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Wallace named Citizens bank president

Jim Wallace has assumed the role of Citizens National Bank president, bringing more than three decades of experience in legal work to the position. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Attorney Jim Wallace has been named president of Citizens National Bank, his law office on Highway 34 east now closed.

Wallace is well versed in the banking industry, having served on the bank's board of directors since 1997, and as the bank's attorney.

The board approached him on assuming the role following the retirement of Bob Gack in December.

Wallace holds an undergraduate degree in business from the Carlson School of Management, majoring in management and earning a minor in economics, with honors. He subsequently earned a law degree from the University of Minnesota, graduating magna cum laude.

Wallace practiced law in New Ulm as a partner with the 20-member Gislason and Hunter firm.

Meanwhile, Wallace and his late wife, Gayle, purchased a cabin near Park Rapids in 1980, heading north on weekends and holidays.

Five years later, the family moved north, Wallace opening a law firm focusing on business, civil litigation, real estate and estate planning. He represented a number of banks through the years and has served on several business-oriented committees.

Rob Tiffany, his only partner during his practice, is now a district court judge.

Wallace has transferred the majority of his legal files to attorney Sara Swanson.

Citizens National Bank, founded May 27, 1933, is locally owned by private individuals.

As president, Wallace is responsible for the overall operation of the bank, chairing its board of directors.

"Banks are driven by government regulations," he said. "I'm experienced in reading the laws, rules and regulations. I enjoy the work - I wouldn't have done it if I didn't."

The product of the bank is money, he explained. As president, Wallace oversees the cost of funds coming in and the return on those funds.

He supervises a financial institution with "capable, competent employees," the bank experiencing a low turnover rate.

His five "great kids" - who include an architect, teacher, nurse and two in business - were supportive of his decision.

Wallace's former law office will soon be on the market.