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Business Banking at FIBT Helps Entrepreneur Hit the Road

In the middle of an all-too-familiar North Dakota blizzard, Erick Roder got the spark of an idea for a business.

“I was watching snow pile up on my fence,” Erick, the founder of Rodemerica, said. “And I had heard of ‘digital nomads’ – people who are working from the road. I really wanted to have the option to do that and give that to other people.”

Early in the process of bringing his vision for a workspace on wheels to life, he connected with First International Bank & Trust. “Before I even made my business plan, I went to talk to my friend Laura, who is a business banker that I had known for years, and pitched the idea to her. She gave me a lot of guidance,” he said.

Commercial Loan Officer Laura Ascheman said she was happy to help connect Erick with the right resources to bring his idea to life. “Being a business banker, one of the things we really specialize in is knowing the different resources in our communities to help entrepreneurs get up and going,” she said.

“Connecting with Laura was instrumental to getting me to the next step,” Erick said.

Now Erick is the owner of Rodemerica, which allows workers with the capability of remote work to rent a van and take it wherever their hearts desire. “There are places on earth that I’ve been to that are spiritual and beautiful – and videos and cameras just can’t capture that. You need to see how grand the Grand Canyon is in person,” Erick said. “So we have a big, comfortable van for two people. It has two queen sized beds, two workstations, and satellite Wi-Fi so you can work from basically anywhere where you can see the sky.”

Laura said to her, Living First means working alongside people with big ideas and helping them come to fruition. “What are your dreams? Where do you see your business going? What is the legacy you want to leave? We get to be a part of that,” she said. “We get to live vicariously through their dreams, which makes it really fun for us.”

Erick’s advice to anyone considering taking the step toward entrepreneurship is this: “Love your bank, not your rate.”

“Rates change, things shift,” he said. “It’s going to pay off so much more to know who is handling your finances, and who’s there to help answer questions. It really helps to know that the person at the other end of the desk cares about you and cares about you succeeding.”

First International serves businesses of all kinds and sizes with business banking, loans, treasury management, credit card and payroll processing, and more. Connect with a business banker in your community today to learn how we can help you Live First!

Business Banking