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posted: 9/9/2013 5:30 AM

Father, son team run growing bank in Hanover Park

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  • Andy Salk, co-owner of First Eagle Bank in Hanover Park.

      Andy Salk, co-owner of First Eagle Bank in Hanover Park.

 
 

An interview with Andy Salk, co-owner of First Eagle Bank in Hanover Park.

Q: Describe your business. What do you do?

A: First Eagle Bank is an independent, entrepreneurial bank focused on developing long lasting relationships with our customers, our community and our staff. Whenever anyone talks about a great banking relationship (which doesn't seem to happen that often,) they are usually talking about a great banker. And we have a talented and dedicated team of exceptional bankers

Q: Tell us about the father/son connection.

A: The highlight of my career has been the opportunity to work with my father. His leadership, wisdom and passion for the banking industry have been instrumental to my success and the success of First Eagle Bank.

Q: What made you start your business?

A: My dad owned a small financial company in the 1960s, but with banks becoming more formidable competitors, he acquired a bank in the late 1970s. While that bank was eventually acquired, we were both eager to get back into owning and running an entrepreneurial bank that catered to small business owners, family owned businesses, real estate investors, developers and entrepreneurs.

Q: What changes are you seeing in the industry?

A: Over the past few years, the banking industry has been turned upside down with over 40 plus bank failures in the metro Chicago market. Despite this turmoil, First Eagle remains one of the highest performing and well capitalized banks in Chicago. We are very proud of our financial performance and even more proud of the many long lasting relationships with our customers and staff.

Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?

A: What I enjoy most is creating a culture throughout the bank that is reflected in our vision statement -- making a positive difference in people's lives, our customers, our community and each other.

Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: When I was growing up, my dad and most of his friends were entrepreneurs/small business owners -- such as an auto dealer, a homebuilder, a valve company and I always wanted to own my own business. As a banker, I also have the good fortune of working closely with a variety of business owners, who "put it all on the line" every day to make their business successful.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: Fortunately, I sleep soundly throughout the night.

Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?

A: Be clear and hones with yourself about what you know and don't know -- and when you don't, ask someone who does.

• Every Monday we feature a small, suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact Kim Mikus at kmikus@dailyherald.com.

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