The Graduate School of Banking at Colorado (GSBC) elected three new community bankers to its board of trustees at its meeting during the school’s 71st Annual School Session in Boulder, Colo. The new members include Christie Huber Obenauer (representing North Dakota), Robert Husong (representing Arkansas) and Gail Mikolich (representing Minnesota).
Christie Huber Obenauer
Christie Huber Obenauer, president and chief executive officer of Union State Bank in Hazen, N.D., represents the fourth generation to lead her family-owned community bank. After graduating from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., she began her full-time banking career in Fargo. After gaining additional banking experience in the Bismarck, N.D., and Boise, Idaho, markets, she moved back to her hometown of Hazen in 2002.
Christie is active in many local, regional and state-level boards involving banking and community development, including the North Dakota Bankers Association. She is a 2016 graduate of GSBC, having served as a class representative during her time at the school. Huber Obenauer previously chaired the GSBC Alumni Association and succeeds Tim Karsky, president of Choice Bank in Fargo as a North Dakota representative on the GSBC Board of Trustees.
Robert Husong is the president of First National Bank of Northwest Arkansas (NWA), a division of First National Bank of Fort Smith. Husong starting his banking career in the Oklahoma City metro area before moving back to his hometown in Northwest Arkansas in 1998 to work for a community bank in the Arvest Bank Group.
In 2004, Husong was part of a group that started a de novo bank where he fulfilled various executive management capacities. After graduating from GSBC in 2010, he was recruited to his current leadership role at the First National Bank of NWA in 2013. Rob has been a board member of the Arkansas Bankers Association since 2020. He is the first Arkansas representative on the GSBC Board of Trustees.
Gail Mikolich is the chief operating officer of Northeast Bank in Minneapolis, Minn., having served the bank since 1986. Gail served as a member of the Minnesota Bankers Association’s (MBA) board of directors from 2008 to 2014. From 2015-2018, Mikolich was a member of MBA’s executive committee, serving as vice chair, chair and immediate past chair, respectively. She has also been a member of the American Bankers Association’s Community Bankers Council.
After her graduation from GSBC in 2009, Mikolich served on the GSBC Alumni Advisory Board and was a Bank Management Simulation instructor at GSBC for five years. Mikolich succeeds Andy Noll, president of First Farmers & Merchants National Bank in Fairmont as a Minnesota representative on the GSBC Board of Trustees.
“I am pleased to have Christie, Rob and Gail join our board of trustees,” said GSBC President Michael Stevens. “We have an exciting strategic plan to execute, and we will benefit from their experience and dedication to GSBC.”
The GSBC Board of Trustees is the governing body of the school and is comprised of community bankers, regulators and advisors representing the school’s nine strongest supporting states.