At forty years with Opportunity Bank, CEO Pete Johnson is our longest-tenured employee. But he didn’t start out as a CEO. In fact, he grew up in a small farming community in northern Illinois. Pete was no stranger to hard work. His mother loved horses, and they kept a hobby farm where he not only learned to ride, but also learned the satisfaction of a long day’s work. To this day, Pete has a soft spot for Montana’s farming communities—they remind him of that small farm he grew up on.
Right before high school, Pete’s family moved to Minnesota, and he attended college at Mankato State University. His first job out of college was at the Federal Reserve Bank as a bank examiner. He applied to work at the offices in Minneapolis, but they had an opening in Helena so, as fate would have it, Pete ended up in Montana. That was in 1979, and Pete’s been here ever since.
Pete worked with the Federal Reserve Bank for a few years, but the job required a lot of travel. With a family in the works and a growing love for the people around him, Pete wanted to spend more time at home and in his local community. He sent out letters and resumes and set up an interview with Larry Dreyer at American Federal (now Opportunity Bank). They hit it off right away, and Larry hired Pete almost immediately.
Pete’s first job at Opportunity Bank didn’t really have a title, but it was a bit like being an Assistant Treasurer. He spent his time doing a lot of accounting odd jobs, helping where help was needed. Over the next forty years, Pete worked his way up the ladder at Opportunity Bank, becoming a truly invaluable part of the team, and finally taking over as CEO after Dreyer retired. Even now, Pete’s work ethic and his love for our small Montana communities are what drive him, and he hopes to be involved with Opportunity Bank for many more years to come.