Name: Dan Christianson
Where we found him: Downtown Rochester
You’re on your way to Colorado as we speak? Yes, I have a place in Breckenridge. I’m going to do some biking and hiking, and projects around the house.
How did you end up with a place in Colorado? My son went to college in Boulder, and a lot of his good friends were from Breckenridge. He and I would go up and stay with these families and ski. We got to know people in the area and in the community and really enjoyed it.
Favorite band? Oh, let’s see … Queen, Steely Dan, Moody Blues. Take your pick.
Best concert? I saw the Moody Blues at Red Rocks, probably 7, 8, 9 years ago. It was the first show I saw there, and it was a gorgeous night. You could see the lights of Denver over the shell. I’ve seen Steely Dan and Neil Young there, too. It rained almost the whole time during Steely Dan, but that didn’t stop them.
Where did you graduate from high school? Preston/Fountain, which doesn’t exist anymore. It’s now part of Fillmore Central. My old high school is now the elementary school for Fillmore Central. I was actually on the school board when we voted to merge our district with Harmony.
Could you still find your locker? I could come close! I don’t know if I remember the number, but I can walk to the general area and tell you where it was.
If you weren’t a banker, you’d...? I’d either play or coach basketball for a living.
You played high school ball? Yes.
How was your team? You know, when I was a sophomore, we were one win away from going to state. When I was a junior, we were one of the higher ranked teams but got upset in district playoffs. Senior year, we were above average—but at 6’1”, I was the tallest guy on the team. That tells you something.
Last vacation you took before COVID? It’s not a vacation, but I was actually in Orlando for a national banking convention when all the restrictions started to hit. I flew home from there and that’s the last time I’ve been in an airplane. We were at a huge resort with a couple thousand rooms and maybe more, and Visa was scheduled to come in the next day and they canceled. So they had 10 people staying the next night instead of a couple thousand.
Ideal Saturday? Sleep in a bit, and then do some kind of recreational activity—biking, golfing, or skiing with friends or family. That night, if I was in Colorado, I’d probably go outside and sit in the hot tub, look at the stars, light a fire in the fireplace, and enjoy a nice dinner and time together.
Where did you go to college? I started at St. Olaf and finished my undergrad at University of Minnesota, in finance. I also have a law degree from University of Minnesota.
Did you ever practice? No, I didn’t. I finished law school, took the bar exam and passed it, but our family has owned F & M Community Bank since the late ‘60s. When I finished law school in 1982, the ag crisis was just starting to ramp up. I thought I’d go home and help work though a lot of the problems. I was thinking that would take 2, 3, 4 years. Instead it took 12, 13, 14 years before we had everything going in the right direction. It was challenging throughout the ‘80s, but it was a good place to be, a good place for the kids to grow up, a good business to be in. We can do a lot of good things for the community, and I’ve been lucky to be able to do that.
There’s a branch in Rochester? Yes, it’s grown from an office only in Preston, to being in Preston, Chatfield, and Rochester. We’ve had three generations working there. I worked alongside my dad, and now my daughter works there as the compliance officer and internal auditor. But it was never expected. Like my parents told me, and I told Alyssa, you’ve got to do what you want to do—what you enjoy and are happy doing.
How many kids do you have? Three. Alyssa is our oldest and lives in Minneapolis with her family. Carryn is a therapist in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and lives with her husband and 18-month-old daughter. And Jarad is in Boulder, working as a project manager for a construction firm, and has a serious girlfriend. They all live in fun places to visit!
Scariest moment? I think maybe it’s when we were in Cancun once and Carryn started to cross the street. It had been raining and it was slippery, and I told her to stop, to come back. She slipped and fell in the street with traffic all around—and they drive like maniacs in Cancun. Luckily, nothing happened. Traffic stopped without hitting her, but that was one of the scariest things. Everything went into slow motion.
Advice you’ve given your kids? I told every one of them when they went off to school to accept that they’re not always going to be “the best.” When you grow up in a small town and go to a small school, and are one of the better students or athletes, you can learn to expect that. So I told every one of them: There’s going to be someone who’s smarter, faster, more popular. It’s a different experience when the pool gets a little bigger. There’s always going to be somebody. And you know, they all did well. They’ve all been successful. And the most important thing is that they all three are good people who have found good partners.