From the Beginning...
The idea was born one night over dinner at Stieglers, when Conrad Schwiering (known as Connie), John Turner and Bob Biolchini conceptualized a financial institution that could respond to the folks of Jackson with speed and with creative individualized service. It was 1982, and dreams were as big as your imagination.
In no time the dream became a reality, a tiny startup bank housed in a trailer on Broadway was bought, and the Bank of Jackson Hole came into existence with 3 million in assets, and a whole Valley to serve. The neophyte institution was dubbed “the bank in the box” that townspeople joked would probably be towed away some dark night, vault and all! The three men, along with John Turner’s mother Louise Bertschy, became the first stockholders; and Connie Schwiering took the reins as the bank’s first Chairman of the Board.
The bank’s first real structure, built on its original site, was designed by the three founders, influenced by each one’s particular appreciation of the region. Connie sketched the Tetons as the bank trademark and logo and designed the distinctive sign of redwood and steel and the etched windows to match. Bob who worked during summers as the Bell Captain at Old Faithful wanted burl logs like Old Faithful Inn, and Morgan silver dollars in the lighting fixtures which was for many decades the currency of the Rocky Mountain West. And John insisted that massive logs inside and out would portray the signature and the strength of the bank. John literally drew over the architect’s drawings in a meeting with his log concept of the first bank building, establishing the blueprint for all Bank of Jackson Hole log branches.
Connie’s first painting to hang in the new bank was named “The Difference”, a moving portrayal of a cowboy riding home on a winter morning after a brutal snowstorm, a mother cow following wearily in the footsteps of his horse, and in his arms he carries a newborn calf barely four hours old. The unique western strength and dedication of this cowboy set the mood and direction for the bank; and the slogan of “You can bank on the Difference” brought a new emphasis on our connectedness with each other and with nature around us. “The Difference” hangs in the lobby behind the tellers’ cage at the Main Branch on Broadway, the site, since 1988, of yesterday’s trailer.