As the season of thankfulness approached, customers Tom and Darcy Collins and Jeff and Lisa LaCross reached out to former President & CEO Dave Armstrong and Executive VP & Chief Credit Officer Paul Anderson with this heartfelt email (see below).
The fact that GreenStone could be part of the LaCross and Collins family legacy that spans over 100 years in the Escanaba area is an incredible honor. GreenStone has been blessed with team members who genuinely love rural MI and WI and the people they serve. Our Escanaba team mimic all our employees, possessing a “servant’s heart” when it comes to carrying out our Core Four Values of Put the Customer First, Do the Right Thing, Deliver Quality, and Get Involved.
The email from the Collins and LaCross families:
Dear Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Anderson -
Friday the 13th, the most feared day and date in history, one associated with bad luck and terrible outcomes. For the Collins and LaCross families though, Friday November 13th is a day that will be celebrated for generations! On that day, at Bay Title in Escanaba, we closed a loan through your company for the purchase of the Burnt Bluff property in Fayette, MI. It is in this area that the Collins family put roots down over 100 years ago.
Our relatives still farm the land there and we own property right next to Burnt Bluff that was passed on to us by our father many years ago. Our entire family camps on that property every year and now with the new purchase we actually have cabins to stay in, a clubhouse to gather in, and a marina to enjoy the water from. To say that this purchase is one of the greatest things to happen to our family would almost be an understatement...if that's possible. When I told our Mom that we were purchasing this property, she cried and stated that our Dad (deceased 2007) would be so proud and so happy! He grew up there and we have pictures of him from when he was a boy and teenager at this property. So, thank you as your company made this dream possible for us!
About your company, for many years I have seen your billboards on Michigan's highways. They are actually very calming to me, thinking of the promise that they imply and the dreams that come with it. A promise and a dream that you delivered to our families. It's not often that a company can live up to what they say their brand stands for. You both should be very proud that your company does. Just because someone says "this is what our culture is" doesn't make it true, so you both should be congratulated for developing a culture throughout your company and within your employees that embraces exactly what your implied promise is!
Which brings me to two of your employees who deserve our forever gratitude. Cameron Rowe and Carrie Lockwood who both work in your Escanaba office. This was a complicated purchase - eight structures on the property, two families purchasing it, a marina/harbor, part of the property in a flood zone, a bottomlands lease to sort out with the state of Michigan, etc. - and they handled it all like the seasoned pros that they are!
What was especially comforting for us was the palpable excitement which they both showed in our desire to purchase this property, you could tell that they were vested in, and pulling and rooting for us to achieve this dream! This is your culture defined and lived! There are other employees in your company who would have touched our loan file and made this possible, they remain unknown to us but our thanks go out to them as well.
I apologize for the length of this email but we felt compelled, and that it was necessary, for us to share our experience and happiness with you!
Tom and Darcy Collins
Jeff and Lisa LaCross