Citizens State Bank Extends a Helping Hand to Seniors for Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, Citizens State Bank reaffirms its commitment to community well-being with a heartwarming initiative. Ann Lantz, Executive Vice President and Market President, spearheaded a collaborative effort with Krupps Mini Mart, a local pasty shop. Together, they reached out to bring comfort and joy to homebound seniors in Ontonagon.

Approximately 100 seniors in Ontonagon received a special Thanksgiving meal, courtesy of this compassionate endeavor. The meal includes a hearty pasty, coleslaw, and a delectable dessert. Ann Lantz, along with Eric Butterbach and dedicated individuals from the Community Action Agency in Ontonagon, personally delivered these meals to the doorsteps of the seniors.

This initiative reflects Citizens State Bank’s dedication to community outreach, fostering a sense of togetherness, especially during the holiday season.

Ann Lantz expresses, “We believe in supporting and uplifting every member of our community, particularly those who may be more vulnerable or homebound. This Thanksgiving, we aim to spread warmth and joy through this small gesture of sharing a meal with our seniors.”

Citizens State Bank encourages other community members and businesses to join in supporting local initiatives that make a positive impact. As they deliver these Thanksgiving meals, the team also delivers a message of care and unity, embodying the spirit of gratitude and generosity.

Empowering Success: Citizens State Bank Sponsors the Power of One Program

At Citizens State Bank, we’ve always believed in the power of community and education. On September 14, 2023, we took another step in our commitment to supporting these values by sponsoring the Power of One program fundraiser, organized by the University of Detroit Mercy Law School. The Power of One program is a transformative initiative that aims to help law school graduates achieve their dreams by passing the bar exam on their first attempt.

As sponsors of the program, we contributed $3,000 to a cause that aligns perfectly with our vision of empowering individuals to achieve their goals. The Power of One program is nothing short of inspiring, and its results are a testament to the dedication and hard work put in by both the graduates and the program itself.

Since the launch of the Power of One, an incredible 100% of the graduates who completed the program’s key benchmarks successfully passed the bar exam on their first attempt. These benchmarks are designed to provide essential preparation and support, including taking the Bar Exam Strategies course, completing 85% of an approved commercial bar prep course, finishing 1,200 AdaptiBar questions, and participating in the faculty mentoring program.

This achievement isn’t just about passing an exam; it’s about opening doors to opportunities and fulfilling lifelong dreams. It’s about creating a brighter future for graduates who are dedicated to the pursuit of justice and the rule of law.

Citizens State Bank is proud to stand alongside the University of Detroit Mercy Law School and the Power of One program, supporting the next generation of legal professionals in their journey toward success. We understand that education is a cornerstone of progress, and it’s our privilege to contribute to a program that empowers graduates to become confident, capable attorneys who can make a difference in their communities.

Our commitment to education and community support remains unwavering. The Power of One program is an embodiment of the values we hold dear, and we look forward to witnessing the continued success of its graduates as they embark on their legal careers. Together, we are shaping a brighter future, one graduate at a time.

Ann Lantz: Banking on Visitors for County Success

We are thrilled to announce that one of our own, Ann Lantz, has been featured in an article by the Mining Gazette! As a bank that takes great pride in supporting the communities we serve, we couldn’t be more proud of Ann for her dedication to promoting tourism in Ontonagon county. Her hard work and commitment to the success of our local businesses and attractions is truly inspiring, and we feel lucky to have her on our team. Congratulations, Ann!
Ann Lantz returned to Ontonagon County with a desire to do more than continue the tradition of keeping Citizens State Bank at the heart of the county, but to make the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce an active partner in promoting its members and the county.

Last year, the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce moved the visitor center to the lobby of Citizens State Bank in downtown Ontonagon. Under Lantz’s direction, the chamber immediately focused on increasing membership.
“Then we want to do more for our membership. (And) Increasing what we can do to elevate their business as well,” Lantz explains.
An important part of Ontonagon County’s economy is the tourism sector. “Tourism is what pays a lot of paychecks in our county. It’s not much different from the banking world. We have a lot of people that come through the doors in the visitor center looking for brochures and information, what to do when they come to Ontonagon. There are a lot of businesses that do pamphlets and brochures, but some have gone to online only.”
Lantz explained, “We live in an area where we have a lot of people that have money to travel, who are older and they don’t want any of that technology.”

While Lantz has 33 years of banking experience, she was born and raised in Paynesville of Ontonagon County. “I am a Copper Country gal! It’s in my blood, and it’s my history.”
It is the combination of her work in the banking and tourism industries that Lantz feels is important.
Lantz aims “to keep a foot in both worlds. To have those brochures to tell those people where they should visit, what activities they should do. Just as we do in the banking world.”
This year, the chamber is focusing on getting volunteers to help in the visitor center. “We want to make sure there is somebody here to staff it during all of our business hours.”
Lantz emphasizes that the chamber is countywide, and not just for the Village of Ontonagon. She explains the “invisible line” between Northern and Southern Ontonagon County.
“It is the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information,” she said. We’re looking for people regardless of where they live in Ontonagon County.”
The chamber sends visitors throughout Ontonagon County when they ask for restaurants, lodging, attractions and events, all things to do within the county.
Ontonagon County is home to thousands of acres of state and federal forests, numerous rivers and inland lakes, along with the scenic Lake Superior shoreline.
“It sure would be great to provide our visitors with a map of a particular area, and a highlight of a specific business to attract them to our county. Not just send them to an online location,” she emphasized.
Lantz said tourists want to talk to someone in the visitors center.
“They want to get your two cents on the particular things the visitor wants to do, such as places the visitor may want to go or be a part of,” she said.
With the excitement and energy that Lantz has displayed towards helping to promote the county, her involvement in the chamber and visitors center were inevitable.
“When I came to Citizens State Bank two and a half years ago, it was a bank that needed some tender loving care. It was the community that needed some TLC. There is so many things that we could do to promote our area. There is only so many people that have the ability to do so. I have the ability to promote our location, our town and our communities. I have a great deal of affection for the community. It’s a great place to be, so why would you not want to promote it?”
She stated her pride in working for a bank that has had a history of being involved in the county.
“The bank is privately owned. I have the support of the CEO as well as the owner of the bank to continue to be a special part of the community and the county,” she said.
One of the areas that Lantz and the chamber is working on is to get collaboration amongst the communities, local government entities, and individuals from both the North and South ends of Ontonagon County.
“The more we collaborate, the more we are able to do. That is a benefit to all of us,” concluded Lantz.