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Royal Bank President and CEO Dan Ravenscroft pulls up Royal Bank's mobile app on his smartphone in his office at the Elroy branch.

JAKE EKDAHL/Star-Times

Royal Bank has a new face at the top. Dan Ravenscroft assumed the role of president and CEO of the bank. Ravenscroft replaces four outgoing presidents: Jack Heding, Rick Busch, Bob Hart and Greg Darga who collectively decided to retire at the end of 2017.

Ravenscroft, who is originally from Necedah, has been working at Royal Bank for 21 years. “I started here in our Elroy location,” Ravenscroft said. “I started out while I was in college.” He has also worked at the Hillsboro and Mauston locations of the bank.

After about 18 years in a “committee structure” leadership with four presidents serving together, Royal Bank has decided to return to a single president and CEO. “As they announced their retirement and we looked forward strategically for the organization, we made the decision with where we were at right now to go back to a traditional structure,” Ravenscroft said. A seamless transition of leadership and a preservation of the culture at Royal Bank were focus points in the decision.

Ravenscroft’s 21 year career at Royal had several stages. He went from a part-time account representative, to an accounting intern, to credit services, to branch manager and loan officer, to regional vice president and finally to president and CEO. Ravenscroft believes the diverse array of positions he has served in will make him better equipped to fulfill the daily responsibilities of his current role. “I think it’s important at a community bank to know as many different facets of the organization as you can,” Ravenscroft said.

Although assuming the responsibilities of four people might seem daunting, Ravenscroft feels the staff at Royal Bank are a valuable resource he can rely upon going forward. “It’s intimidating to be taking over in some aspects, but it’s very reassuring to know that the people working with me are very strong,” Ravenscroft said.

Royal Bank has earned an annual five-star rating with the national independent bank and credit union rating firm Bauer Financial for the last several years. Ravenscroft hopes to see the trend continue into 2018.

The development of a mobile app compatible with Samsung, Apple and Android pay has been an important step for Royal Bank Ravenscroft said. The app allows users to deposit a check by taking pictures of it with their smartphones.

Mobile banking has allowed Royal Bank to hold on to customers it may have previously lost. When individuals move away from the area, they can continue using their account without needing to be near a physical location of the bank. “Because of the technology that we are able to deliver, we’re able to keep those relationships and really have them be lifetime relationships,” Ravenscroft said.

Being able to compete with the features national banks offer has been an ongoing pursuit for Royal Bank. “I think we offer as much as the big guys,” Senior Vice President Jeri Weger said.

Ravenscroft has a Bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire and a specialized degree from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Going forward, Ravenscroft plans to focus on maintaining the culture at Royal Bank and “delivering the best technology to our customers.”

Assistant Vice President Natalie Adams is optimistic about the bank’s future. “I have definite trust in where we’re going,” Adams said. “I think we have a solid foundation in place.”

Bookkeeper Carol Grant, who has been with Royal Bank more than 40 years, has seen several leadership changes during her career. “I feel that we’re in good hands for a long ways down the road,” Grant said.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl