POWER TO THE PEOPLES
By DOUGLAS BURNS
With footprints in four Greene County cities, Peoples Bank sees the urgency of being involved in one of the region’s top priorities: development of workforce and affordable housing — as well as the expansion of homes generally as the county continues to see business growth, from the arrival of Wild Rose Casino & Resort to the expected opening of Pillar Technologies.
John P. Rigler III, the president of the banking operation, has taken an active role in housing growth in Jefferson and Greene County fully.
“We are trying to be as good a community bank as we can be,” Rigler said in a recent interview.
Rigler has been on the Greene County Development Corp. for well over a year now.
Working with other Greene County leaders, Rigler played a key role with the development of the planned three four-plexes on the 900 block of Olive Street in Jefferson, east of St. Joseph Catholic Church, which sold the land to Rowland Construction Company of Clive.
Peoples Bank is financing the project, and Rigler identified Rowland for the venture. Rowland is moving dirt already on the development.
At the same time, in concert with other GCDC members and community leaders, Rigler is involved with the three-block project, another housing related effort that could transform downtown Jefferson with the transformation of the middle school building into a 24-unit apartment complex.
“We felt we could make something out of the Jefferson school,” he said.
That project is in the conceptual stages, but is a high priority for development leaders.
The family banking operation started in 1937 in New Hampton. It now includes branches in Jefferson, Scranton, Rippey, Grand Junction, Ogden, Guthrie Center, Adel, Waukee and Clive.
The bank employs 88 people and lists assets of $330 million.
“We know the culture of those towns,” said John P. Rigler II, chairman and CEO of Peoples and the father of John Rigler III. “We know the people and we appreciate them.”
Big picture, John Rigler II sees the westward growth of the Des Moines suburbs in which Peoples operates banks as advancing Greene County as well, as its rural cities are closer to major economic activity — one of the reasons Pillar cites for its entrance into Jefferson.
On another front, Peoples Bank is seeking to be a leader with the environment.
Eight of its nine branches have been converted and retrofitted to operate on solar energy. And Peoples Bank’s metro market now has nine total electric vehicle charging stations available to customers with a Peoples Bank Sun Pass.
The banking group is also involved with financial literacy in schools through its Giant Piggybank project that promotes savings and smart financial decisions.
Born in Clive, John Rigler III earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison before heading to Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where he received a master’s in business administration.
He has worked for Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan and lived in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
Rigler and his wife, Andrea, a native of Milwaukee, live in Urbandale with their three children: Vivian, 5; and twins Alexandra and John, 3.