Board of Directors Meet the Directors of First Security Bank of Helena

Coming from diverse industries and business experiences, they provide leadership and help the management of this community bank reach its potential.

Loren Brown

As CEO, Loren is the key figure in the execution and growth plans for the organization. He has a deep background in banking leadership, bank financing, and bank operations. Loren has called Helena home since he was in elementary school and has always been very active in Boy Scouts of America. In addition to his current Scouting leadership activities, Loren also serves on the Board of Directors for West Mont, Montana Independent Bankers and the St. Peter’s Health Finance Committee. When he’s not at work or volunteering, you may find Loren skiing, flying or enjoying the outdoors.  

Mark Esponda

Previously as the Vice President & Senior Lending Officer of Opportunity Bank of Montana, Mark was responsible for profitability and production of commercial and consumer lending across all 13 bank branches.  He grew the commercial banking program reaching a $140 million portfolio in 5 years with deposit growth reaching $440 million in the same time. Now, as Vice President of Project Development for Dick Anderson Construction, he now oversees $30 million in commercial office space with another $30 million under development.  When not at work, you will find Mark spending time with his wife with their four active children.

Mike Dalton

During his banking career spanning 46 years, Mike quickly advanced to a leadership role serving in a Senior Management position for 35 years and, during the most recent 25 years, serving as the Regional President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain West Bank, NA and Market President for First Interstate Bank in Helena, MT.  Mike is a lifetime supporter of small business and of community banking recognizing how both can help a community to thrive. When not attending school and sporting events to show support for his many grandchildren, Mike volunteers on several community boards including the Board of Trustees for Carroll College.  

Karen Hicks

Karen has been part of the Helena community since her graduation from the University of Montana in 1984.  Karen spent 23 years in the retail propane business eventually retiring as the Vice President of Finance and Administration of the propane divisions of publicly traded Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.  She was part of the executive team that managed the sale of propane operations in 2012, and she led the transition of the administrative and accounting divisions in the new company. Karen currently volunteers on the boards of several local non-profits including Saint John’s Lutheran Church, Grandstreet Theatre and St. Peter’s Hospital.  

Chuck Hunter

Chuck, founder of Chuck Hunter Consulting, LLC, provides government relations services.  He is also a partner in a Montana City Properties, which owns and operates retail and commercial properties. Chuck represented House District 83 for four terms and was elected Minority Leader in 2013 and 2015.  He served on both the Business and Labor Committee and the Economic Affairs Interim Committee (among others) and has served on many boards including the Montana Children’s Trust Fund, the Myrna Loy Center, Intermountain Children’s Home, the Montana Access to Justice Commission and Helena Civic Television.

Kim Smith

Kim is the founder and owner of Valley Excavating, Sand and Gravel located in Helena.  After attending Montana State University (where he studied Engineering) Kim’s initial venture was the Helena KOA which he owned and operated for nineteen years in addition to establishing and running the KOA campground in Whitefish for five years.  In 1992 Kim officially began Valley Excavating and eventually decided to sell the Whitefish business concentrate his efforts in the Helena area.  Besides developing Valley Excavating, he has expanded his ventures into commercial and residential real estate development and property management.

Culver Varnado

Culver is currently the owner of Montana Avenue Storage in Helena.  A 1980 graduate of Montana State University, Culver’s career has focused on the world of construction and heavy equipment. After working with Tabbert Construction from 1975–1986 he became part-owner of MP&E Rental & Supply from 1986–1998.  When MP&E was sold to Tractor and Equipment, Culver remained as a regional manager until 2006.  Culver was recruited by Mountain West Bank where he worked as a loan officer in the Real Estate Construction Department then the Problem Loan Department until the bank’s sale in 2014. Culver's 'semi-retired’ status allows him time to work on his golf game.

Kevin Wall

Kevin has spent his entire life in and around Power Townsend, his family’s business.  Kevin has been very involved in reaffirming and expanding the store’s role in the Helena community even with the influx of several competing national home repair chain stores.  As VP for Power Townsend Co, he oversees all business operations, is in charge of buying lumber and other commodities, and is a member of Do It Best’s national Home Center Roundtable. Kevin also serves on the Board of Directors and the Finance Committee for the Helena area Habitat for Humanity. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys skiing, snowmobiling and almost anything else the Montana outdoors have to offer.

Ron Zeiler

Ron invested more than 40 years serving as an advocate for small businesses providing financing and economic development resources. He worked with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for 21 years as a Business Loan Specialist and, ultimately, as Deputy Director for the Montana district. In the early 1990's Ron transitioned and helped develop and grow Mountain West Bank, N.A. In his 19-years with the bank, Ron served as Senior Lender and later as Executive Vice President on the bank's executive management team until the sale of the bank in 2014. In addition to banking, Ron is also a real estate investor, a community volunteer and a small business owner.