Remembering Steve Tscherter

posted Emily Girsch, CPA, MBA 3/6/2018 in General

Written by: Emily Girsch, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

As I reflect on the passing of a great man, mentor, and friend I really don’t know where to begin.  When I started at LSB I was a kid, a very green 24 years old.  Many of my big life events took place with him close by.

We fought over the thermostat, how fast he drove, and what a chicken I was driving in snow. 
He did math in his head faster than one could do it on a calculator… not simple math either. 
His vocabulary was vast and left me thankful for the thesaurus.

But with all joking and quick quips aside, I truly don’t know where I’d be today without him.  
He never used the word mentor.  Nor did I until I was forced to come to terms with what he meant to me as he approached the end of his time here on earth.  The fact was some days he was a grumpy boss (especially when he worked too hard in the yard or on the house the night before) and some days he was like a father.  He mentored the banking knowledge rather easily, but he was quietly setting an example for the other bigger part of his life… family and community.

Lincoln Savings Bank Board Member, Milt Dakovich, shares similar memories of Steve and how important his family and his community were to him.  “Steve Tscherter was a family man.  First to his own family with his bank family close behind. He was fully committed to family, to his customers and to the communities he served. He lived his entire life with great dignity.”

Steve taught me by letting me try, sometimes I failed, sometimes I succeeded and a lot of times he probably could have done it better or differently.  Rarely did he direct me not to do something or to take a different path, maybe some leading questions, but really letting me figure out my own path and devising the plan to build upon what he’d started.

His heart was huge.  When our employees were struck by floods and tornadoes in 2008, he immediately started devising plans to help them out.  There was the grander community gesture that wound up with national recognition for the LSB Foundation and what was done to help the community rebuild, but on a smaller scale, there was Steve checking in with employees personally that lost their home or family member.  He was helping arrange shelter, even transportation.  They were his number one concern.

He was selfless and modeled servant leadership.  He was much more interested in building up others than getting the spotlight on himself.  He was constantly encouraging others and pushing us into the spotlight – whether it was his nomination of members of his team for various awards or something more simple as always making sure he spotlighted the employees at each annual shareholders meeting. 

One phrase I keep hearing from those who’ve worked with him for many years is “I owe him a lot”. LSB’s Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer, Dana Uhlenhopp says, “The first time I met Steve was on February 5th, 1987 as that is the day that Lincoln Savings Bank purchased the former State Bank of Allison (where I had been employed).  It was a trying time for the employees, but one of the things I remember the most was how considerate Steve was as he introduced his management team to us.  I knew then that he was a person I’d like to work for, and fortunately for me, I’m still at LSB and much of that is due ‘to Mr. T’.  Our assets totaled around $65 million on the above date and now are over $1.1 billion.  Much of that has been due to Steve’s leadership and vision.  He was a great mentor, leader, and role model. I appreciate all that he has done for me and my family.” 

The legacy Steve left is immeasurable. We will continue to celebrate and honor him by providing the best service to our customers and communities.

We owe him a lot.

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