A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:


Title: President, Bloomington Northland Plaza location

Age: 35

Erin Procko has been promoted to president of Bell State Bank & Trust's new location in Bloomington, which is to open next year in the prominent Northland Plaza office tower near Interstate 494 and France Avenue.

Procko, who will be the first woman to serve as a Bell market president, is focusing on recruiting for the Bloomington office, which is likely to open in mid-2016.

Bell, Minnesota's largest independent bank, and Sterling Real Estate Trust, both based in Fargo, N.D., partnered in August to buy the 15-story Northland Plaza.

"The purchase signifies Bell's long-term investment and commitment to the Twin Cities," Procko said. "It shows that our owners and executives have a lot of optimism about this market."

In addition to its visibility, the Bloomington site is ideal, Procko said, because it places Bell in the midst of a highly competitive area for both employees and customers in commercial and private banking.

Procko joined Bell in 2012 with a decade of experience in commercial lending. She has a political science degree from the University of Minnesota.

"Bell's culture is unlike any other bank I've been at in terms of the values and the way people are treated, not only our employees but our customers," Procko said. "When people are happy in their jobs and enjoy what they're doing then the customers feel that and see that."

Procko most recently was senior vice president of commercial lending at Bell's office at the Colonnade in Golden Valley. Bell also has a Woodbury location.

Q: Why should companies consider Bell for their commercial banking business?

A: Our ownership is independent and patient, so we're good at providing continuity solutions for customers over all of the business cycles. We're not reacting to market conditions or changing the way that we do things based on competitive pressures. Our key is to be consistent for our customers over a long period of time.

Q: What are your goals as Bloomington market president?

A: The three things that I have in mind that would be a good driver of success would be that I protect our culture, which is unique and important to what we do, that we continue to grow and that we maintain credit and asset quality. Keeping all of those things in balance.

Q: What led to your career in banking?

A: I love learning about businesses. The innovation and how that impacts our daily lives, with services and products we use, is fascinating. I also love the numbers piece and how the numbers fit into the story of the business and how they're successful.

Todd Nelson