Weather Forecast


Bank employees take time for community

From left, Jessica M. Ferris, Jessica A. Ferris and Nancy Rislov-Johnson are hard at work and using all their strength to dig up weeds in the Catlin Court garden. (Jed Carlson/

BMO Harris Bank employees in Superior took a break from counting money and opening accounts on Wednesday.

They traded money and calculators for gardening gloves and shovels.

“It felt great to get out of the office and help beautify Superior,” said Nancy Rislov-Johnson, assistant bank manager at BMO Harris. “Volunteer day is generally something all of our employees look forward to, and want to participate in.”

BMO Harris employees traveled to Superior Housing Authority to renovate a garden as a part of BMO Harris Bank annual volunteer day.

“This day is an extension of the community work we are dedicated to throughout the year,” Rislov-Johnson said. “Our employees are encouraged to find a cause for which they are passionate and get involved.”

The BMO Harris Bank annual volunteer day was created in 2001, and has grown rapidly over the years. This year, about 6,000 BMO employees across the U.S. and Canada volunteered in their local neighborhoods by participating in nearly 400 activities that help hundreds of organizations such as community housing, youth organizations, health care facilities and homeless shelters and food banks.

About 11 BMO Harris Bank Superior employees were split between two shifts to pull weeds, clean the garden and plant flowers at the Superior Housing Authority’s family property, Catlin Court.

“Trying to maintain the garden can be overwhelming at times … it’s a lot to keep up,” said Sandy Smith, executive assistant at Superior Housing Authority. “It’s always nice to get help and the BMO Harris employees did a great job. The residents really appreciate it.”

Last year, 12 of the BMO Harris employees planted flowers at the Memory Lane Adult Day Care Center on Tower Avenue. They work with United Way to find an activity that works well for the group and brings value to the community.

“It’s nice to being able to do something for a good cause,” said Jessica A. Ferris, senior center representative at BMO Harris Bank in Superior. “Being able to help the residents who can’t upkeep the garden themselves is rewarding. I’m glad I got to help.”

Employees said they were happy to lend a hand and felt the day was a complete success.

“All of our employees have a great sense of pride for giving back to our communities and the nonprofit organizations who work so tirelessly to support them,” said Rislov-Johnson. “We believe that giving back is the right thing to do. It’s a win-win.”