Any change in leadership — especially after 50 years of service — understandably brings about questions regarding the future of an organization and concerns about changes that may impact customers and communities alike. We would like to share the following message to our customers and communities about the future of Elkhorn Valley Bank & Trust.

The news of Elkhorn Valley Bank & Trust founder Frederick “Fred” Otten’s passing shocked all that knew him. Fred passed away at age 84 the evening of Sunday, August 22nd, 2021, at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk, Nebraska.


“First and foremost, on behalf of the entire Otten family, I would like to thank everyone for all the sympathies and condolences after Fred’s passing. The prayers, thoughtfulness, and generosity shown through messages, cards, and memorials was greatly appreciated and meant a lot for our mother especially,” said Jarvis Otten.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1961, Fred began his banking career at First National Bank in Gordon, Nebraska. Ten years later, Fred returned to his roots in northeast Nebraska and began managing the Commercial State Bank in Hoskins. Under his direction, the small rural bank was transformed into a stable and thriving institution. Known today as Elkhorn Valley Bank & Trust, the bank has grown to include multiple locations spanning across five communities in two states.


While Fred’s passing was a surprise to all, succession plans had been put into motion long before he passed as Fred had expressed to the entire Elkhorn Valley Bank organization and Board of Directors “a desire to take a less active role in the management of the bank.” Organizational changes were made to respect his wishes and streamline day to day operations of the bank with the Board of Directors appointing Fred’s sons Jarvis Otten as President and Aaron Otten as Chief Executive Officer.


Any change in leadership, especially after 50 years of service, understandably brings about questions regarding the future of the organization and concerns of changes that may impact customers and communities alike. The entire Elkhorn Valley Bank & Trust management would like to pass along the assurance that there are absolutely no plans of selling the bank, altering the Elkhorn Valley Bank business model, or making changes to the overall organizational culture.


“We have a tremendous team at every level of the bank who understand the importance of keeping the culture of Elkhorn Valley Bank intact as we grow. We want to reassure everyone that we will continue as a family owned, community bank with a focus on supporting the communities we serve, providing personalized service with the flexibility to accommodate our customer’s unique financial needs,” shared Aaron Otten.

From the entire Otten family, the Elkhorn Valley Bank & Trust Board of Directors, Executive team, and staff, we thank the community for your past and continued support. Fred worked tirelessly to create not only a successful business but a legacy of hard work and service to others. We will forever be guided by his words, “That which is in the best interest of the customer, is in the best interest of the bank.” – Fred Otten (1936-2021).