Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward

Paying It Forward to Our Friends & Family

Each year, Bell Bank employees receive time off and a gift card to spend doing something fun with loved ones through the Friends and Family program. Here are just a few of their stories from 2019.

Molly Wanner, mortgage receptionist/setup clerk in Fargo, N.D., traveled to Scottsdale, Ariz., for the Waste Management Golf Tournament. “We drove up the Pacific Coast, and we went to the Pebble Beach AT&T Golf Tournament and had an amazing time,” she says.


Kristin Pahl, teller service manager in Fargo, N.D., celebrated her dad turning 70 by spending time with him and their family in Montana. “We went fishing, and we went to Glacier National Park a few times, did some family hikes, and we were able to foot the bill a couple times at meals,” she says. “That was so fun to be spending time with them but then to pull out the friends and family card and be able to say, ‘We got this one!’”


Kris Crabb, operations manager in Ahwatukee, Ariz., took her husband to an Eric Church concert in Los Angeles. “We had an amazing time!” she recalls.


Delaney Starks, mortgage banker in Ahwatukee, Ariz., used her Friends and Family benefit to take a backpacking trip with a group of 7 friends. “We went to Havasupai Falls which is in the Grand Canyon,” she says. “It’s a series of 4 waterfalls, beautiful blue-green water, and it’s a tough hike that’s very worth it for the views at the end.”


Cody Anderson, credit assistant in Fargo, N.D., treated his now-wife to a honeymoon in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. “Claire’s dad is from Ecuador, so she wanted me to take her back there to see her family. Everyone is so welcoming, and the hospitality is crazy,” he says. “They have beautiful beaches, beautiful mountains. It was unbelievable!”


Kristine Rodriguez, senior accountant in Minneapolis, chose to take their adopted son, Ian, to Mexico to meet his dad’s side of the family for the first time. “The tears and the laughter – it was just amazing for them to meet their newest grandson, nephew, as well as cousins. Thank you so much, Bell Bank, for this memory for our family.”


Julie Lovaas, SVP/Twin Cities Market Development in Minneapolis, spent her gift when she took her family on a nearly 2-week trip to Paris. “We enjoyed Disneyland Paris and the surrounding villages. We also went to a U.S. Women’s Soccer match for the World Cup,” she says. “We had a wonderful time just being together and exploring the French culture.”


Kyle VanWechel, collection officer in Fargo, N.D., and his wife chose to tag along to Hawaii for their nephew’s Make a Wish trip. “We went to Pearl Harbor, zip lining and Sea Life Park – and he got to get in the pond with dolphins. It was the best experience ever, so thank you, Bell Bank.”