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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Bankers Talk Back: How does your group celebrate the holidays?


Linda Stenseng
55 Connection | First National Bank Bemidji
Bemidji, Minnesota

This year we’re doing Collette Vacations’ Christmas on the Danube tour, a six-night cruise on the Danube River that will take us to Christmas markets in Vienna, Regensburg, Passau, Rothenberg and Nuremberg. We’re looking forward to some unforgettable shopping opportunities.

Also, for those folks who don’t do extended travel, we’re doing a short, four-day trip to the Twin Cities, where highlights will include seeing the Celtic Women and a Scandinavian Christmas with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Delisa Greenwood
Kentucky Club | First Kentucky Bank
Central City, Kentucky

We do a holiday day trip in November, as I’ve learned the hard way it’s tough to schedule anything in busy December.

This year we’re going to Paducah, Kentucky, to see the Oak Ridge Boys do their Christmas show at the Carson Center. We’ll also be stopping at Patti’s 1880s Settlement in Grand Rivers, a fantastic venue that includes a town, shopping and great food. Patti’s is one of our most famous places in Kentucky.

Planning this trip has reinforced my faith in group travel, as I’ve had some problems filling the motorcoach in past trips. The core group of our Kentucky Club rallied for this Christmas trip, and we have 20 people on the waiting list.

Lois Dunbar
Voyagers | Prairie State Bank and Trust
Springfield, Illinois

We have 18 branches across central Illinois so employees in each branch plan their own open house. Our program sponsors those gatherings, and they could include a morning coffee or a luncheon or even an all-day affair. Santa sometimes visits, and there can be gifts and entertainment.

Abbey Smith
Excursions … Great Travel Happens | Dubuque Bank and Trust
Dubuque, Iowa

First, it’s our responsibility to decorate the entire lobby of our bank, and that takes weeks. We pick a theme and really do it up.

We also do a holiday tour, and this year we’re going to see the Donnie and Marie Osmond Christmas Show in Chicago. We’ll also go to the Fireside Theatre to see their Christmas show.
In addition, our bank throws a big party for certain customers with important relationships to our bank, many who are group members.

Diane Riffell
New Directions | Citizens First National Bank
Somonauk, Illinois

Each year, we offer a day trip to a shopping location like downtown Chicago, and we let the group free to do as they please. This year we are taking the group to Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg in the morning and the Chicago Premium Outlet Center in Aurora in the afternoon. We also offer a Christmas show at a dinner theater.

Every other year, we head to Branson after Thanksgiving and enjoy lots of shows, shopping and food. Abbey Smith

Cindy Whitwell
PBNB Crown Club | Pine Bluff National Bank
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Our monthly luncheon in December includes a special Christmas celebration with lots of gifts and trimmings. We always take a tour after Thanksgiving, and this year we’ll be in Branson to enjoy the Shoji show, shopping and lights.