BLACKFOOT – Wednesday marked a historic day for both D.L. Evans Bank and the city of Blackfoot with the grand opening ceremony for their new location. People gathered in front of the location in the Parkway Plaza under the big pop-up tent to join the Evans family and the new staff of the company in celebration. John V. Evans III (JV), Executive Vice President of D.L. Evans Bank was the master of ceremonies. JV introduced the attendees to their board of directors, officers and employees, government and civic officials in who came out for the monumental day.
After proper introductions, Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin took to the podium. Her speech touched on an important point; the experience they bring to the area is truly unique. "We are truly blessed," McGeachin stated in reference to being part of this community.
Following McGeachin, John V. Evans Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of D.L. Evans Bank spoke. Evans Jr. provided some background and history of D.L. Evans Bank name, and how it began in 1904. It all started with their first branch being opened in Albion, Idaho, when D.L. Evans, who was from Malad, decided to make the business venture. D.L., along with four other associates and friends each invested $5,000, for a total of $25,000, as capital for the bank. From that $25,000, the bank has grown to $150 million and $1.6 billion in assets. All of this started in a small area similar to the Blackfoot and Bingham County area, which are centered around agriculture. They have survived the test of time, whether it be floods, droughts, insect infestations, wars, and the Great Depression, nothing has deterred them from following their roots. D.L. was not afraid to put his faith in business and had invested in 13 different banks, 10 of which failed and was a total loss in investment.
Due to those failures business ventures, the bank took a more reserved approach; not opening another branch until 1979. Shortly after opening the second branch, Evans Jr. approached his father about a job opportunity as Vice President of Customer Development, which his dad counter-offered with the opportunity of making him president of the company. Evans Jr.'s father, John Senior (The Gov as they called him), helped with bringing the bank to where it is today. "We have done well because we have hired well," Evans Jr. stated, "we hired guys like Bart [Brown] and the rest of these managers that we have introduced here today." "Bart is going to show everyone what he is made of, and being a city councilman, everybody knows Bart," Evans Jr. continued. He added that the customers are what has made the bank what it is today, and that they look forward to helping the people of the area with their banking needs.
Evans Jr. then read a letter sent to him from Senator James Risch. The letter stated, "Congratulations on your new opening of the new location in Blackfoot. Businesses like this help build stronger communities as well as a better Idaho…Across America businesses like yours serve as the backbone of our economy and make unique contributions to our communities."
Evans Jr. finished with a joking remark of bringing their campaign bus down to help with the next city council elections.
JV then introduced the next speaker as Don S. Evans, Jr. Don grew up in Malad as well, is a Stanford Alum, and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for D.L. Evans Bank.
Don provided background on the interest in Blackfoot, and how D.L. made a trip to Grove City (Blackfoot) as it was named at the time. C.W. Berryman D.L. took a stagecoach to Downey to catch a train to Grove City to explore the opportunity of banking with the people. The goal is to make everyone's "boat rise." Don offered stories about successes with their customers, including a story about a business that started as an idea in Fruitland and its now distributing products worldwide.
D.L. Evans contributes 2.5-percent of profits back to the communities that they serve, which last year accounted for $500,000. Not to be outdone, their employees contributed over 20,000 hours to their communities, which is more than any other business or governmental entity. "We believe in the people who want to work with us," Don stated.
"I went back and looked at The Blackfoot News from 1892 and got a quote," Don stated. He then read "The Brave Winds of Idaho" and tied the poem into how they want to work with the people of the area because of the straight-shooter mentality of the people. "We're square dealers, we want to work with square dealers and that's been the history of the town," Don concluded.
Mayor Marc Carroll was the next speaker and told the story of when he worked for Bank of America in California. He made a joke about D.L. Evans Bank's growth, because when he inquired about what branch number it would be in Blackfoot, they were not sure if it was 31 or 32. "I'm proud of these guys. They are growing so fast they don't know how many offices they have," Mayor Carroll added.
He continued, noting four things that have impressed him with D.L. Evans Bank coming to Blackfoot, with the first being the manager of the branch, Bart Brown who has continued to be a great asset to the city and community. He then turned his focus to the fact that all of the employees at the branch live in Blackfoot.
Carroll spoke next about the level of business that has been achieved in the short two months that the branch has been open, with $8 million in loans and $4 million in deposits.
The final pieces of the puzzle that Mayor Carroll touched on were that all but one of their offices are in Idaho, with the only other location being in Utah, and D.L. Evans Bank's commitment to community involvement. In their short time being part of Blackfoot, they have contributed to Relay for Life, Celebrate Blackfoot, The Wolverine Canyon Marathon, scholarships for students, and sponsoring the Eastern Idaho State Fair. "D.L. Evans Bank recently changed its motto to: 'This is Community Banking.' The City of Blackfoot supports that and we want to welcome you to our community," Mayor Carroll concluded.
Bart Brown, the keynote speaker, followed Mayor Carroll, and thanked everyone who made this all possible. Brown then introduced each of the staff members as well as what each of them do for the bank. The Blackfoot branch employees are: Raegan Moser as Operations Manager, Bill Hudson as VP Commercial Loan Officer, Stacey Taylor as Commercial Loan Officer, Angelique Gamino as Personal Banker, Tara Tracy as Loan Assistant, Erika Stecklein and Teresa Merrill as Tellers.
"We are happy to be here and grateful to work for an institution that honors and respects its employees," Brown stated before they did the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
In an interview after the ribbon cutting, Don stated he loves coming to Blackfoot, "It's an incredible community. I've always loved coming here. I grew up close to here, came here as a child, going to the Eastern Idaho State Fair; just looking for an opportunity to come back, and now we got it!"
D.L. Evans Bank has been in business for nearly 115 years, and looks forward to serving the community of Blackfoot for the next 115 years.