In 1983, Tom Hollatz came to Redwood Falls.

“I was hired as president of the Farmers State Bank in Redwood Falls,” explained Hollatz, adding the Farmers State Bank of Morton had just built a new branch in the community.

Hollatz continued in that position until 1993 when he began a new role at Thrivent Financial. He continued there until March 2017.

For Hollatz, Redwood Falls is a great community, adding it has always been a great place to call home.

During the late 1980s, Hollatz attended the Blandin community leadership program, a week-long intensive training that helps empower individuals to become in-volved in their community. According to Hollatz, there were around 20 individuals from the Redwood area who participated in the program. 

Then he found his way to utilize those skills he learned.

“The school was in the process of being built. I felt I could make a difference,” added Hollatz.

So, he started attending meetings regarding the planning for the Lincoln School. As the group discussed the highest and best use of that building, two school board seats opened up, and Hollatz opted to run to fill one of them.

“I was elected in 1988,” explained Hollatz.

Hollatz continued to serve on the Redwood Area Board of Education until 2014. During that time a number of important decisions had to be made related to the future of the school.

For Hollatz, what was most important in making those decisions was doing what was best for the students as well as for the school district’s taxpayers.

“I felt I was a good listener and was able to see all sides of an issue,” added Hollatz. “I enjoyed every minute as a board member, even though every minute was not enjoyable.”

For his role as a leader in the Redwood Area School District, as well as in the community as a whole, Hollatz was recently selected to be inducted into the Redwood Area School District Hall of Fame.

“I am deeply honored,” added Hollatz.

Hollatz was also active in his church, the Redwood Falls Golf Club and served for 25 years on the Service Enterprises board. Hollatz added “our challenged friends are a great asset for our community.”

Some of Hollatz’s highlights as a board member included building the campus and collaborating with the city to build the community center as well as the consolidation with the Belview and Morton districts.

According to Hollatz, the local school district continues to be “very progressive with the new career learning center and alternative learning program.

He encouraged the community to be involved in the school district, adding that makes a difference.

All of his children have had a Redwood Falls education and all have built careers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Hollatz and wife, Sharon, live in Stillwater While the address is different, for Hollatz Redwood Falls is home.