Ownership and Growth
Thomas “Buck” Snortland, one of the founders of State Bank of Fargo, was instrumental in helping set the tone for the company’s employee- and customer-friendly culture. Snortland family members have remained major shareholders ever since. Buck’s son, Thomas “Mickey” Snortland, was a dedicated board member for four decades and helped create the bank’s “bottom line” statement: “Happy Employees! Happy Customers!” His wife, Julie, was named to the holding company board of directors following Mickey’s passing in early 2013. Mickey’s sister Laura Snortland Fairfield is also a major shareholder and a longtime holding company board member.
To honor Mickey's memory, Bell employees annually travel to his farmland to pick rocks to be used in our branches
. In addition, a unique piece of 3-D artwork in Bell Bank’s boardroom
depicts our company’s past, present and future.
Richard Solberg joined Bell Bank as its president in 1982 and remains the company's chairman. In partnership with the Snortland family as a major shareholder with his son, Michael, he has helped guide the bank through tremendous growth, while maintaining a people-focused culture among our more than 1,300 employees. Michael Solberg has served as Bell's president since 2009 and was named CEO in 2015. He was the driving force behind creation of the bank's Pay It Forward
program, which has empowered employees and others to give millions to those in need.
Our continued growth means more opportunities for our employees and our customers, and even greater community impact through volunteering and paying it forward. Bell's ownership remains solidly committed to growing as an independently owned bank for years to come.