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Central Savings Bank invests in South Hall

Posted: January 21st, 2013

CENTRAL SAVINGS GOES SOUTH – Central Savings Bank Chairman of the Board W. W. "Frenchie" LaJoie (seated, center left) hands off a ceremonial check to Lake Superior State University President Tony McLain. The check represents a $150,000 gift to the South Hall Renovation Project at Lake Superior State University. Standing from left to right are Central Savings Bank Director Dennis Skinner, CSB Board Members William Lynn and John Jorgensen, Sr.; Senior Vice President Cathy Mason; and Board members James Baril, Richard Moran, Paul Brewster, and James Popour. Seated from left are CSB President and CEO Ron Meister, Chairman LaJoie, President McLain, and Tom Coates, executive director of the LSSU Foundation Office. (LSSU photo by John Shibley)

A print-resolution photo that runs with the caption above can be found by clicking here.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University's campaign to renovate South Hall into a state-of-art facility that will house its school of business has received a major gift from Central Savings Bank. The $150,000 donation means the Central Savings Bank Center for Strategic Business will anchor South Hall's second level.

LSSU accepted the check during a meeting of the Central Savings Bank's Board of Directors on Jan. 8. CSB’s contribution, from restricted funds, started in 2005, when the Board of Directors first approved the Bank’s pledge to the South Hall Project.

The restoration and renovation project, slated to begin in winter 2014, will turn South Hall into a cutting-edge learning environment for students and collaborative space for the community, while preserving an important historic building on campus. When it's completed, the building will house LSSU’s School of Business and its Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“I have always believed there is a need for an identifiable home for the School of Business at Lake Superior State,” said Central Savings Bank Chairman of the Board W. W. “Frenchie” LaJoie. “Some of our best employees are graduates of the program and with the combination of talented faculty and an outstanding facility, LSSU can produce a whole lot more.”

The CSB/LSSU relationship goes back for more than four decades.

MAIN ENTRANCE - South Hall's main entrance will face north towards the Kenneth Shouldice Library. The glassed-in area seen above the main lobby houses the LaJoie Board Room, named in honor of long-time Central Savings Bank President and Chairman of the Board W. W. "Frenchie" Lajoie. A high-resolution version of this rendering is here.

Currently, 14 LSSU graduates are employed at Central Savings Bank, including President and CEO Ronald Meister; Executive Vice President Mark Savoie; Senior Vice Presidents Cathy Mason, Penny Kraft, and Sandee Amble; Vice President Rob Landis; Assistant Vice President Suzette LaJoie; Consumer Loan Representative Erin Albrecht; Bookkeeper Mary Beth O’Neil; Tellers Chrissy Groover, Sharri Kostecki, Dede Gravelle and Josh McCollum; and Marketing Director James Parker. Central Savings Bank Director Dennis Skinner is also a graduate of LSSU.

In addition, the following CSB employees have attended or are currently attending classes at LSSU: Deb Sauro, John Allison, Wil Benoit, Brenna Moher, Morgan Laundy, Allison Walsh, Holly Carroll, Andrea Masters, Audri Maki, Melissa Noble, Erica Gordon, and “Frenchie” LaJoie.

The Central Savings Bank Center for Strategic Business will be located on South Hall's upper level. It consists of two seminar rooms where students will have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and business leaders on business plans, strategies and projects. A third room will be the LaJoie Board Room, which will overlook Shouldice Library, Crawford Hall of Science, and the campus commons. The board room is named in honor of LaJoie, who served on LSSU's Board of Trustees 2004-2012, including two terms as chair in 2010-2011. The space will offer a premiere location for board and committee meetings, faculty gatherings, and for students to present plans and portfolios in a true corporate boardroom setting.

SECOND FLOOR CENTER - An architectural rendering shows where the Central Savings Bank Center for Strategic Business will reside on the second level of Lake Superior State University's South Hall. A high-resolution version of this rendering is here.

“Our continued support of LSSU and the School of Business is something we take pride in at the Bank," said CSB President and CEO Ron Meister, who was the inaugural recipient of the LSSU School of Business Outstanding Alumni Award in 2001. "The University is an integral part of the community and its success is important for growth in our area. At CSB, we value the education students achieve in the business school. We are very pleased to see the school being moved into a renovated South Hall.”

Central Savings Bank has been a very generous donor to LSSU, supporting enrollment and development initiatives, athletics, artistic and capital projects, and through the Central Savings Bank Scholarship that provides talented LSSU business majors who are pursuing a career in banking with an opportunity to work and stay in the local community. More than 20 students have benefited from the scholarship, an investment of more than $100,000 over the years in local post-secondary education. Three scholarship recipients -- Mark Savoie, Erin Albrecht, and Holly Carroll -- are currently employed at CSB.

The CSB South Hall gift supports an LSSU Foundation campaign to raise $3 million in private donations for the $12 million construction project to renovate South Hall. A 3-to-1 match from the State of Michigan through the capital outlay process will provide the necessary funds to begin construction in 2014 with anticipated completion in 2015. The facility will be a destination point for students in all fields of study, with expansive spaces for gathering and team building, and will connect students to the world with improved technology.

Watch a fly-through animation of the building design by running a Web search on “South Hall opportunity." For information on the South Hall Project, contact the LSSU Foundation at 906-635-2665 or foundation@lssu.edu.

-LSSU-

CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Tom Pink, e-mail, 635-2315; Virginia Zinser, LSSU Foundation Office, e-mail, 635-2725; James Parker, Central Savings Bank, e-mail, 253-1219.


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