Russell Trauernicht, Senior Vice President

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Russ grew up on his family's farm near Pickrell, Nebraska and graduated from Beatrice High School. He went on to attend the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, earning a bachelor's degree in Business Finance in 1981 and his degree in Education in 1989. Prior to joining FirstBank of Nebraska in 1991, he spent time working on his family's farm, selling insurance, and teaching high school business classes.

With more than 20 years of lending experience, Russ offers service you can trust and takes pride in being accessible to his customers when they need him most. Whether you’re buying a vehicle, house, farm or business—he is always just a phone call away!

Russ and his wife, Teresa, have three children, Ryan, Mitchell and Trey. Having raised his children in Sterling, Nebraska, he remains committed to the area and continues to be involved in many facets. Russ has served as treasurer of the Sterling District School Board for more than 10 years. He has also been a member and officer of the Sterling Community Association, St. John's Lutheran Church and the Sterling School Foundation. Russ has volunteered his time as an EMT for the Sterling Rescue Squad, as well as a 4-H leader and youth sports coach.


Viola J. Lucas, Vice President

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Viola is a lifelong resident of Sterling, Nebraska where she grew up on her family's farm and graduated from Sterling High School. She has been in banking since 1973 when she first began working at FirstBank of Nebraska. Viola has held several positions within the bank and is known for her honest and trustworthy reputation. She thinks of many of her customers as family, working diligently to serve their best interests.

Viola is an active member of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Mary, Nebraska and many local community organizations. She and her husband, Tim, live outside of Sterling on their family farm. They have two grown sons, Mark and Michael.


Mandy Goracke, Vice President

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Mandy grew up on a farm near Chappell, Nebraska where she graduated and went on to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She began her career in banking in 2003 and now focuses primarily on residential lending where she has had over 7 years of recent experience. She is knowledgeable about the different mortgage products available and will find the best loan to meet your needs. Most importantly, she values good customer service. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, refinancing your existing home or building your forever home, she will help you every step of the way.

She was involved in a number of networking groups in Lincoln and since recently moving to Sterling is involved with the TeamMates mentoring program, the local church and other activities with the community association and school. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.


Kevin Wentz, Loan Officer

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Raised on his family’s farm near Sterling, Nebraska, Kevin graduated from Sterling High School in 1990. He went on to attend Doane College and obtained a degree in Business Administration. After graduating, Kevin worked for Information Technology, Inc. (FISERV) in Lincoln for a few years, and later returned to Sterling—helping to manage his family's construction and lumberyard business.

Kevin’s background offers a fresh perspective on lending. He takes pride in being able to put himself in the customer's position, and then work to put their mind at ease throughout the lending process.

Kevin is an active member of the Sterling Community Association, Sterling Volunteer Fire Department and Upper Big Nemaha Pheasants Forever Chapter. Kevin and his wife, Melissa, reside on an acreage north of Sterling.