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Jon Knutson, Published October 02 2009

White to lead Cornerstone Bank

Dennis White has been named chairman of the board/chief executive officer of Cornerstone Bank.

The Enderlin, N.D.-based banking company has offices in Fargo, Enderlin, Lisbon and Bismarck.

The Fargo location opened in 2006.

White, a former president of the Independent Bankers Association of North Dakota, has been a financial consultant to regional banks for 10 years and previously owned and managed several banks in the region.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to continue to grow the community banking environment,” he said of his new post at Cornerstone.

The Fargo banking market is competitive but growing, and holds many opportunities, he said.

White said he knew some of the Cornerstone owners through his consulting work and they approached him about leading the bank.

“We are excited to have a financial executive the caliber of Dennis White taking on this management role. His strength as a leader with excellent communications and organizational development skills are a tremendous asset,” Dan Kadrmas, a member of the bank’s board of directors, said in a news release.

White declined to address whether his appointment is connected to Cornerstone’s lawsuit against Denny Hecker.

Cornerstone was one of several area lenders that filed a lawsuit last month against Twin Cities auto dealer giant Denny Heckert to ensure that debt isn’t forgiven.

Hecker, who hasn’t been charged with a crime, reportedly owes $767 million to creditors. He filed for bankruptcy in June.

Cornerstone Bank, which initially reported it lent Hecker $8.4 million, reported a loss of $12.74 million, according to a Forum article last month.

That debt was transferred to Blackstone Financial, a limited liability corporation based at 73 Broadway, Fargo, according to court documents and the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530