A “Winter Wonder” at SNB

This year, Security National Bank in Sioux City, Iowa set out to take the spirit of holiday giving beyond anything they’d ever tried before—and they captured it on video.

After weeks of brainstorming, they came up with a way to transform the holidays for local families in Siouxland. When you see what they did, you might just recover your ability to believe in magic.

“I didn’t sleep very well for three weeks leading up to it,” said Troy Steensen, marketing director at SNB and graduate of the ABA Bank Marketing School. When he first brought the idea to his management, Steensen told us, they looked at him like he was crazy. But after several meetings, combing through the details and risks, he got the green light. SNB EVP Jeremy Craighead told him, “This idea is a lot of things, but it’s not crazy. It’s ambitious, it’s powerful, it’s exciting, it’s emotionally charged…But most importantly, it’s doable because of the type of people that work at Security National Bank.”

It’s worth noting here that in a bank with 180+ employees, 70 volunteered before they even knew what they were volunteering for. That’s a reflection of the culture at SNB. Steensen’s mentor, former SNB SVP of Marketing, Dave Holub, always said, “Hire people with a good heart, then train them to be bankers.”

The concept: Working with local agencies, the bank identified families who were in need of a quality, worry-free morning together at the movie theater—complete with a free movie, snacks, games, and a chance to see Santa.

The twist: What the participants did not know was that as the children were sharing their wishes with Santa, SNB employees were secretly listening in behind the scenes. And hurrying to prepare a spectacular surprise.


While the families watched the movie inside the theater, dozens of SNB employees rushed from store to store in Sioux City, finding the gifts the children had asked for. They bought, wrapped and placed the presents underneath the tree, and completely transformed the theater lobby into a Winter Wonderland, all before the movie was finished. When the guests came out, they were in for the surprise of their lives.

Can’t imagine what that looked like? You don’t have to. Check out their heartwarming video and reactions on Facebook. We dare you not to get choked up.

Wishing all of you the very happiest of holidays.

Video was shot and edited by the production and news teams from Sioux City, Iowa CBS affiliate KMEG 14, a member of Sinclair Broadcast Group.