Scoring Big with a Small Bank

If you’re a Twin Cities sports fan, chances are you’ve experienced the work of Homeco Insulation, a local commercial insulation company whose services improve the energy efficiency of TCF Bank Stadium, US Bank Stadium, and Target Field, as well as dozens of businesses and residential towers throughout the metro area.

Homeco owner Donna Gulden grew up with her parents’ home-based insulation business, helping her mom with administrative tasks and her dad with installations. When health issues required her mom to stop working, Donna devoted even more time to the family business, and four years later, in 1996, she and her husband Greg purchased Homeco from her parents.

As the new owners of a small business, Greg and Donna did pretty much everything—from sales calls and estimates to installation and follow up—themselves. Fast forward 20+ years. Homeco has grown from two employees to 35, and now operates not from the Gulden’s home, but from a 17,000-square-foot building in Blaine. And while you might think growth such as that would have required a bigger bank, you’d be wrong.

“When we started, we were with one of the big banks,” says Donna. “But we didn’t like the experience. We were just a number there.” The relationship finally came to an end over the Gulden’s line of credit.

“We were getting ready to go on vacation and had been trying to get a hold of our banker to renew our line of credit, but she wasn’t returning our calls,” explains Greg. “We knew she’d gotten our messages because her assistant told us so, yet she never called us back. Then, when we were on vacation, we got a message saying that bank had canceled our line of credit.”

For the Guldens, that was the last straw. Even though they’d never used the line of credit, they wanted to keep it, just in case they needed it. Plus, they didn’t appreciate how they’d been treated. So, thanks to a referral from their accountant, they contacted North American Banking Company Senior Vice President of Business Banking, Brad Benesh.

“It’s been a great fit,” says Donna. “As a local business, I like working with other local businesses, so being with a community bank is an advantage. So is having Brad in our corner. To him, we’re not just a number. He truly cares about us. And while he returns our calls promptly, he’s not constantly looking over our shoulders or trying to sell us something. Plus, he’s got a great team to back him up.”

But perhaps most importantly, Brad is effective, often coming up with solutions the Guldens wouldn’t be able to come up with on their own. Take their new building in Blaine, for instance.

“We were bursting at the seams in our existing building and needed to find a new one fast,” says Donna. Within a week, we were ready to buy the building we now call home, and thanks to Brad and the commercial and SBA loans he helped us secure, everything fell into place perfectly.”

If you’re looking for a perfect fit with right-sized attention from a banker who can deliver big benefits, contact Brad Benesh at 651.714.6421 or He has four decades of experience helping businesses of all sizes meet their financial needs.

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