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Insurance company bought by Security Bank USA

BLACKDUCK — Security Bank USA is venturing into the insurance world after recently purchasing Insurance Services North in Blackduck.

Insurance Services North has been a constant in Blackduck since the 1970s, and has been run by co-owners Jim Wolden and Carole White for nearly 20 years.

Wolden and White put their agency on the market nearly two years ago, and received several inquiries, but felt Security Bank USA best matched the values and mission for the business. The new agency is now aptly named: Security Insurance USA.

“(The change) is very bittersweet. But it’s falling into place very nicely,” Wolden said. “The philosophies of our agency and the bank really have meshed very well.”

“You really do have to search for a company that has the same core values that you do,” said Tiffany Baer Paine, Security Insurance vice president. “We’re a small community bank and we wanted somebody with those same values to partner with.”

 “Blackduck was a natural progression for us,” Ryan Baer, Security Insurance president, said. “In the past, the bank has had a number of relationships with people in Blackduck, Northome and Kelliher whether in a business or consumer relationship. But really, we chose Blackduck because we felt there was an opportunity to expand that customer base in these areas.”

The change of ownership will not only alter the dynamic of the agency between Wolden and White, clients will now also have more ways to interact with agents.

A third agent, Orlando Alamando, recently was hired to serve as producer between the Blackduck location and a smaller office in the Bemidji Security Bank USA building.

Alamano is a graduate of Bemidji State University where he spent much of his time in the crease of the John S. Glas Fieldhouse as goaltender for the Beaver men’s hockey team. After graduation, Alamano spent the next four years in the insurance field.

“If you look at Security Bank and you look at their involvement in Bemidji alone, it’s very heavy,” Alamano said. “That’s one of the reasons I looked into this position. Basically, I want to take that concept and apply it here (in Blackduck). I want to continue Jim and Carole’s involvement in the community because it’s just as important to be able to support local businesses and community groups.”

Insurance is a brand new venture for Security Bank USA, which Baer and Paine do not attempt to hide. Instead, they see the purchase of Insurance Services North as a way to delve into the industry by learning from those who have been in the field long term.

“We are essentially buying a small agency to get into the business,” Baer said. “(Jim and Carole) are around to help us with the business, and hiring Orlando has helped us into the business.

“It was certainly a bit foreign getting into it.”