BVU, Community State Bank Link Via Strategic Partnership

Through a partnership with Buena Vista University, Community State Bank offers additional opportunities and educational benefits for its employees and their eligible family members.

Buena Vista University (BVU) and Community State Bank have formed a Strategic Partnership, providing new opportunities to strengthen their communities and the people they serve.

This partnership allows for employees of Community State Bank, as well as eligible family members of full-time employees, to receive grant funding to lower the overall cost of education while enrolled in classes at BVU’s Storm Lake campus. Partner grant funding also lowers the cost per credit hour for students enrolled in BVU’s convenient online/hybrid undergraduate programs or the organizational leadership graduate program.

“This is a good partnership for Community State Bank and Buena Vista University to help keep students in the area,” says Community State Bank President Seth McCaulley. “We hope they stay in the area after graduating to help expand and grow our communities in the future.”

“This is a good partnership for Community State Bank and Buena Vista University to help keep students in the area.”

Community State Bank President Seth McCaulley

Community State Bank is a full-service financial institution, offering banking services as well as trust and investment departments, and staffs about 35 employees at seven locations across Northwest Iowa in Albert City, Emmetsburg, Laurens, Mallard, Sioux Rapids, Spencer, and Webb. The 108-year-old bank, which was chartered in Albert City, has doubled in size in the past five years, further enhancing the financial institution’s ability to serve customers throughout the region.

“Buena Vista University was a small campus with lots of opportunities,” says Community State Bank Commercial Loan Processor Kristin Schwenneker, a 1995 BVU graduate who double-majored in marketing and corporate communications. “BVU offered everything I was looking for in a college and was a really good fit for me.”

BVU has long enjoyed strong educational ties in and around Emmetsburg and Spencer, home to Iowa Lakes Community College, campuses that have collaborated with BVU for decades. Students enrolled in a program through Iowa Lakes can seamlessly transfer their credits toward their bachelor’s degree at BVU. Students receive personalized support including admissions and enrollment counseling and academic advising right in Emmetsburg and Spencer through BVU’s office on the Iowa Lakes campuses.

“Buena Vista University is excited to partner with Community State Bank,” says BVU Director of Strategic Partnerships Laura Todd. “Through this Strategic Partnership, we will work together to create opportunities to provide educational benefits to continue to strengthen Northwest Iowa’s workforce.”

For more information about BVU’s Strategic Partnerships and partner opportunities, please visit the BVU website at or contact Strategic Partnerships at