Bell Bank Décor More Than Just Ambiance

"Legacy Trips" Honor Snortland's Memory

Bell Bank employees pick rocks to be used in our branchesOne of the things customers love about our bank branches is the warm lodge-like feel they get from our stone fireplaces and other stone décor. But it’s not just a design choice that inspires these adornments.

The late Thomas “Mickey” Snortland, a longtime majority shareholder and director of the bank, also used to farm near Sharon, N.D. Before he died in early 2013, Mickey used to personally deliver rocks from his farm to the bank branches. He did it as a way to connect the bank with his agricultural roots.

In what we call Mickey’s Legacy Trips, employees carry on his tradition by giving up their blazers and ties for a day to travel to Mickey’s farmland and pick rocks to be used in our branches.

“It’s quite an honor to be able to go out and pick rocks for our bank locations,” says Julie Peterson Klein, chief culture officer. “This meant so much to Mickey, and it’s something we decided to do to keep his legacy alive by going on Mickey’s Legacy Trips. The stones remind me of the strong foundation we have had at Bell from the beginning, and it’s our way to carry that forward. I know Mickey would be so proud.”

It was Mickey who inspired our unique bottom line of “Happy employees! Happy customers!” He has been quoted as saying if we have happy employees, we’ll have happy customers, and the numbers will take care of themselves.

“The entire trip makes you think back about Mickey, the conversations you have had with him, how much he cared about the Bell family, and the type of work ethic he had,” says Brian Haugen, virtual and debit program manager. “As we pick rocks from the big rock pile, I imagine Mickey doing this many times in the past for many of our other bank locations.”

The rocks are now affectionately referred to as "legacy stones."

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