One of the West's oldest bankers has hung up his hat.

Elwood M. Kullgren, 85, retired Tuesday as chairman and chief executive of $155 million-asset Colorado State Bank, Denver, after more than 60 years in its employ.

Mr. Kullgren had been chief executive of the bank since 1963. Although giving up his day-to-day duties, he will retain a seat on the bank's board of directors.

"I don't know whether it's a relief or a task to retire," Mr. Kullgren said. "It's going to be hard to adjust."

Mr. Kullgren married a daughter of his predecessor, Forrest L. Barkley, in 1935 and joined the bank as a runner two years later. He moved up to bookkeeper, teller, cashier, and then vice president before becoming president.

When he started "you were able to use your own judgment and run a bank in a safe and sound way in your own manner," Mr. Kullgren said. "Now they try to dictate how you do it. It isn't as much fun."

Colorado State Bank, which opened in 1908, has been under family management since 1910, when it was bought by Benjamin F. Clark. Mr. Barkley, the next president, was Mr. Clark's son-in-law.

Mr. Kullgren will be succeeded as chairman and chief executive by the bank's current president, John G. Wilkinson.

You guessed it. Mr. Wilkinson is Mr. Kullgren's son-in-law.


The practice of handing out lollipops in a branch office may be just one casualty in the dog-eat-dog world of banking, where every cost, no matter how minor, is scrutinized.

But while the lollipop may be a relic of the past at Foothill Independent Bank, the dog biscuit lives on.

For 10 years tellers at the Glendora, Calif.-based bank have been handing them out at the drive-through windows to customers who drive up with dogs in their cars.

"It's pretty much a tradition," said Kim Nocas, Foothill director of marketing. "We don't publicize it a lot, but it's a courtesy to our customers. And the customers love it because it'll shut up the dog so they can get their work done."

Ms. Nocas said the tradition was started by a teller who noticed that a customer trying to fill out a deposit slip was being distracted by an attention-starved dog. Now customers at the nine branches with drive- throughs expect it - and of course, so do their dogs.

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