Employee Biographies

Lisbeth Gomeztagle Teller - Smith Ave

What do you do at BankCherokee?
I am a teller at our Smith Ave. location.

How many years have you been in banking?
I have been working for this company 8 years.

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
I enjoy helping latin people with their needs.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I love to be with my family traveling, eating out, or watching a movie at home. I also enjoy taking my kids to their sports and watching them.

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?
Ice Age 2.

Ana Arias Personal Banker

What do you do at BankCherokee?
I'm a Personal Banker. I also back up the Call Center and teller line.

How many years have you been in banking?
7 Years.

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
BankCherokee is a Great Company to work for, good flexibility and great customers.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I enjoy walking and spending time at home with my family.

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?
The last movie I watched was a cartoon called George the Monkey.

Heidi Gesell President / CEO

What do you do at BankCherokee?
What do I do at the bank?  That's a great question as no two days are alike.  Overall, provide the vision and direction for the bank.  Reinforce that direction.  Cheerlead.  Help grow the bank.  Keep us focused.  Serve as a representative in the community--a value of this organization.

How many years have you been in banking?
I started, professionally, in banking in January 1981 and have been at Cherokee since November 1983.  Truly, the bank has been a part of my life forever...

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
I received a thank-you note today that said, in part, "Thank you for believing in us." That's why--I get a chance to support people.  I get a chance to hear people's dreams.  I get a chance to build relationships with great people.  And every day I have the opportunity to work side by side with some really wonderful people.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?
Being with my family, doing just about anything. 

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?
I love to read, so too many great books to consider.

Andy Gesell Senior Vice President Commercial Lending

What do you do at BankCherokee?
I am a commercial lender specializing in helping businesses meet their financial goals. 

How many years have you been in banking?
25 years. 

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
As a third generation banker, I am proud to carry on the tradition of being a trusted advisor for business owners. 

What is your favorite activity outside of work?
Spending time with my family, golf and skiing. 

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?
"The Other 90%" by Dr. Robert Cooper.

Contact Information
651-291-6266 - Direct
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Landen Hedrick Cash Management Services

What do you do at BankCherokee?
I am responsible for ensuring that our alternative delivery systems deliver the same great experience as our branches. I also work very closely with our Cash Management Department.

How many years have you been in banking?
I started in banking in 1995 as a part-time teller. I worked as a teller for 5 years and enjoyed it a great deal. Since that time I’ve worked in many areas of banking and have learned a lot.

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
The core values of the Bank are the same as mine. I truly appreciate that and it creates a lot of enjoyment in what I do.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I love spending time with my family. We love to camp in the spring, summer and fall – the kids absolutely love it. I also spend a lot of time driving the kids around to their different activities, but it sure is fun come game days!!

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?
My kids are of the age that the only movies my wife and I ever get to go to are geared towards them. With that being said, I did enjoy Toy Story 3!!!!

Chastati Schaefer VP Relationship Management

What do you do at BankCherokee?
At BankCherokee, my role is to provide leadership and management for the retail staff.  Developing strong customer relationships, providing oversight and support to ensure risk management and efficiency, and implementing development plans are a few of the things that I do to ensure we are providing service that differentiates!
How many years have you been in banking?
I have been in banking for 20 years. I started in 1991 as the switchboard operator for the local bank in my hometown of Bloomfield, Iowa.

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
BankCherokee defines itself as values based, family oriented, and community focused. Honesty, Integrity & Respect is the foundation of this organization. It is a privilege to work in an environment where I share the same values and where there is a commitment to building relationships that matter.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?
Family, Music & Cars – You will either find me spending time outside with my husband and our 4 children, leading worship at Lakes Free Church in Lindstrom, or working on cars in my body shop!

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?
Fearless by Max Lucado and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Contact Information
651-291-6262 - Direct
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Marybeth Cureton Commercial Lending Assistant

What do you do at BankCherokee?

I am a commercial lending assistant. 

How many years have you been in banking?

I have been in Banking a total of 9 years.  Here at BankCherokee for 4 years.

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?

I love working for a Company that has such a strong focus  on putting the customer first . It's such a pleasure to come to work everyday knowing we are striving to make a difference. And I really enjoy my co-workers; they're the best!

What is your favorite activity outside of work?

I have so many things I enjoy doing! I love sports, working out,  reading, movies, cooking and hanging out with friends. And visiting my son in Arizona.

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?

I really enjoyed reading Quiet Storm by Tony Dungy and now in the process of reading Tom Brokow's new book "Boom" The Voices of the Sixties.

Contact Information
651-291-6228 - Direct

Bill Patient Compliance

What do you do at BankCherokee?

My primary job is to review BankCherokee’s compliance with federal and state banking laws. I am also responsible for ensuring the Bank meets its obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The law directs banks to ascertain and meet the credit needs of its community with particular focus on credit to low and moderate-income areas.

How many years have you been in banking?

Approximately thirty.

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?

I have had the pleasure of being employed by BankCherokee since March, 2002. At the time I wanted to work for a bank with a great reputation for giving back to the community. Through projects such as: tax preparation for low-income households, Paint-A-Thon, Habitat for Humanity, Gifts of Hope, financial literacy and the BankCherokee Foodshelf at Neighborhood House I have seen enormous benefits to both the community and the organization. I take great pride in the small part I play, but even greater pride when I am asked, 'where do you work?' and my response is "BankCherokee". 

What is your favorite activity outside of work?

Reading. 

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?

The movie “The Prestige”.

Scott Larsen Vice President Operations and Technology

What do you do at BankCherokee?

I am Vice President of Operations and Technology at BankCherokee.  My primary responsibilities include leading a fantastic team of employees within the Operations and Technology departments as well as participating in several of the Bank's operational committees.  I also participate in the overall management of the Bank.

How many years have you been in banking?

23 years.  Most of my career has been with BankCherokee.

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?

I enjoy the variety of tasks and projects that turn up from day-to-day.  No two days are alike.  I also enjoy the family friendliness and flexible work atmosphere.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?

I enjoy boating, fishing, skiing and working on home improvement projects.  Really, I enjoy any summer or winter outdoor activity.

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?

I enjoy going to the movies and have seen tons of them.  I really liked the first Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Tammy Koop VP eBanking & Commercial Services

What do you do at BankCherokee?
My role at BankCherokee is working with businesses and nonprofit clients in developing their banking relationship with Cash Management Services, such as Remote Deposit, ACH Services, Sweeps, Merchant Services and Online Banking.

How many years have you been in banking?
I have been in banking since 1990. Started my career in Bank Operations and since then have managed many areas of banking, but found Cash Management to be my true passion

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
I enjoy the Gesell family ownership and the family-friendly environment. It is a Privilege to work for a family that has a true and genuine appreciation for its staff.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my family, attending their various sporting events, going to our cabin and travelling to various places.

What's your favorite movie?
Remember the Titans

Contact Information
651-291-6268
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Scott Burger Commercial Lender

What do you do at BankCherokee?
I am a commercial lender specializing in helping businesses meet their financial goals. I like to work with the small "mom and pop" businesses.  As their lender, you have a chance to learn first hand what issues they deal with in their business and feel a sense of accomplishment when you are able to provide them with the tools they need to make their businesses successful.

How many years have you been in banking?
22 years.

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
The bank's ownership, senior management and staff all have great people skills and share a desire to provide the best service possible to all bank customers.  Unlike others in the industry, BankCherokee employees walk the talk when it comes to providing value and service to the customer.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?
Long distance road cycling and providing free fitness training to young athletes

What's your favorite movie?
Braveheart - A love story with an edge.

Contact Information
651-291-6236 - Direct
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Roger Hamilton Senior Vice President Commercial Lending

What do you do at BankCherokee?

I am a SVP of commercial lending for the bank. My primary responsibilities include developing new, relationship-based, business customers for the bank, effectively managing these relationships, and being an overall resource to the bank's commercial lending department. I also serve as a voting member of the loan committee.

How many years have you been in banking?

25 years.  I have worked directly with small and mid-sized businesses, both sales and underwriting, this entire time.  I hope to stay and grow with BankCherokee for many years.

 What attracted you to working for BankCherokee?

I am new to BankCherokee, but am attracted to the size of the bank, the Gesell family ownership, and the family-friendly environment. With our size, we have the capacity and products that small businesses need, while providing the exceptionally strong customer service that these businesses want.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?

I enjoy fishing, running, skiing, and other outdoor activities.  We try to stay active in our kid's activities, including various sports and scouting.

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?

I have read all of the Vince Flynn books and am currently reading Team of Rivals, a biography of Abraham Lincoln.

Contact Information
651-291-6263 - Direct
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Julie Novak Vice President Commercial Lending

What do you do at BankCherokee?
I'm a Commercial Lender

How many years have you been in banking?
25+

Why do you enjoy working at BankCherokee?
I really enjoy the ability to work side-by-side with customers to accomplish their goals. Thinking outside the box is encouraged to help get things done for our customers. There are no "small" customers here - every business relationship is valued and appreciated. The employees at BankCherokee are awesome!!  Friendly, dedicated, professional folks with a great work ethic and attitude.

What organizations are you involved in?
Midway Chamber of Commerce because of the dedication to Saint Paul business development  and the networking opportunities.  Keystone Community Services because of the critical basic needs they offer people. They treat all the individuals they serve with respect, compassion and understanding - a wonderful, wonderful organization.

What's the last book or movie you've enjoyed?
A cookbook. I enjoy cooking and discovering new recipies to test on my family!

Is there anything else you would like to share?
I love being a part of a true community bank that has so much invested in the neighborhoods they serve.

Contact Information
651-291-6229 - Direct
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