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.

OAHA Youth Hockey Team Receives New Jerseys

Good luck this season, Mini Miners!
We are so proud to have been able to sponsor the OAHA Youth Hockey teams jerseys this year.
OAHA strives to make hockey a sport all of the community’s interested youth can play. They provide all of the protective gear and equipment so that anyone can come in and play and have everything that they need without putting that financial burden on the parents, as hockey can become very expensive if you were to have to purchase all of the gear. We are very proud to be able to help give this opportunity to the kids.

Rise in School Spirit—Local Bank Gives Back to Ontonagon Area Schools

During the first week of school in September of 2022, the students of the Ontonagon Area School District were sent home with submission slips, to be filled out and returned to receive a piece of Gladiator apparel at no cost. Each student got to choose a style of apparel featuring the Ontonagon School’s proud mascot, the Gladiator.

The Gladiator gear was donated to the school by Citizens State Bank, a bank that has been a part of the Ontonagon community for over 110 years. “Citizens State Bank and the entire community is proud of our school. As a longtime member of the community, we at CSB believe in doing our part to help promote the community and school spirit.” Said Ann Lantz, Market President of Citizens State Bank.

Since coming under new ownership in 2020, the bank has made it a point to give back to the community that attributed to its success. In 2021 the bank donated a backpack, water bottle, and nametag to each student of Ontonagon and coordinated a school supply drive to ensure each student was set up for success.

The bank has also taken an interest in Ontonagon football, donating a brand new scoreboard to Ontonagon High School this fall. “From scoreboards to backpacks, and now school logo apparel, we believe that giving back is vital to all of our continued success. Won’t it be great to see Gladiator colors filling the stands this year?” said Lantz.

The Gladiator apparel is going home with students this week, so be on the lookout for an uptick in Gladiator pride in the Ontonagon area.