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First Western Bank & Trust’s Brenda Foster elected to Minneapolis Fed Board of Directors

MINNEAPOLIS – Brenda Foster, chair, president and CEO of First Western Bank & Trust in Minot, has been elected to the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis’ board of directors.

Foster was elected to a three-year term as a Class A director.

“I am honored to be elected to serve as a Class A director representing member banks,” Foster said. “This is an opportunity to provide insight as a banker on economic conditions that influence monetary policy. I am looking forward to working with and learning from the Federal Reserve board and its employees.”

Foster, whose term will begin on Jan. 1, 2020, is succeeding Catherine Kelly of Minneapolis, Regional President of PNC Bank Financial Services Group, who has served the maximum two terms as a director and is ineligible for re-election.

Foster is the past president of the Independent Community Banks of North Dakota, Chair of Large Community Bank Council for Independent Community Banks of America, a member of the Minot State University Board of Regents, and as a volunteer for Junior Achievement.

The Class A group of directors is elected by member banks to represent the member banks, and she will join the two other Class A directors, Thomas Armstrong, Market president of Forward Bank, Park Falls, Wis.. and Jeanne Crain, president and CEO of Bremer Financial Corporation.

Meanwhile, David Emery was re-elected to the Minneapolis Fed’s board of directors. He was first elected in 2018 to fill a vacated position, and has now been re-elected to a new three-year term as a Class B director.

He is the executive chairman of the Board of Black Hills Corporation, a diversified energy company with headquarters in Rapid City, S.D., and operations in eight states.The company provides gas and electric utilities to more than 1.27 million customers in North America.

The Class B group of directors is elected by member banks to represent the public, and now includes Emery and two others: Sarah Walsh, chief operating officer of PayneWest Insurance of Helena, Mont.; and Kathleeen Neset, president of Neset Consulting Service in Tioga.

The remaining members of the board, the Class C group of directors, are appointed by the Board of Governors and are: Kendall J. Powell, retired chairman and CEO of General Mills, Harry D. Melander, president of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council, and Srilata Zaheer, dean of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

About the Board of Directors

Minneapolis Fed directors are selected to represent a cross section of the Ninth District economy, including consumers, industry, agriculture, the service sector, labor and commercial banks of various sizes. Pursuant to the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis board has nine members, with three Class A directors representing the member banks and three each of Class B and C directors, selected to represent the public with “due but not exclusive consideration to the interests of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor, and consumers.” Member banks are stockholders of the Reserve Bank in their District and as such, are required to hold 3 percent of their capital as stock in their Reserve Banks.

The responsibilities of directors are broad, ranging from overseeing the general operations of the Minneapolis Fed to reporting on district economic conditions. This information helps prepare the Minneapolis Fed president for participation in Federal Open Market Committee meetings, where decisions are made about monetary policy.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System, the nation’s central bank. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is responsible for the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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