Bill Coffee with King Avenue Tellers

Coffee Talk – 2nd Quarter 2020

Moving Montana Forward

The first half of 2020 is over. What a year it has been so far! No one could have predicted the events of the past six months and it’s uncertain what the next six months will bring.

What is clear is that we need to keep moving forward, one step at a time. A good place to start is supporting local business. When we help our local businesses move forward, we move our communities forward, which then moves Montana forward.

Across the US, I’m predicting a quarter of all businesses in the country will be lost to the COVID -related economic crisis. These losses will occur over the next year or so. Montanans are hardworking, resilient and take care of one another, so I’m predicting we will not lose that many businesses. However, one small business lost in Montana is too many!

Bill Coffee with King Avenue Tellers

Bill Coffee with King Avenue Tellers

So what should businesses be doing right now to move forward through this crisis? I have participated in numerous meetings, discussions and media interviews over the past few months and am often asked this very question.

Here is my answer:

  1. First and foremost, don’t just automatically run out and borrow as much as you can. The State of Montana, US Small Business Administration and other agencies have some helpful programs. However, it may not be best for your situation to borrow the maximum from each eligible program. Make sure you understanding the parameters (eligibility, payback/forgiveness, reporting/monitoring, etc.) and your anticipated use of the funds.
  2. Give serious thought, with realistic expectations, to how long it will take you to get back to pre-COVID levels. I believe it will take most small businesses 12-18 months to get back to these levels. Some will never get back to these levels.
  3. Do strategic planning about your business needs. Don’t just go back to what you were previously doing. Plan how your business will operate during this restart period and then the next phase after restart. You will need to scale your business, plan your budget, inventory, work force, and other aspects accordingly. Unfortunately, it is not, and will not, just be business as usual. Many business models will be permanently changed.
  4. After this thorough soul searching, planning and projecting, contact your banker to discuss the available options. Focus on your specific needs and what you anticipate the future holds.

Over the past three months, we have helped nearly 3,300 Montana businesses obtain Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling over $300 million. These loans helped local businesses keep their doors open and their people employed. Our business bankers and lenders are now ready to help businesses through this next phase. If you need us, please don’t hesitate to call or click.

There is nothing more beautiful than summer in Montana. Get out, enjoy our great state and support our local businesses which are truly the backbone of Montana. Together, we will continue to move Montana forward.


Bank Disclosures

Bill Coffee - Coffee Talk

Coffee Talk – 1st Quarter 2020

Bill Coffee - Coffee Talk

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer

When I started writing this blog a few weeks ago, we hadn’t heard much about COVID-19. Today, we shelter in place! Together, we will get through this health crisis and emerge with a renewed commitment to each other, our communities and our state. That’s why I believe it’s important we continue to celebrate achievements in our businesses, our local community organizations and neighborhoods.

I am so proud of our employees and their ongoing commitment to our customers and our company. In this edition of Coffee Talk, I look back at 2019, our continued growth and the many enhancements our team implemented to provide you with the best in banking services.

Convenient Banking

2019 was a year of growth and innovation for Stockman as we focused our efforts on building a better banking experience for our customers. After months of planning, we introduced a new online and mobile banking service last year that allows you to conveniently and easily manage your money all in one place.

Mobile Banking

Enhancing our technology services is part of our overall goal to give you the freedom to bank whenever and wherever it’s convenient. This option has become even more important as we work from home, attend school from home, and practice physical distancing to stop COVID-19. We continue to serve our customers through our drive-ups and by appointment because we believe that technology should enhance customer service, not replace it.

That is why we offer:

  • Banking online from home, work or out in the country from your laptop or tablet.
  • Banking from your mobile phone.

Our commitment to technology, convenience and state-of-the-art services is ongoing and new programs are currently under development.

Growth and Community Commitment

We continued to grow in 2019, opening our third branch in Missoula and welcoming more customers to the Stockman family. We remain the largest, family-owned, privately-held community bank, and the 4th largest bank in Montana.


Our commitment to our communities continues to be strong. We donated more than $1.3 million and several thousand volunteer hours in 2019, helping to make our Montana communities better places to live and work. At Stockman, it is truly neighbors serving neighbors.

Glendive Homecomint

Local Leadership Matters

Our success over the past year is due to the dedication and hard work of our almost 800 executives, managers and employees who live and work in the communities they serve. Why is local leadership and service important? We believe it’s an integral part of being a community bank. Understanding and commitment is not learned in a book or briefly acquired by “transferring in.”

It’s different at Stockman. All of our executive leaders and board directors live and work in Montana. In fact, most were born and grew up here. They understand what it means to be a Montanan and the unique needs of our customers and communities. This extends to our bank management around the state who are active in our communities, responsive, and easy to reach. Most importantly, decisions are made locally. Our customers don’t have to wait for someone in another state to make a loan decision!

We Are Here For You
These are not just words to us. We live these ideals every day, providing the highest level of local service to you, our customer. We are all living through this changing time that only a few weeks ago didn’t seem possible. Know that we will continue to work with you personally and with your business. The cliché you often hear, “Your bank is your partner” is sincerely how we operate through good times and bad. We have weathered many storms in our 65+ years of operation. We will weather the Covid-19 pandemic as well.

If you are financially impacted and need our support, call your local Stockman Bank to make an appointment or you can contact Central Customer Service at 1 (877) 300-9369 from 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Saturdays.

Stay home. Stay safe. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.


Bank Disclosures

Bill Coffee - Coffee Talk

Coffee Talk – 3rd Quarter 2019

Bill Coffee - Coffee Talk

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer

The old adage, “time flies when you’re having fun,” is certainly true. I can’t believe I have been with Stockman Bank for 25 years now. People often ask me about comparing Stockman Bank, and banking in general, back to when I started so many years ago. My answer is simple, “the whole world has changed.” Most people believe technology is the answer. While that is true to a large extent, it is only one part of the story.

A Big Step

In 1994, I decided to put everything on the line and left a promising career in law to help start a new bank on the budding west end of Billings. At Stockman Bank, we were preparing to begin serving Billings with a new, full service bank. This was a big step for our small family company which had been focused on eastern Montana for 41 years.

For decades, Stockman had customers in Billings but no bank building or direct local service. Starting in the late 1980’s, our Billings area customers and others in the community, requested Stockman expand into Billings and enhance the bank-by-mail and telephone services that were the only available options. During that time in Billings, the larger “chain banks” were beginning to centralize their services (many to out-of-state locations), removing authority from their officers and staff, and generally limiting their services. The smaller banks at the time were either unwilling or unable to deliver the financial services customers in Billings needed.

After visiting with several Billings businesses, ag producers and consumers about the condition of financial services in Billings, it was apparent that Stockman’s full-service, community banking model had been lost in Billings. So, my grandfather, Bill Nefsy, coined the phrase “coming soon, a fresh approach to banking”. We used this as our slogan as we worked to open the new bank on King Avenue and for several years after.

Change and Customer Expectations

Banking in general has changed, but again, not only in the usual terms of more regulation or complaints about the younger generation “not doing things the way we used to.” Many of the new banking regulations are positive for the industry, for Stockman and for our customers. Similarly, most of the new ways are more efficient for Stockman and more convenient for our customers. Rightfully so, our customers’ expectations have changed along with these advancements.

Now customers expect 24/7 service from whatever device or delivery channel they choose and to have a full-service branch nearby, staffed with friendly, knowledgeable, local professionals. Additionally, the greater expectation of many customers today is their financial institution shares their general values, creates local jobs, places their deposits back to work in the community to expand local businesses, allows family farms to successfully transition to the next generation, and to fund new homes in their communities for growing families. Customers also expect their financial institution to give back and support the community in a number of ways, including financially, volunteering and in leadership. At Stockman, we continue to meet and exceed these higher expectations, and use these opportunities to show why we are very different from most of our competitors. Stockman is truly neighbors serving neighbors.

Future Growth and Opportunity

Lastly, I have changed over the last 25 years and so has my outlook on Billings and our great state. Today, I am even more optimistic about the future of Billings and the future of Montana. Our unique way of life here is becoming increasingly rare in the world every day. Our western values and Montana lifestyle are envied and sought after. Plus, technology has greatly diminished the challenges that have historically faced Montana as a vast and sparsely populated state. The future here is very bright with growth and opportunity. That’s why we remain focused on Montana, and only Montana. We don’t want to be anywhere else!

On Friday September 27, we are celebrating Good Neighbor Day at all of our branches.  Please stop by and say hello.  It’s our way of saying “thank you” for the privilege of being your neighbor in the Montana communities we call home.

Bank Disclosures

Bill Coffee: Coffee Talk – 2nd Quarter 2019

Coffee Talk – 2nd Quarter 2019

Bill Coffee: Coffee Talk – 2nd Quarter 2019

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer

Our founder, Bill Nefsy, was a rancher in Miles City. In 1953, Bill needed an operating loan for his growing operation and was turned away by the two banks in town with the explanation – “We don’t do Ag loans.” While Bill was visiting about how out of touch these banks were with the community they were supposed to be serving, he learned of the potential opportunity to purchase controlling interest in the Miles City Bank. He seized the opportunity, took a chance and began what would become Stockman Bank.

From the start, he created a true community bank, carefully built to serve the needs of hard-working Montanans of every walk of life. Bill never viewed himself as a banker, but as an entrepreneur and consumer of financial services.

What is an entrepreneur?

The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. That describes Bill Nefsy very well, along with thousands of Montana entrepreneurs who operate their own businesses today.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Montana is home to over 120,000 small businesses that employ more than 65% of our private workforce! It’s clear that entrepreneurship and small business is truly the backbone of our state.

At Stockman, we too are Montana owned and operated. Additionally, unlike many of our competitors, Stockman is solely focused on Montana and only Montana. That gives us a unique expertise in providing financial services to local businesses. After all, we know first-hand the opportunities and challenges facing business owners in Montana.

Coffee Talk: Bicycle Shop Small Business

No matter what type of business, large or small, our business banking specialists can help identify the best financial solutions for the full lifecycle of a business. From business deposit accounts and financing for start-ups, expansion, acquisition, and consolidation, to solutions that help better manage cash flow and operate more conveniently and efficiently, we have Montana business covered. Our business online and mobile services provide access when needed, 24/7, to monitor, manage and move money using ACH, wire and bill pay services.

Coffee Talk: Cows and Kids

Whether you are running a service business, creating a Montana-made product, managing an Ag operation, flipping houses or working on a new side hustle, thank you for all you do helping our economy and communities grow and prosper. Stockman Bank was born from the same entrepreneurial spirit. As a Montana bank focused only on Montana, we are a committed partner in helping our state’s entrepreneurs reach the highest levels of success.

Coffee Talk: Farmer and pivot

Check out our blog next week to meet a young entrepreneur from Missoula. She is an inspiration and we are proud to be a part of her story.

Coffee Talk: Adel

Have a great summer!


Stockman Bank: Bill Coffee - Coffee Talk Q1 2019

Coffee Talk – 1st Quarter 2019

Growth and Celebration

Stockman Bank: Bill Coffee - Coffee Talk Q1 2019

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer

2018 was a milestone year for Stockman Bank as we celebrated 65 years of serving Montana with the best in banking services. Over the past year, we enjoyed growth in virtually all areas of the company with more and more Montanans placing their trust in Stockman to help manage their money, achieve their goals and realize their dreams.

When customers share why they have chosen Stockman Bank, it’s clear that trustworthiness, homegrown community service and western values are more important than ever.

“Love this bank. Montana owned and operated.”

“Only bank for me, my family and my business. Top notch service and community servants.”

“Best bank I’ve ever banked with. Been banking with them since I was 17 years old.”

“Great people and they do a great job in our community!”

“Love Stockman Bank.They have supported our business and ambitions for 20 years.”

Stockman Bank: 65 Years Badge

Looking Ahead

Putting our customers at the center of all we do has always been and will continue to be our priority as we begin our next 65 years. During 2019, we focus on new and enhanced digital banking tools and services designed to give you the freedom to bank when, where and how you want.

We recently introduced Stockman Home Lending, our new digital home loan application. You can complete the application process, start to finish, on your computer, tablet or mobile phone. It’s easy, quick, convenient, and backed by a team of local real estate lending experts right in your community.

Stockman Bank: TY to Laptop/Tablet/Mobile
Later this year, we’ll roll out a new digital service to make payments to friends and family even easier. You’ll also enjoy a new online/mobile banking experience, allowing you to more conveniently manage your money all in one place.

It’s All About You.

What isn’t changing is our focus on the people and communities of Montana. Why Montana?

Stockman Bank: Montana State Flag

Simply, we don’t want to be anywhere else. While other banks are looking to other states for growth and opportunity, we remain firmly committed to Montana. We don’t need to look west for growth and success. We still believe there is great opportunity right here in Montana for businesses of all sizes, for our families, our communities and Stockman Bank.

As our customer, you will never take a back seat to customers in other states. As Montana’s largest privately held, family owned bank, we answer to you – not to corporate analysts and Wall Street investors. It’s all about you and only you at Stockman Bank.

Thank you for choosing Stockman Bank and placing your trust in us. We appreciate your banking relationship!

– Bill

Bank Disclosures

Happy holidays

Coffee Talk – 4th Quarter 2018

Bill Coffee

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer

Montana. There’s no place else like it – majestic scenery, wide-open spaces, friendly people, caring communities, thriving small businesses, farms and ranches, Griz and Bobcats, the best in outdoor recreation, rodeos, fairs, huckleberries and Flathead cherries.

It’s a special place as are the people who live, work and play here. Montanans are unique and diverse. We know there’s no better place to raise a family or grow a business.

We are loyal and hard-working with a fierce entrepreneurial spirit. We choose to live here because of the amazing life experiences we are fortunate to enjoy each and every day.

At Stockman Bank, we get it. That’s why we live and work here too. Montana gives us the life we want to experience.

Your bank is no different. It should give you a banking experience that allows you to bank when, where and how you want, giving you the time and freedom to enjoy this great Montana lifestyle.

Did you know there are 46 banks operating in Montana today?  We have large national and regional banks, as well as smaller banks, all of whom are presenting themselves as “community banks”.

With so many banks, all calling themselves “community banks”, how do you choose?

During the past year, more and more Montanans made the decision to bank with Stockman. Why? I believe one of the many things that make us different is a banking experience that puts you, our customers and Montana communities at the center of all we do.

Happy holidays

Values-Driven Banking

Stockman Bank was founded in 1953 by my grandfather, Bill Nefsy, who operated a ranch in the Miles City area. When he needed a loan for his growing operation, he was turned away by the banks with the explanation, “We don’t do Ag loans.”

When an opportunity arose to purchase a controlling interest in the Miles City Bank, he took the chance and built a banking organization that would serve the needs of the entire community – business people, farmers, ranchers and Montanans of all walks of life.

Bill Nefsy

Bill Nefsy

Sixty-five years later, Bill’s values and mission continue to guide our bank today.

Local, Montana Banking

While all of the larger regional banks continue their rapid expansion into other states, Stockman Bank remains focused on serving the people and communities of Montana.

We don’t want to be anyplace else. Our focus is on Montana and only Montana. We also choose to work with Montana businesses whenever possible. We simply don’t believe in sending our business out-of-state.

In addition, we are truly Montanans serving Montanans, from our ownership to our executive leadership team and senior management, to our tellers and customer service representatives.

You can be assured that the money you deposit at your local Stockman branch stays in your community to work for your community.

Privately-Held, Family-Owned Banking

As a private, family-owned bank, we are able to focus our expertise and services solely on our customers. Unlike public companies, we do not need to answer to large groups of out-of-state shareholders and corporate analysts.

We also do not have to meet Wall Street’s quarterly earnings expectations which public companies strive to meet at any cost. Investor reactions to a company that misses Street expectations are often negative and trigger a substantial decline in the stock.

At Stockman, meeting your expectations is our priority.

Customer Driven Banking

As Montana’s largest privately-held, family-owned bank and the state’s largest Ag Bank, we are able to provide innovative, convenient banking channels that allow you to bank when, where and how you want. You are in the driver’s seat!

We offer 34 branch locations across the state, offering you an outstanding, in-person banking experience. Or, you can also quickly and easily bank from your computer or mobile phone using our online and mobile banking services, which are continually improved and enhanced.

Missoula Contruction group photo reblog

Whatever your preferences or needs, we are ready to help make banking convenient and easy, whenever and wherever you need it.

Socially Responsible Banking

Our commitment to our state extends beyond great service and the walls of our state-of-the-art buildings.

Helping to make our Montana communities better places to live and work has always been important to us.

Over the past year, we are proud to have contributed more than $1.5 million to Montana community organizations.

More importantly, our employees contributed thousands of volunteer hours to events and organizations in their communities, statewide.

As 2018 comes to a close, I thank you for the privilege of being your neighbor and your bank across Montana. From all of us at Stockman, I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Bank Disclosures

2018 Q3 Coffee Talk 65th Anniversary

Coffee Talk: Stockman Celebrates 65 Years!

Bill Coffee

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer, Stockman Bank

This year Stockman Bank celebrates 65 years of community banking!

Our primary focus has always been to assist customers in reaching their financial goals and make our community a better place.

In 1953, we solely provided traditional banking services, and our community was a handful of counties in eastern Montana.

Today, Stockman offers the full array of modern banking products, as well as wealth management and insurance services, and views the entire State of Montana as “our community.”

Significant enhancements over the years have positioned Stockman as a leader in the industry. Our customers have access to products and services 24/7/365 through a wide variety of devices.

All backed up by over 120 ATMs, 34 full service, state-of-the-art branches, and almost 750 dedicated employees, all right here in Montana.


Another significant change is how our customers communicate with Stockman and how Stockman communicates with the community.

Web and mobile allow virtually unlimited communication and access. Additionally, instead of printing an Annual Report or other old-style material, now Stockman uses electronic channels including blogs and social media.




Not only are these channels more efficient, but they communicate more quickly and are interactive.

Just as important as the enhancements and changes over the years – is what remains the same.

Stockman has stayed true to our founding principles since 1953, to our well-trained and empowered staff, and to our unwavering commitment to community banking.

Stockman remains uniquely focused on Montana, and only Montana! We still do the right thing, invest for the long-term, and give back, in a multitude of ways, to make our community a better place.
Billings Day of Caring 2018

It is impossible to predict what will happen over the next 65 years; however, I know given our principles that have withstood the test of time, our commitment to customers, employees and community, and our faith in Montana and the people who make Montana great, Stockman will remain Montana’s premier financial services provider.

Thank you for the privilege of serving you through the years.  Cheers!  Here’s to the next 65.
2018 Q3 Coffee Talk 65th Anniversary


Bill Coffee

Coffee Talk: Quarterly Report – Q2 2018

Bill Coffee

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer, Stockman Bank

This year, Stockman Bank celebrates its 65th Anniversary!

There have been many changes in our state and the banking industry since we first opened our doors.

But not all has changed.  At Stockman Bank, our mission remains unchanged and strong: to serve all Montanans of every walk of life with a focus on creating long-standing relationships through integrity, expertise and results.

We live our mission every day by continually building and refining our products and services to meet the unique needs of our Montana customers and communities. A good example is Stockman Wealth Management.

When our customers started to ask us for assistance beyond traditional banking services, we knew we needed to find a way to help them achieve financial goals in all aspects of their lives.

So, we created Stockman Wealth Management to provide investment and financial planning services and help our clients build a pathway to a successful financial future.

If you think you don’t have enough wealth to benefit from Stockman Wealth, think again. Have you ever wondered or worried about having enough money for retirement, for college expenses or that vacation home you’ve always dreamed about?  Then you need to visit with our team at Stockman Wealth.

We’ll help you create and follow a financial roadmap uniquely designed for your long-term prosperity. Stockman’s approach is firmly based on a “client-first” philosophy.

Our talented team will work directly with you to guide you through a variety of financial solutions including retirement and estate planning. We make sure we understand your entire financial picture and then design a plan to meet your individual goals.

Stockman Wealth can assist you with managed investments as well. Our professional advisors can assist you to determine the proper investment plan and optimal mix of investment securities to allow you to reach your goals.

Then, we create an investment portfolio for you, customized to reflect your investment objectives and time horizons, while minimizing tax consequences and risk exposure. Our advisors manage and monitor your portfolio, always ensuring it remains aligned with your individual financial goals.

Since 2002, Stockman Wealth has provided individuals and families with a level of financial expertise and service that makes us a valued and trusted partner. If you are in need of investment and financial planning services, please contact us.

With locations around Montana, we have local professionals available to guide you every step of the way throughout your financial journey. High-quality decisions are easy when values are clear.

Our team is empowered to make local, independent decisions based on what is best for you, our client.  This has been our mission for our first 65 years and will continue to guide us into the future.

We thank you for being a part of the Stockman family and wish you a safe, fun-filled Montana summer!

Stockman Bank Wealth Management Disclosure

Coffee Talk: Quarterly Report – Q1 2018

Bill Coffee

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer, Stockman Bank

Last year, my Annual Report letter was captioned “Progress” and centered on change.

My message ponders the challenge of adopting new ways versus holding on to the tried and true.

I wrote about developments in technology changing our daily lives, particularly service delivery and communication.

This year I continue that theme by letting you know Stockman will no longer print or publish an Annual Report.

Instead, we are starting to produce a Quarterly Report. This Report will be included in our blog which is available to read on our website.

It will be shorter than our 12-page Annual Report and will focus on timely topics from Stockman Bank, Stockman Wealth Management and Stockman Insurance, and our recent community involvement.

An update four times a year, as opposed to just after year-end, allows for more current topics, better relevance and timeliness. Plus, its concise nature will allow for easy review.

Since Stockman is a privately held Montana community bank, we are not required to publish an annual report. However, we began preparing an Annual Report over 20 years ago to better communicate with our customers.

Today, our website and active social media presence give us, our customers, and our communities immediate and direct access to communication.

Similarly, we were the first bank in Montana to adopt eStatements and have for many years encouraged our customers to “Go Green” by using this more convenient, paperless solution. The Quarterly Report furthers our Go Green initiative.

Going forward, please watch for our new Quarterly Report and let us know your thoughts on this more efficient, modern way to communicate.

Looking back on 2017, I would personally like to thank our customers for their continued trust and support and thank our employees for their focus on customer service and commitment to making Montana a better place.

2017 was an exciting year for Stockman in many ways. We enjoyed growth in virtually all areas of the company, had record earnings and record capital, with a Montana-wide team of 709 strong!

2018 is our 65th Anniversary! Our Montana focus has uniquely positioned us to serve more neighbors across the state every day.

We hold true to our founding principles, centered upon customer service and strong community commitment with our local employees, state-of-the-art, efficient buildings and cutting-edge, convenient technology.


Bill Coffee
Chief Executive Officer

Bank disclosures