In recent years, St. Cloud-based Stearns Bank N.A. has been enjoying healthy growth and receiving honors from national and local publications as one of the top banks in its size category. For example, in 2021, Independent Banker magazine ranked it ninth nationally on its “best” list among banks with more than $1 billion in assets.
Stearns Bank’s leaders give some of the credit for that growth to associate general counsel Jordan Hopkins, who joined the bank in December 2018.
Hopkins’ primary duty is managing the bank’s complex or special litigation.
But she has made the most impact on the bank’s growth by designing and implementing a new SBA Portfolio division with a strong management framework. Last year, Stearns Bank reached the $4.2 billion mark in assets under Hopkins’ management.
Before joining Stearns Bank, Hopkins was a law clerk and then associate at Stillwater-based law firm Eckberg Lammers P.C. Starting her career with a relatively small firm was a great benefit in giving her well-rounded experience in a variety of practice areas, including making court appearances.
During her four-plus years at Stearns, the once small, St. Cloud-based bank has grown into a national lender with a national presence and branches in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida, managing and servicing more than 30,000 loans.
Given the current high rate of inflation and rising interest rates, the coming months could pose some challenges for banks and their customers. But Stearns Bank is well-prepared for whatever comes next, Hopkins said. “We have very good loan monitoring in place and we routinely take a proactive approach in portfolio management. So we are well-prepared for any upcoming ‘stress.’”
In 2022, Stearns Bank cited Hopkins as one of its “Standout Performers,” an honor given to a select group of employees.
Away from work, Hopkins has mentored college students hoping to follow her into the legal profession. She has volunteered as a mock trial judge at her undergraduate alma mater, Bethany Lutheran College, and also spoken to groups of students with helpful tips on succeeding in law school and the profession.