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TRAVERSE CITY — A wealth of experience is behind a new financial office at the corner of Front and Division streets.
Ludington-based West Shore Bank has expanded its footprint by opening a mortgage loan and west management office.
The six-person mortgage team has more than 135 years of combined residential lending experience, the bulk of it in the Grand Traverse area.
Loan officers Linda Waisanen, Deborah Highway and Karie Lambert each have at least 20 years of experience in the field. They head up the mortgage division in the Traverse City office. The trio — recruited together — were eager to be the driving force for the mortgage division at West Shore Bank, which provided its first home loan in 1900.
“This is a new and exciting opportunity to be a part of a bank that is really well-run and well-managed,” Highway said. “I’m excited to be here. This is a bank that I’ve always had my eye on for years.
They’ve always been a real competitor in the markets that they serve. Now that they’re in Traverse City and they pursued our team, it was a great opportunity and something to where we just couldn’t say no.
“We wanted to do something together and to stay together as a group and this is our opportunity. We look forward to seeing what the future holds.”
Waisanen, a vice president in the TC office, said the mortgage division wants to add a couple more team members and is looking for “the right people.”
Mortgage loan processors Kelly Glazier and Pamela Sherred, and mortgage loan processor/underwriter Holly Fouch, have more than 70 years of combined experience in banking and mortgage processing.
Lambert said experience at all the levels will lead to “great turn-around time” for those seeking a mortgage.
“Having the local underwriting, processing and closing makes a huge difference versus having that centrally located outside our office,” Lambert said. “For us, it was important when we made the move, that it wasn’t just us as loan officers making the move to West Shore, but our team with processing and underwriting is right here with us.”
Vice president Perry Adams heads up the wealth management division in the Traverse City office. His resume is also deep. Adams has more than 25 years of experience of his own.
There are currently two members of the wealth management team in TC, but Adams expects to add one to two positions in the future.
Waisanen expects the office to be a “full service branch” by the end of 2017. Adams expects the West Shore Bank to add commercial loan lending the first quarter of 2018.
“It’s more like a personal banking feel,” Waisanen said. “You don’t really have a teller … It’s more one-on-one client services.”
“It’s more geared toward where the future is going,” Adams added. “Building brick-and-mortar places isn’t the wave of the future. More and more people are using their mobile apps for their banking needs.”
West Shore Bank has seven branch offices, including one in Frankfort that was added in 2015. The bank has a wealth management office in Grand Rapids. An office in Muskegon handles commercial/mortgage lending as well as wealth management.
West Shore Bank boasts a strong presence in its local communities. Adams said the bank has long-raised funds from music and arts programs in Ludington with its Rhythm and Dunes program and tried to break the Guinness World Record for sand angels with the “Be Someone’s Angel” program.
Locally, West Shore is already involved in the Traverse City Area Public Schools’ Students in Transition Empowerment (STEP) program.
“It’s nice to be a part of a bank that gives back to the community,” Highway said. “That’s part of our personal core values.”
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