New First National Bank of Milaca President Rachelle Nelson.

New First National Bank of Milaca President Rachelle Nelson.

First National Bank of Milaca has named Rachelle Nelson as its next president, the first woman to lead the bank since its founding in 1897. Nelson’s promotion from her current role of EVP of commercial lending was formally announced at the bank’s annual meeting on January 19, 2021.

“I am excited to be the first woman president of First National Bank of Milaca in its amazing 124-year history of service to this community,” says Nelson. “It’s a great legacy to be part of. I’ve worked hard and it’s really humbling.”

It’s a role Nelson has prepared for her entire life. “When I was in college at the University of Minnesota at Morris, my thesis paper was ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling,’ and so from a young age, I knew how much I really wanted to lead an organization. I wanted to be a woman in leadership.”

She succeeds Joe Tapp, who has served as president since 2013, and will carry on as the bank’s chairman of the board as well as continuing as a consultant to help Nelson ramp up to the demands of her promotion. “Rachelle has been easing into her new role for much of 2020,” notes Tapp. “Our employees have worked both remotely and in split in-person teams during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Rachelle overseeing the Milaca office.”

As she settles into her new role, Nelson says she’s looking forward to meeting even more people from the communities served by First National Bank of Milaca. “I really want the businesses and people who live here to know that I’m just a `small town girl.’ I love Milaca! I’m invested in this community and am here for the long haul.”

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