U.S. Bank


Karen Troester
Vice President, Commercial Banking
970-243-2412 • 422 White Ave. Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-254-7500 • 2448 F Road Grand Junction, CO 81506
970-434-2396 • 569 32 Road #16a Grand Junction, CO 81504

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Maine and moved to Alaska at the age of 17. I lived for 17 years in Alaska, prior to moving to Colorado.

How did you get started in the industry?
U.S. Bank approached me. I have a background in finance, operations, sales and marketing and I owned my own business.  I had spent 10 years in the energy industry in operations working for British Petroleum in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. My banking career began 15 years ago as a personal banker, then I moved into business and commercial lending.

How has the industry changed since you got started?
The industry has changed tremendously the last 15 years, with the effects of the last five being the most significant.  If I had to describe it I would have to say the expectation of detail is greater than in years past.  At U.S. Bank we have always been customer relationship focused. In the commercial world it is about the relationship, knowing your customer and understanding their business in its entirety.

What should consumers look for in a new home? What kind of questions should consumers ask a builder before they sign a contract?
Your contractor is very important and knowing the quality of the builder and the experience they have.  Fortunately we have some very good ones in Western Colorado. It’s not always about the price—check their references and background, and make sure that you are able to communicate with them effectively.  Don’t assume they know what you want.

What types of lending do you do?
As a commercial lender my work is either residential construction for builders, multi family over five units, new commercial construction/remodel and permanent financing. The single family permanent financing for residential is done by my colleagues and mortgage lenders, Cheryl VanDyke and Josie Rosa.

Tell us about your involvement in the Community:
Over the years I have served on many boards and volunteered in various roles.  My favorite has been the Junior College World Series (JUCO). I continue to be on the committee. My daughters, Nicole and Ashley, have also donated many hours to the event.  U.S. Bank has been the Northern District sponsor for many years.  Many of the U.S. Bank people in the region enjoy and participate in the event, and give a great deal of support to it.  I have also served as chair of United Way, private school boards, Hospital Board, Riverside Task Force, financial literacy programs and continue to support the National Youth Educators Council and Colorado Mesa University PBL (Phi Beta Lambda) and School District 51 FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)  programs as a local judge. I have taught my daughters the importance of community service, and they participate and have volunteered with me in most of these organizations as well.

What do you enjoy when you’re not working?
I enjoy travel with my daughters, family and friends and I love to cook.  I believe you make your own happiness in life.  The past few years my daughters and I have spent considerable time in Alaska. I took them to the Iditarod Race in March this year. They both rode in the start of the race with two of the mushers.  It was an experience of a lifetime they will never forget. In June of 2013 I organized, planned and personally guided a trip to Alaska for some high school students. We traveled throughout the state for 17 days taking them from one end of the state to the other, Mount McKinley and Denali Park, Kenia Pennisula, summer solstice celebration, a native village, and drove from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay through the Arctic.  It was an amazing and life changing trip for all.

My family is the highlight of my life.  I have three daughters—Josey, 27; son in-law Ryan; Nicole, 17 and Ashley, 15. We are all very close.  I think any time you can say you have teenagers and they are your “stress relief” you have accomplished something great.

What do you enjoy about living in western Colorado?
Western Colorado has it all and we get the best off all worlds—four seasons and none of them severe, just enough to get a good dose of each. We have easy access to the outdoors, the culture is growing and becoming more diverse. 

What do you see as up-and-coming trends in the building industry?
Western Colorado is improving and certainly many areas of the United States.  I think we will continue to see slow steady improvement over the next few years.  We are living in an ever changing world with continued challenge. However business owners seem to always figure out how to get through it. One important key is to build that relationship with your banker/lender and the bank.  U.S. Bank is about relationships and being an integral part of the communities where we do business.

Looking for help improving your home? Call the HBA of Northwestern Colorado at (970) 245-0253 or visit http://www.hbanwco.com

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Grand Junction, CO 81501
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