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Columbus | Norfolk | David City

Making an impact in the our community since 1906.

Columbus leadership team Theresa Wenske, Don Polodna, Mike Palen, Bill Flint and Lisa Paczosa

Learn about First National Bank in Columbus, Norfolk and David City

First National Bank has a long and colorful history that dates back to 1906, when a group of Columbus citizens got together to form a new national bank: “The German National Bank of Columbus.” In March of 1918, with the U.S. engaged in the First World War, the Board of Directors met with stockholders and changed the bank’s name to The Central National Bank of Columbus.

During the Great Depression, which resulted in the Bank Holiday of 1933, the Central National Bank was one of the few banks which were not required to undergo a special examination before reopening. It was authorized by the Comptroller of the Currency to resume immediate operations when the Banking Holiday was lifted.

In 1961, since the bank had opened a trust department handling living trusts and serving as executor of estates, the name was changed to First National Bank & Trust Company of Columbus. In 1988, the bank was purchased by First National Bank of Omaha. In 1993, a branch was opened in Norfolk, Nebraska, and in 1995, the Norfolk branch merged into the Columbus bank to become one bank. In 2014, our legal name was changed to the First National Bank of Omaha.

First National Bank has a history of doing what's right for our customers and the communities we serve that spans across generations. As one of the top banking institutions in Nebraska, we are proud to be a part of the First National of Nebraska family of banks.

With locations in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas, we haven't lost sight of the foundation on which our success was built. Integrity, Respect, Passion - these are the cornerstones of our Operating Philosophy and represent our commitment to you. At First National Bank, we strive to better serve you and your banking needs - and we are as hopeful and excited about the future of our bank as our founders were in 1857.

For more details on what’s happening in your community, please click HERE.

Market Leadership

The leadership team is devoted to making banking at First National Bank world-class. Learn about the leadership who are making an impact on banking in your local community.

Bill Flint | Regional Market President, Columbus/Norfolk/David City

Bill has been a banker for 39 years - and 28 of those years have been with First National Bank. Prior to his employment with First National Bank, Bill was an internal auditor for Dacotah Bank Holding Company in Aberdeen, SD (5 years), Chief Financial Officer in Fairmont, Minnesota (3 years), then moved to Columbus as a Chief Financial Officer (21 years) and President for 10 years. Bill is a graduate of the University of South Dakota (Vermillion), and an honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin (Madison) Graduate School of Banking. Bill is very involved in the Columbus Community and has been Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, and President of the United Way, along with many other community and non-profit boards. Bill values spending time with his four daughters and six grandchildren. He enjoys all sports, including golf.

Don Polodna | Community President, Norfolk Market

Don Polodna is the Senior Director in the Norfolk market and has been a banker in the community for more than 25 years. “Building relationships and being actively involved in the community is what drives my passion for the company I work for and the community we serve. I have realized that my success depends upon both our client and community success. Leadership is also a component in building a team that is engaged in serving our clients and the community we live in and, the employees at First National Bank are key in driving our growth and doing what is “right” for our customers.”

Mike Palen | Vice President, Commercial & Agribusiness Banking Columbus/Norfolk/David City

Originally from Scott City, Kansas, Michael “Mike” Palen has over 28 years of lending experience in agriculture lending, commercial lending and real estate lending. Mike joined First National Bank in 2016. Prior to his employment with First National Bank, he served as President of Western State Bank in Garden City, KS. Mike attended Kansas University and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking, Madison, WI. Mike enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, Olivia and Arthur. He also enjoys waterfowl hunting with his Labs, Gunner and Bagger; flying; and playing golf.

Theresa Wenske | Advisor, Trust Services

Theresa joined First National Bank in 2016; she started her banking career in 2002 and became licensed in 2008. Previously she worked for TD Ameritrade as a Fixed Income Specialist and at Fidelity Investments as an Account Executive. Theresa earned her Bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and is a member of The Leadership Columbus Alumni Association. She holds her Series 7, 63 and 66 securities licenses as well as life, health, annuity and variable contracts insurance licenses. Theresa and her husband have three small boys under the age of five. When she can find free time, she prefers to spend it outside with her family, whether working in the garden, cooking, camping, or just relaxing.

Lisa Paczosa | Director, Retail Branch Banking, South Dakota/Columbus, NE

Lisa began her career with First National Bank after graduating from college in 1988. Her career started in Omaha in the credit card services department; she then moved to Columbus, NE and performed duties including Human Resources Manager and Marketing Director before assuming her role as Retail Director in the Columbus Markets and later expanding her responsibilities into the South Dakota Market. Lisa has a bachelor’s degree from Kearney State College, majoring in Business Administration and Human Resource Management; she is a graduate of Kansas/Nebraska School of Banking, and has earned her PHR certification. Lisa’s passion is her family and spending quality time creating lasting memories.

Bringing the Community Together

A successful community offers opportunities to come together in a place of fellowship where they can share cultures, interests, and goals while enriching their lives through access to arts, culture, humanities and athletics. First National Bank is proud to support a wide range of events, community celebrations and organizations that provide diverse experiences for our customers, employees and individuals within our communities. Below are a few local events that we support.

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Please check back for future events.