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Business briefs (Aug. 20)

Fall Parade of Homes planned in September

The Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead Fall Parade of Homes will be from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 11-12 and Sept. 18-19. 

Admission is free.

The parade includes 38 homes in a range of prices throughout Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, built by 21 HBA of F-M builders.

A brochure including a map and basic home information will be in The Forum on Sept. 5, and a complimentary Parade of Homes magazine detailing each home entry will be at all metro-area Hornbacher’s stores starting Sept. 7. Information will also be available at

For more information, call (701) 232-5846.

Western State Bank recognizes students

Western State Bank recently awarded two local students $250 savings scholarships as part of their scholastic recognition program, Western Pays for A’s. The scholastic recognition program is designed to reward high school students for their hard work. Makenzie Preston of Harwood and Andrew Sather of West Fargo were selected as the Western Pays for A’s $250 savings scholarship winners for the second semester of the 2013-14 school year. 

“Western is proud to recognize local students for their academic efforts and support them as they prepare for their future education,” said Brad Jacobson, Western State Bank president.

Students in grades six-12 are encouraged to bring their report cards into Western State Bank following each quarter. Students will receive a packet of coupons or gift certificates from local businesses for having at least one “A” on their report card. 

Each semester, Western State Bank will award two $250 savings scholarships selected from students in grades 9-12 who have brought in their report cards. Students will receive an entry for each “A” they have earned. 

Lebahn named top salesman

North Dakota Farmers Union Insurance based in Jamestown, N.D., recently announced that Shane Lebahn of West Fargo was one of the top five producers of new health insurance and new auto insurance sales for the company during the month of June. 

Farmers Union Insurance currently has 102 agents in North Dakota. 

Starion Financial hires Kragnes

Starion Financial has hired Kevin Kragnes as business banking officer/

vice president at its Urban Plains branch. 

Kragnes works with new and existing customers to identify, develop and manage loan portfolios and customer relationships by advising on business management, financial matters and other Starion services. 

Kragnes, who has 20 years of lending and banking experience, has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

He is also a graduate of the Dakota School of Banking and an active member of the West Fargo Exchange Club.

Choice Financial Bank named to ‘Best’ list

Choice Financial Bank was recently named to “The Best of the Best” list by Independent Community Bankers of America.

ICBA Independent Banker pulled FDIC year-end earnings data to identify the top 25 banks in six asset-size categories.

Choice Financial was ranked third for Return on Equity and fourth for Return on Assets in the $500 million to $1 billion Subchapter S Corp bank category.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by ICBA for this designation. We have top-notch employees, and this recognizes their commitment to helping our bank become the region’s leading community bank,” Brian L. Johnson, Choice Financial CEO said in a release.

Choice Financial has 15 full-service banking locations in North Dakota and one in Minnesota. 

ICBA represents more than 6,500 community banks of all sizes throughout the country.