April 15th, 2021 | | John Ohlin
(L to R) Jerry Rako, CEO, Midwest Steel and Aluminum, Jerry Moynagh, Deerwood Bank VP of Business Banking, and Brandon Walton, President, Midwest Steel and Aluminum.
Midwest Steel and Aluminum (MSA) is a full-line metal service center that specializes in aluminum products, stainless steel and steel, and precision saw-cutting. From their facility in Rodgers, Minnesota, they serve metal customers throughout the United States and Canada. From small production to large orders – they do it all.
In 2012, MSA CEO, Jerry Rako, was considering some options that would allow the business to expand to a new location. Having had bad experiences with large national banks, he reached out to a close friend for recommendations on community bankers. “We were introduced to Jerry Moynagh and Deerwood Bank and we immediately knew it was going to be a ﬁt. It was a great relationship right off the bat.” says Rako.
“When we would call, he’d pick up the phone”
Around this time in 2012, MSA’s business grew dramatically, and in order to keep up with customer demands they knew they were going need to expand locations.
“At that time, we were with one of the larger banks, and the problem we were having was we couldn’t get responses from them – the response times were just terrible.” say Brandon Walton, MSA President. “We couldn’t get answers on loans, our growth and expansion questions , we weren’t getting anything. When we switched to Jerry and Deerwood Bank, the response time became instantaneous. When we would call, he’d pick up the phone.
Rako goes on to say “That was in 2012, now we’re here in 2021 and that same customer service is still there. We call and he’s there for us – for anything. It pays off and helps us continue to grow and scale our business.”
“We were not small ﬁsh in a big pond”
Prior to meeting Jerry Moynagh and Deerwood Bank, Rako and Walton did not feel they were getting the attention or service that they deserved. Although their business was beginning to boom, they felt they were being overlooked by their national bank.
“We just didn’t get the attention or support with the other big banks, we would call and call and hear nothing back. It would be days before they would return our call.” says Rako. “At Deerwood, we quickly realized that we were not small ﬁsh in a big pond.”
“It is great to have a bank that can keep things nice and simple”
When it comes to setting themselves apart from competition, MSA focuses on customer service and ﬂexibility. The same core values that they look for in their business partnerships.
Although the relationship started with building ﬁnancing, it has grown into a much deeper partnership. Rako recalls “Since that original ﬁnancing, we have expanded to business checking and savings, equipment loans, vehicle loans, credit lines – heck, we even have our personal accounts over there.”
“They’ve helped us out on all fronts. These days, we don’t even have a big need to go into the bank office – we use Deerwood Bank’s online and mobile banking platform to deposit checks, transfer funds, and check balances.” says Walton. “They just make everything really seamless. In a time that is so chaotic, it is great to have a bank that can keep things nice and simple.”