April Business of the Month: Security First Bank – A small bank, big on community success
Security First Bank in Laramie started as a branch of Westland Federal Savings/Rawlins in January 1981. Then after a change in ownership and nearly 40 years later the bank helps the community succeed through support and ability to know each customer by name.
Today the bank operates with three branches and 30 employees in Laramie and Cheyenne. Five employees work at the Laramie location. Assistant Vice President and Laramie Branch Manager Susan Bulgrin has been with the bank since its start 38 years ago; she explained the bank’s philosophy and philanthropy.
“We’re a small commercial bank, we offer everything everybody else does,” explained Bulgrin, “but I believe that there is a place for everyone and finding a banking home is finding somewhere you’re comfortable.”
Because of the small bank, the employees can put a focus on their customers, sticking to their motto of being “a small bank, big on you.”
“Our main focus is to make sure our customers are taken care of,” said Bulgrin, “and that we know them and they know us and we do what they need to succeed.”
Beyond trying to make every customer feel at home, a specialty for the bank is working with the Wyoming Community Development Authority, a state resource for housing finance.
“We have a great working relationship with WCDA and we’re able to promote their products,” said Bulgrin. “I get phone calls from people all over the state.”
When Bulgrin and other employees are not in the bank, you can see them in civic clubs, volunteering or at various LCBA events.
“We always like to do whatever the LCBA comes up with for promotions,” added Bulgrin. “We’ve also helped with other Laramie programs.”
Bulgrin recited a long list, including the backpack program, United Way volunteering, Relay for Life, Soroptimists and more.
She mentioned that one of her favorite community activities is the Santa Tree program, the tree is filled with tags for presents for children in need.
“We try to do as much as we can,” said Bulgrin, “and I like volunteering on the Agri-Business Committee.”
LCBA VP of Membership Josie Molloy noted that she sees Bulgrin in several volunteer activities and noted her help with the Agri-Business Committee.
“Susan has been a volunteer for the Agri-Business committee for several years,” said Molloy. “She not only helps plan the event and signs up businesses, but she will be the last volunteer there helping clean up making sure the job is done.”
The LCBA Agri-Business Committee helps to put on the Agriculture Appreciation Banquet each year and Bulgrin is a key player in its success. Security First Bank also participates in Hometown Holiday Hurrah and employees attend several LCBA events.
“She is an amazing volunteer,” said Molloy.
Bulgrin said she considers contributing to the LCBA with time or sponsorships keeps the bank visible and serves the community.
“When we participate in or sponsor LCBA activities, I believe that not only are we supporting important events, but we can we benefit from getting to know new people and making a difference in our community.”
These opportunities to support the community through LCBA is only a small reason Security First Bank is a member of the LCBA.
“Security First Bank is proud to be a member of the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance because we want to support our community and help businesses become successful,” said Bulgrin. “Laramie is our home and we can only succeed and become stronger when others succeed, too.”
Laramie Chamber Business Alliance VP of Membership Josie Molloy (right) awards Security First Bank Assistant VP & Laramie Branch Manager Susan Bulgrin (center) and Sareta Silvrants (left) April Business of the Month. The bank and Bulgrin contribute time and money to several causes in Laramie while also helping their customers succeed.