W.D. (Bill) Ley
W.D. (Bill) Ley purchased majority interest in the Farmers Trust & Savings Bank in 1967. The Bank continued to grow and prosper during the years of Bill's ownership. Assets totaled $5.9 million in 1967 compared to $102 million in December 2000, when Bill passed away.
In June 2004, the Bank was sold to the employees of the Bank. As part of the sale, an agreement was reached between Bill's children; David Ley, Carolyn (Ley) Berkland, and Timothy Ley, to establish the Ley Foundation. The agreement provides that the Bank contribute $50,000 a year for ten (10) years to the Foundation.
The interest earned from the investments in the Foundation will be made available on an annual basis for grants to community organizations and projects in the communities served by the bank. Since its inception, over $75,000 has been awarded to organizations and projects in the communities of Buffalo Center, Lakota, Britt, Lake Mills, and Bricelyn, MN. Applications are now available in each office and must be received by October 31st of each year.
A Board of Directors oversees all aspects of the Foundation, including awarding grants. The Board consists of seven members: one member of the Ley family, a bank representative, and one member (either the mayor or city council appointee) from each of the five communities.
The current members of the Board are:
•Don Wheatly, Chairman - Lake Mills, IA
•Mike Kettwick, Secretary/Treasurer - Buffalo Center, IA
•David Ley, Director - Lakota, IA
•Troy Armstrong, Director - Buffalo Center, IA
•Doug Price, Director - Lakota, IA
•James Nelson, Director - Britt, IA
•Gerald Molskness,Director - Bricelyn, MN
We are all pleased with the establishment of the Foundation in Bill's name. During his lifetime, Bill served his communities both personally and through the Bank. With the creation of the Foundation, this type of benevolence will continue forever.