer in 2000, I moved from full-time teller manager to part-time senior teller so I could spend time caring for her.  It was one of those things you think will never happen to you: cancer.  Megan had a persistent cold and a double ear infection, and when we were getting her checked out, I mentioned the lump she had on her neck that I thought was related to the cold.  Dr. Nyquist had it checked, and I am so glad she did.  That lump turned out to be Hodgkin’s disease, one of the more treatable cancers.  Megan has been cancer-free now for 13 years.”

Mary and Bart have two children: Josh, store manager at Ace Hardware, and Megan.  Megan works at a dude ranch in Colorado, and Mary just returned from visiting her. 

“If you are a skier, Telluride, Colorado, is the place to go: mountains and ski hills everywhere.  It is gorgeous.”

“During the years, I’ve loved my work at the bank.  We are a family.  People were especially very kind to me and my family when Megan was diagnosed with cancer,” continued Mary.  “I needed to shift to part-time because I realized that time meant more than money, and it still does. 

“Bart and I learned we need to ‘pay it forward,’ as the saying goes,” Mary added.  “We realized what’s important in life, and I think people at GRSB realize that, too.”

  Mary Christmas        Colorado horseback

 Left: Mary and granddaughter, Jasmine, enjoy a Christmas moment.  Right: Mary enjoys all things outdoors, including horseback riding during a recent trip to visit her daughter, Megan, in Colorado.


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