Office faux-pas and team building


We’re human. We all make mistakes. When you spend at least 40 hours a week with the same people in the same office, you’re bound to make a mistake or two in front of them.

Here are some of the most common office faux-pas, how to avoid them, and why having good working relationships is important.

Emailing the wrong person. That happens. A lot. If the email will in no way cause tension with the unintended sender, follow up immediately with a quick apology. If the contents of the email might offend the unintended sender, seek them out in-person to rectify the situation.

The office conversation. Talking too loudly can be rude and distracting to your coworkers. Try to keep the volume down and your conversations away from areas where it is evident that work is in progress.

The forgotten name. We’ve all forgotten a name we should remember, spelled a word wrong, or had our cell phone ring in the middle of a meeting. What’s important is to learn from your mistakes and work with a team who will have your back!

One thing that always helps when you commit an office faux-pas is having a good relationship with your co-workers.

“At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we work to make sure that our teams get to know each other and spend time bonding,” said Jan Atkins, Human Resources Generalist. “Our employees are encouraged to participate in Two Rivers-sponsored employee events outside of work, too.”

This might include an Iowa/Iowa State football game or a fun-filled day at Adventureland for employees and their families.

No matter the activity, at Two Rivers we know how important it is for employees to have a bond that serves to promote a positive work environment. Come say hello at one of our branches and see for yourself!

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender



Retirement Options at Two Rivers

Less than one-third of Americans are taking advantage of the benefits of an IRA, according to a recent survey conducted by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA). While the business landscape changes frequently, it can be difficult to know whether your retirement through your employer is adequate to get you to your retirement goal.

That’s why you should open an IRA with Two Rivers Bank & Trust. Whether you’re just starting out or are well into your career, it’s always a great time to start saving. We offer Traditional and Roth IRAs and have skilled professionals who can help customize a plan for you!

Brett Bessine, Vice President & Retirement Plan Services Specialist at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, explained a little bit about IRAs and the benefits of an account with Two Rivers.brett

What is an IRA? 

“An IRA is simply an account (not an investment itself) where you can make contributions, have those contributions invested, and accumulate assets throughout your working years so that you have money set aside to live on in retirement.”

Why are they beneficial? When should you open one?

“Not everyone has access to a 401(k) or another type of retirement account through their employer. For these individuals, it is imperative that they take the initiative on their own to start an IRA and make contributions consistently throughout their careers. Even for those who do have access to an employer sponsored retirement account, it can make sense to have an IRA also. If a person has maxed out his or her 401(k) contributions and would like to save more or if the employer’s plan doesn’t allow ROTH contributions, opening an IRA or ROTH IRA is an option. If you are unsure if an IRA makes sense for you come see us at Two Rivers for additional information.”

What tips do you have for people saving for retirement? 

“It is so important to start saving early and consistently save throughout your working years. Create a budget so you know where your dollars are being spent and adjust in order to increase your savings level. Have a long term plan and sit down with a retirement plan specialist to review.”

Controlling the expense of your IRA is critical to maximizing the return.  One of the ways we can help you increase your return is by reducing your costs through the utilization of lower expense share classes of funds made accessible by partnering with our knowledgeable team at Two Rivers Bank & Trust.  Come talk with our team about the many advantages we can offer. As your neighbor, we want you to retire well. Contact Two Rivers today!

Investment and Insurance Products: Are Not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency; Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by the Bank or any Bank Affiliate; May lose value.

There are Ways to Save, We’ll Show You

If you knew you could save $720 a year by bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out, would you do it?

We live in a society of instant gratification. Frequently, that impulse costs us more money than we think. Whether you’re working your way out of debt or are saving for a dream vacation, at Two Rivers Bank & Trust we can equip you with the tools you need!

Here are some little ways to save big:

  1. Remove your credit card numbers from online accounts. We’re not talking about your bills, we’re talking about those accounts at your favorite stores that make it extremely easy to purchase with the click of a button.
  2. Have a visual representation of your goals. Put a magnetic white board on your refrigerator with your credit card balance on it. As you work toward eliminating debt, rewrite the number. It’s a great reminder and motivator!
  3. Never leave a light on. There’s a reason your parents walked through the entire house before leaving – it saves money over time!apple

If you’re looking to make more substantial changes, we can help with that, too! Karla Rangel, Personal Banker/Loan Officer at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, knows how important it is to personalize a plan.

“I always sit down with my customers and make a plan with them,” she explained. “We see what debt they have, what can be consolidated, and we try to allow them to make a smaller, single payment.”

One of her biggest tips? “I always say start with meals,” Rangel said. “Stop going out to eat and bring lunch to work. It helps a lot.”

Rangel also suggests different Two Rivers accounts based on your habits.

“If you’re a spender, I always suggest TR Cash Back Checking because you’ll get money back for every $10 you spend,” she said. “I just love to help people. When people leave my branch with the ability to buy a new car or with a better handle on their finances, I’m so happy and they’re so appreciative.”

If you’re looking for more ways to save or pay down debt, come talk with us! We’re happy to help you reach your goals.

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

 Experience better business banking in our neighborhood 

For your business to run successfully, a lot of moving pieces have to work together and there are a million formulas out there about how to make the perfect business plan. However, at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we know your business is unique and we’re here to partner with you.   

Tim Quick, Vice President – Commercial Banking, explained how the nature of commercial banking is evolving.   

“Business clients are really looking at a bank as a partner,” he said. “It’s more of a relationship, not just a transaction. For example, I have a client who brought her books for me to look at like I was her business partner. I sat down for an hour and a half and crunched all the numbers and then gave her my recommendations on the proposed acquisition.” 

No matter the size of your business, Two Rivers Bank & Trust can help you succeed. “Within our department, our commercial lenders have specialties that cover the full gamut of commercial lending,” Quick explained. “From real estate, SBA, commercial/industrial to medical/professional industries, our team is well-versed to help you.”  

Whether you need a $10 million loan or a $20,000 loan, Two Rivers Bank & Trust is ready to work with you and your needs. “We have a niche in that we can focus on mid-sized commercial and small business clients and that’s rather rare,” he said. “We have a strong reputation in these areas and often receive referrals from our clients and well established CPA firms. We’re a true community bank.” Picture1

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, you can expect a unique blend of big bank services and neighborly interactions. “We have the expertise and horsepower of a larger bank but we can deliver it through a community focus with common sense by doing what is right by our clients,” Quick said.  “We’ve filled a sweet spot.” 

At the end of the day, our team at Two Rivers is concerned with the best interest of our clients. We see this relationship as much more than a loan. 

 “We go above and beyond to really provide our clients service,” he explained. “It takes a lot more time with the client to look at their projects and help them determine resolutions and improvements. But that’s part of the team experience with Two Rivers. We define success by how well our clients do.”    

Come talk with us about your business goals and needs. We guarantee you’ll find a partner in us. 

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

Managing Money For Two

Whether you’re a newlywed, on your second marriage, or just ready to start saving for a big purchase, managing money for two is more difficult than managing for yourself.

Two sets of eyes, two sets of debit or credit cards, and two sets of wants and needs can be hard to navigate. That’s why communication up front is so important. You and your significant other need to be real about your goals and how you can achieve them together. It takes two!

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we can help! To open a joint account or get a loan at Two Rivers, come in and speak to a personal banker or loan officer. We will be able to guide you to which products will be the best fit for both you and your spouse.

Katie Marceau, Loan Processor at Two Rivers has some great advice for you.

“Build a household budget,” Marceau said. “Knowing fixed expenses makes it easier to determine where and how you can save. Before my fiancé and I opened our joint account, we put together a budget to be sure that we were both clear on where our money was going to be spent.”

“For us, it is important to have money that we can each spend on ourselves, so that was determined when we made our budget as well,” she said.

“Communication is the most important part of combining finances and keeping things organized.”

No matter your goals, come talk with us. If you’re thinking about taking out a loan for a large purchase, we can help you navigate the process.

“Every couple’s circumstances are different,” Marceau said. “If you wonder how one person’s credit scores may affect the terms of a loan you are both considering, a loan officer can help guide you through the options that are available.”

While Two Rivers is always here to be your neighbor, it’s most important that you and your spouse work as a team!

“Combining finances can be a scary thing at first, but building a plan together will help make certain everything is accounted for,” she said.

Marriage isn’t easy and sometimes budgeting money isn’t either. Come learn about your options at Two Rivers!

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

Enjoy the Benefits of Joint Accounts at Two Rivers Bank & Trust

So you’re getting married. Or, you are married. Congratulations! Join the more than 65% of people in committed relationships who share a joint bank account.

Since you’re sharing your life, why not share accounts? At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we have many checking account options for you to open with your significant other. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, we can help you figure it out.

Aimee Bruckner, Branch Manager in Iowa City, explained that there is not one right answer for everyone.

“It just depends on what account will meet your needs,” she said. “We’ll ask you questions like, ‘How much do you plan on keeping in the account? Are you wanting to earn interest? and How often do you use your debit card?’”

From there, you can begin to reap the benefits of having a joint account.

“As a married person myself, my husband and I find it’s easier to pay your bills out of one joint account,” Bruckner said. “You never have to transfer money and bounce between accounts. Not to mention, it’s easier to keep track of monthly spending and budgeting.”

If there are two of you contributing to the account, your account fees should be minimal, if anything at all. In fact, our WOW! Checking doesn’t have monthly service fees.

“Nobody has time to manage and keep track of two accounts at one time,” she explained. “We’re all busy, so having a joint account takes part of the load off your shoulders.”

At Two Rivers, we can help make your life easier, too! Come talk with us about your needs for a joint account.

“We care about doing what’s best for the customer,” Bruckner said. “We want to exceed your expectations and give you a product that works for you.”

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

Invest with the Right Tools

Now that you’re ready to go investing, you need to learn about stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, how they’re different, and which make sense for you. If you missed our first blog about investing, in the beginning, you can read it here!

Kyle Hauenstein, Fiduciary Advisor at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, is here to help explain the ins and outs of investing.investing

What is the difference between stocks, bonds, and mutual funds?

“Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are financial tools. Like a hammer, a wrench, and a drill, they are each a solution for a unique scenario. Stock reflects ownership in a company. Bonds are, in essence, loaning money to the company. How much money a company is worth changes constantly, hence the volatility in the stock market. For the most part, companies continue to pay their bills regardless of the ups and downs of business leading to relatively less volatility in bonds. Mutual funds use those tools (stocks and/or bonds) to grow wealth. Mutual funds exemplify the saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ For example, you may not have enough money to invest in 500 companies at a time, but if 499 of your closest friends and you MUTUALLY fund that investment, then you can spread out your risk together by purchasing shares of 500 companies.”

What is the benefit of investing in the stock market as opposed to ‘less risky’ options?

“Investing is a risk and reward system. The stock market has, historically, done a better job of keeping ahead of inflation.”

What can a customer expect when working with a financial advisor at Two Rivers? 

“Customers can expect financial advisors at Two Rivers to take time with them. It takes time to understand what our clients need, and it takes time to explain a solution that can meet that need. Just the other day I walked into a mechanic’s shop. I told them what I wanted (my car to stop making funny noises). They listened, and figured out what that meant. Once they knew what was wrong, they explained the solution to me. They used all the right tools to get the job done, and later handed me the keys to a quiet car. Clients know what they want, and what they have. We can help find the right tools to get them there.

What is your best advice for someone who wants to begin investing?

Start now. Compound interest is a powerful tool. That is why Warren Buffett called the stock market the greatest wealth creator of all time. There are many ways to invest, with lots of tools.

Come talk with us at Two Rivers! We’re willing to listen and explain things to you, develop a plan, and get you started now!

Investment and Insurance Products: Are Not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency; Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by the Bank or any Bank Affiliate; May lose value.

Small Businesses, Welcome!

Small business owners. We see you. You are valued. We know how hard you work every day to make your dream a reality. As your neighbor, we’re here for you.

David George, Market President – Mt. Pleasant, explained what Two Rivers Bank & Trust can do for you. “We always look to do at least one of four things for small business owners,” he said. “Save them TIME, save them MONEY, make their lives more CONVENIENT, and make them MONEY.”

Our Business Banking Services can help make that happen. Our online banking and bill pay services & remote deposit capture are the best services to use to make a business more efficient.small business

Our financial team at Two Rivers Bank & Trust loves to help small business owners. “My favorite part of working with small business owners is to truly understand their unique stories and then add value by helping them explore all banking opportunities that they have available through us,” George said.

We’re here to help you through every business milestone. What can you expect when you work with Two Rivers? “When working with Two Rivers Bank & Trust, business owners can expect true understanding and compassion about their business and their needs,” he explained. “Our employees are a part of the community and will support the business every step of the way.”

Stop by and talk with us about how Two Rivers Bank & Trust can help you reach your business goals. Here are a few other tips in the meantime!

Be a good bookkeeper. Invest in a service, Quicken or QuickBooks, so that you always know your financial situation. Everyone at Two Rivers cares about your success, but no one looks after your money like you do.

Be who you are. Having a business plan and a marketing plan are important. Stay true to who you are and give your customers consistent messaging. Your brand is what people say about you!

You have a neighbor in Two Rivers Bank & Trust! We care about our communities and the small businesses that make them unique. If you need help starting your business, need access to convenient banking services, or benefits packages for your employees, come see us!

Mortgages with Two Rivers – You Have Options

Sweet summertime is one of the most popular times to buy a house. Choosing which home to purchase is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. If you’re looking for more information, check out our blog about home buying.

Two Rivers Bank & Trust is alongside you for every milestone, including buying a house! Julie Brown, Retail Loan Officer at Two Rivers, explained the flexibility of your options with us. “We have a variety of loan options available at Two Rivers,” she said.

“Instead of only offering a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all mortgage product we will take the time to sit down with you as your trusted financial partner and talk through your individual situation. By discussing your individual situation, talking about monthly payments you are comfortable with, as well as how much you have available for a down payment, we are able to figure out what loan product will best work for you with your current or future home.”moving

If you think you’ve found your dream house or you’re ready to start looking, come see us! “As far as home mortgage products we offer in-house Adjustable Rate Mortgages, secondary market conventional loans, VA loans, FHA loans, USDA loans and Jumbo loans,” Brown explained.

While these options might seem overwhelming, let one of our loan professionals help you through the home financing process.

“The best advice I can give a first-time home buyer is to educate yourself,” Brown said. “Buying a home is an exciting and emotional experience, it is easy to look at a home for sale and see the listing price but have no idea what the monthly payment will be. By coming to Two Rivers to be pre-qualified to purchase a home you can then look at a listing and know roughly what your monthly payment will be on that property.”

Another benefit of being pre-qualified is the added negotiating power you can offer a seller, making them comfortable with your financial ability to purchase their property.

Don’t forget, if you have a mortgage with another institution, we can help you refinance.

“If you are considering refinancing your home we can sit down with you and review your individual situation, your current mortgage amount, your current interest rate and remaining loan term,” Brown explained. “By doing this, we can determine if there is an opportunity to lower your monthly payment or to shorten your loan term.”

At Two Rivers, we are willing to take the time, as your trusted financial partner, to look at your current or future mortgage needs to make sure you are utilizing the best loan product for you. Come see us!

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

Two Rivers: Helping Your Business Reach Your Goals

Every business has goals. Whether they’re short term or long term, goals for your business should be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bounded. If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. It’s not.

Start with a big picture idea and put it through the SMART criteria.

Here’s an example: “I want to increase sales by 20%.” That’s not a SMART goal.

This is: “I want to meet the sales objective of booking $1,000 in orders, two additional salespeople will be hired to grow sales by 5% each month.”

No matter your goals, Two Rivers Bank & Trust can help you achieve them.

“One of the things we can do is help business customers find and identify industry trends and see how their business is benchmarked against other similar businesses,” Matt Shinn, Market President at Two Rivers Bank & Trust said.

“At the end of the day we want to be sure we’re providing additional value and that we’re viewed as our customers’ trusted advisor.”

It doesn’t matter if you are a small business on Main Street or a large international corporation, Two Rivers has the expertise, products, and services to support you. We understand your needs and can offer you the benefits of a large institution with local blog

“We have all the sophisticated cash management products and services, all the electronic banking tools, and we combine that with our ability to make the decisions locally,” Shinn explained. “We do a great job blending the two together.”

“For example, when our lenders go out into the field and meet with a business owner, they build a relationship,” he said. “Most of the time, that lender is the one who is going to represent them and make the decisions.”

Two Rivers Bank & Trust was built on lending, advising, and partnering with small businesses. That’s what we’ve always done.

“We want to do whatever is in the client’s best interest,” Shinn said. “Our mission is to make sure we find a solution for the customer to help them meet their goals.”

Visit our website or come talk with us to learn about the services we can offer your business. There is nothing better than access to the modern and updated tools of a large bank right here in your neighborhood.