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Larson receives banker award

Frank Larson, founder of Starion Financial, received the Distinguished Community Banker Award Aug. 19 at the 47th annual convention for the Independent Community Bankers of North Dakota in Bismarck.

Created in 1998 to recognize the efforts of its most outstanding members, this is the most prestigious award given by ICBND. It honors a current or retired community banker for exemplary and outstanding service to community banking over an extended career.

For Larson, a Valley City lawyer, that career began in 1969 when he and his wife, JoAndrea, purchased the First National Bank of Oakes in North Dakota. A year later, they purchased the First National Bank and Trust Co. in Ellendale, N.D. Over the years, the organization grew to include North Dakota locations in Bismarck, Fargo, Mandan, Dunseith, Rolla and Bottineau, N.D. The organization also includes a location in Madison, Wis.

The name Starion Financial was adopted in 2003 to represent geographic growth and to encompass the full line of financial services — banking, mortgage, insurance and investments — being offered. Today, Starion Financial has 14 branches and is a $1 billion family-owned community bank and financial services organization.

“My father is a community banker, but he is also a community builder,” said Craig Larson, son of Frank Larson and president and CEO of Starion. “In banking Frank found the perfect vehicle to help people, businesses and communities succeed. A man of high moral standards and integrity, he has made these timeless characteristics a part of our culture at Starion. And with a contagious sense of optimism, Frank is intensely positive, very connected and people want to work for him.”