September 2016 Special Section

Citizens State Bank: One Bank, A Lifetime Of Services


Written By: Chris Eversole

Laude Arnaldi is celebrating his 20th year as a banker in Greater Gainesville, and he sees himself as more valuable than ever to his customers – for two reasons.

First is his abundant knowledge, both from being involved with local business associations and from working hard to stay on top of local banking regulations.

Second is his position as the senior lending officer with Citizens State Bank, the only remaining locally owned bank. “We make all our lending decisions locally,” Arnaldi said. “We know the businesses here. We know the owners’ character and reputation; we look at more than just the numbers in their financial report.”

The Dickert family owns a majority interest in Citizens State Bank, which it founded in Perry, Florida, in 1958. They expanded the bank to the Gainesville area in 2012, and family members now live here.

The bank operates two Gainesville offices – at 6450 SW Archer Road and at 4620 NW 39th Ave. – as well a branch in Perry and Steinhatchee, Florida.

Arnaldi and the rest of the staff are keeping alive the personalized service and community involvement that are hallmarks of Citizens State Bank.

“Many people don’t realize that we’re available to be their sounding board in business and financial decisions that go beyond banking,” he said.

Arnaldi serves on the board of the Education Foundation of Alachua County, the Builders Association of North Central Florida and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. He previously served in leadership positions with the Gainesville Quarterback Club and Girls Place.

Citizens State Bank recently donated $50,000 for an Alachua Habitat for Humanity home.

“Most of our staff lives and works in the area, and we’re dedicated to making it a better place to live,” Arnaldi said.

 

Senior Writer CHRIS EVERSOLE has been a keen observer of business, government and culture in the Greater Gainesville Area while living here over the past two decades. His experience includes work with the University of Florida and Alachua County Government. He also has been a journalist and public relations professional in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota- Bradenton areas, as well as in Michigan, Ohio and New York.

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