Video: King Pays Tribute to Denison’s Leo J. Remmes
Local Banker Changed Lives; Fondly Remembered During Small Business Committee Hearing
Washington, D.C.- On June 6, 2018 Congressman Steve King participated in a House Small Business Committee Hearing examining “Millennials and the Gig Economy.” During the committee examination of this issue, the difficulty many Millennials experience in obtaining business financing was discussed. It was during this discussion that King was prompted to remember the positive impact Leo J. Remmes, a banker for 32 ½ years at the Crawford County Trust and Savings Bank in Denison, Iowa, had on the lives of many in his community. It was Mr. Remmes who approved a loan in 1975 that allowed an aspiring small businessman named Steve King to purchase the bulldozer with which he was able to start a successful construction company that is now taking care of the third generation of the King family.
In this video, King shares his thanks for the decision that Mr. Remmes made 43 years ago. Mr. Remmes’s willingness to take “a bit of a risk” on a young entrepreneur holds many lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs that still apply today.
King: Leo Remmes Changed Lives
"I’m sitting here thinking how things might have changed. I was a young entrepreneur in 1975 when I looked around and I came home and told my wife ‘Today, I am a man.’ And she looked at me with that bored ‘Well, what else is new?’ Well, actually, it was new because I had decided to take responsibility for our lives together."
“A couple of months later, I managed to convince a banker to loan me 100% to buy an old, beaten up bulldozer, and the rest is, I guess, a long saga of ups and downs that today is a second generation company that’s, I think, very successful, at least by my standards.”
“And a week ago, Monday, the banker that loaned me that money and took a bit of risk to do so passed away and we celebrated his life and how many lives he changed with that financing. Just through the things that that enabled me to do, from a company that’s spreading out and taking care of the third generation of my family, the politics that flowed from it, the career that flowed from it, my message to them was that there are a lot of us who had a wonderful life because of the one wonderful thing that he did.”
The obituary for Mr. Leo J. Remmes can be read here. His survivors include his wife, Ruth, and their four sons and families.