Since 1886, Citizens Bank has been a pillar in the Hutchinson community. Since the early 1960s when Irvin J. Burich assumed a majority interest and became the Bank’s third president, his family has, too. Now, his son, Thomas “Buzz” Burich is leading the charge.
Afer spending 17 years at First National Bank (now U.S. Bank) in the Twin Cities, Buzz got a call from his dad asking him to come back to Hutchinson. Buzz served as president of Citizen’s Bank from 1985 to 2005 and remains Chairman and CEO.
Giving has been an important part of the family’s community involvement and is a value that extends to Bank employees. Community service and volunteer leadership are even required of their senior staff.
“To me, that’s sharing your time, talent and treasure,” Buzz said. “It takes a lot of time but it’s for a reason.”
Buzz and Citizens Bank are Growing Home Circle Charter members. He remembers learning about what Southwest Initiative Foundation was doing in
the area and wanting to work together.
“The other thing I like is the leverage through McKnight,” Buzz said, which makes sense coming from a career investor.
There’s also a seat on his family’s I.J. Burich Family Foundation board for a Southwest Initiative Foundation representative. Buzz is proud they bring together a diverse group of people, with three family members and six community leaders
serving on the board.
Heather Knorr, Buzz’s daughter, has taken a lead role as chair of the I.J. Burich Family Foundation along with her involvement with the Bank’s holding company.
“The Foundation is one of my biggest passions,” Heather said. “Everyone, at some point, needs someone to give back.”
She loves helping such a variety of people and projects through their grantmaking. Heather gives much of her time, currently serving as Education Commitee chair and volunteer at St. Anastasia School, Hutch Tiger Trap treasurer and board
member of H-Town Tennis Association. She’s also a past treasurer for Hutchinson Center for the Arts.
“We give our time and show our kids that’s important,” Heather said, passing this value to yet another generation. “I’m very proud of the family I’m part of.”
And, both Heather and Buzz appreciate the relationships they make through giving. “You get to help someone who is not as lucky as you,” Buzz said. “We all have to pitch in together.”