After 45 years in the banking industry, Alan Langeteig recently retired.
Alan shared a little of history of the industry and his experiences at the Jan. 3 Waunakee Rotary meeting, culminating in a funny video send-off from Todd Schmidt and Adam Bentley shown at Alan’s retirement party.
Alan’s dad ran the McFarland State bank and was known at Money Bags – hence Alan was Money Bags Jr.
As a young kid, he could walk into a grocery store and buy donuts for him and his friends with a check from the bank. He later worked at the bank in high school emptying waste paper baskets and the like, and was a proof operator, one of several people who ensured every transaction was proofed every day.
A really good proof operator could put 60 checks through in a minute; when it became mechanized, 1,000 could be done in the same time frame. This was all before microcoding.
Alan didn’t have a degree when he got his first real job at a bank; he would earn his undergraduate degree 25 years later.
He remembers there were just five employees at that bank, and one was Jerry Smith. Alan’s dad told Alan that community banking was a noble profession, and Jerry helped Alan apply his father’s values to the profession. Alan fondly recalled another employee who focused on training others to be the best bankers they could.
Banking in America is different than it is in other countries. About 5,000 banks exist in the U.S., with 2 percent controlling 67 percent of the assets in the country. In contrast, 300 banks exist in England, 1,800 in Germany and 580 in Italy.
With many smaller banks, obtaining loans is easier than in countries with fewer banks that are larger. Al recalled a customer who came to get his first loan and now has a $12 million business.
Italy was the first country to have a banking system, and at the time, customers and bankers would sit on a bench. The word bank comes from the Italian word, “banco,” referring to a bench.
Merchants used the banks for safe deposits and later loans and interest that could accrue.
Al provided some trivia about currency, including $500, $1,000, $10,000 and even $100,000 bills once printed. The $500 bill is still legal tender.
Al is proud to have worked the last nine years of his career with the State Bank of Cross Plains. He noted that bank recently acquired Union Bank of Evansville and will soon be a more than $1 billion bank.
Other News:
–Pat Durden was the greeter and gave his 90 seconds of fame. He’s married with three children, and his wife has three children. Together they have grandchildren and their first great-grandchild is on the way.
Pat was in the Navy and flew jets for electronic and submarine warfare, working to detect submarines under the sea. He has spent the last 26 years in financial services, and when he was recruited by Edward Jones, he was the military’s first financial planner.
 –This weekend looks perfect to begin taking down the lights at Village Park. Show up Saturday around 9 a.m. to help, David Weishoff said.
Guests: Linda Schmidtz, guest of Jim Schmitz; Adam Bentley, guest of Todd Schmidt; Caitlyn Durden, guest of Nancy Thomas; Casey Kernile, corporate associate.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: Jan. 10, Liz Diehs; Jan. 10, Taylor Endres; Jan. 11, Greg Garton.
Anniversaries: None.
Greeters: Jan. 10, Taylor Endres and Gary Epping; Jan. 17, Bill Erickson and Dan Evans; Jan. 24, Allison Feldbruegge and Jim Fitzpatrick; Feb. 1, Greg Garton and Randy Guttenberg.