Employee Profile: Nicholas WilcoxPublished by Andy Sween on Thu, 2014-07-31 11:07
Nich Wilcox is happy to be back working in Grand Rapids, “ten minutes from the lake.” For the past few years he has worked for two different banks in the Twin Cities. While he truly appreciates the variety of social opportunities the metropolitan area offers, access to the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota is almost priceless.
Nich attended the University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) for two years before transferring to the University of Minnesota-Duluth to complete his bachelor’s degree in finance. He accepted a graduate internship at Northwestern Mutual Insurance before deciding to complete his accounting degree.
“I only needed 27 credits to earn my accounting degree, so I thought it would be a semester and a few summer classes,” said Nich. “The fact that many of the accounting courses are taught sequentially, ended up taking me three semesters over a year and a half.”
Nich’s persistence paid off, and he quickly landed a job with Community Pride Bank in Ham Lake, Minnesota, as an entry-level credit analyst and loan administrator. He accepted another position a year or so later with Prime Security Bank in Shakopee, a bank of relatively small size that enabled him to learn many aspects of credit analysis and commercial loans.
“Part way through my time at Prime Security, the CFO left the bank,” Nich explained. “I was able to help with some of those job duties, including dealing with bank owed property, working on the bank budget and other functions that someone with less than three years of experience typically would not have the chance to work on.”
“I was a 169 weekend warrior during those years,” Nich added, “as I ran up to Grand Rapids on Highway 169 many weekends during the summer months. I like living in the Twin Cities in the winter/spring —there is a lot to do down there. But in the summer and fall there is no place like northern Minnesota, and I made that drive often.”
In December 2013 the opportunity for Wilcox Bancshares, the bank holding company that owns Grand Rapids State Bank, to achieve one of the organization’s strategic goals became reality. This development presented Nich an opportunity to return to work for the fourth-generation family business.
On June 1 Nich began working at Grand Rapids State Bank as a credit analyst. “This position gives me a great opportunity to learn firsthand the system Grand Rapids State Bank uses to underwrite and process loans,” said Nich.
Banking, of course, is in the family, and Nich recalls going to lunch with Grandpa Clair, father Steve and brother Noah and the discussions about banking that ensued. “Given all of that familiarity with banking, it was an easy decision to pursue banking as a career,” Nich explained.
Nich’s love for favorite northern Minnesota pastimes has made coming home easy. “I love the summer activities, so much so that it’s caused me a bit of pain,” Nich chuckled. “Last September, during the last wakeboarding run of the year, I attempted a trick which I had done countless times over the summer. I landed wrong and broke my foot. It took 11 screws and three plates to hold my foot together while things healed.
“I’m happy to report that last month I landed the same trick successfully a few times,” he continued, “and I was happy about that. I don’t think my dad was too pleased, though.”
Just as Nich braved those physical challenges, he is up to the challenge of learning banking from the ground up. He’s happy to be part of the family business, and especially appreciative that he’s able to join the bank while his grandfather, Clair, is still around and during the banks centennial year.
“It’s an exciting time for GRSB and I’m really glad I have the opportunity to be working here,” he said. “It’s a legacy I’m proud & honored to now be a part of.”
Nich & Clair Wilcox on a 2014 Canadian fishing trip.
Red Bull Double Up competition - Big Sandy Lake 2012.
Nich with a nice whitetail.
Nich with girlfriend, Ali, at a recent wedding.