, United Prairie Bank named to GMG Hall of Fame

MANKATO — and United Prairie Bank have been named to the Greater Mankato Growth Hall of Fame.’s roots go back to the hobby of Jenice Fallenstein sewing Halloween costumes for her three daughters. Brother Tom Fallenstein started a seasonal local business called Costumes Galore.

In the early 2000s he spent a few thousand dollars to buy costumes and began selling and renting them online.

The family business was run out of a garage but quickly outgrew its space, eventually moving into a spacious facility in upper North Mankato.

The company now has 100 year-round employees and thousands of seasonal employees, operating out of the 200,000-square-foot warehouse. has a number of websites, including and, and sell or rent a wide variety of items.

United Prairie Bank, headquartered in Mankato, began in 1973 when former President James Sneer bought Farmers State Bank of Mountain Lake, followed by the purchase of other banks. In 1992 the banks changed their names to United Prairie Bank.

In 2002, Stuart Sneer, the son of James and Susan Sneer, took over as president of the company.

Today United Prairie Insurance Agencies also service most the bank locations.

All the banks are organized under a local market president.

Stuart Sneer graduated from Minnesota State University and worked as a part-time teller for Norwest Bank in Mankato during his college years. After graduation, he managed United Prairie Bank in Worthington and eventually became chairman of United Prairie.

Scott Bradley is the president/CEO of United Prairie, joining the bank in 1991. His father and grandfather were both bank executives.

Banquet Nov. 12

Each year GMG recognizes businesses, organizations and professionals at the Greater Mankato Business Awards & Hall of Fame. This year’s event is and will be 5:30–8:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at Mankato Civic Center.

To get tickets, go to:

Other award winners are:

Business Legacy

The award goes to a business that was established more than 10 years ago and has previously been named to the Hall of Fame.

This year’s winner is Vetter Stone Company.

Distinguished Business Award

Freedom Home Care

Brian Fazio Business Education Partnership Award

The award recognizes partnerships that enhance education and business.

This year’s award goes to the school districts in Mankato, Lake Crystal, Maple River, St. Clair and Nicollet, and Feeding Our Communities Partners.

Hap Halligan Leadership Award

The award recognizes someone who has participated in the Greater Mankato Leadership Institute program and has demonstrated exemplary contributions to the community.

The award goes to Laura Bowman, regional director community relations and development at Mayo Health System.

Young Professional of the Year

Angela Guentzel, of Guentzel Family Farms.

Visit Mankato Awards

Bring It Home Award

Recognizes an individual, group or organization that works alongside Visit Mankato to bring a significant event to Greater Mankato.

This year’s winner is the Aussie Peppers. They are the Australian team in the National Pro Fastpitch league that played this season at Caswell Park in North Mankato.

Hospitality Award

The award is for providing outstanding hospitality to visitors or who helped promote Greater Mankato as a destination.

The award goes to Justin Ek/Bellissimo Paint & Coatings. Ek has promoted mural paintings in Old Town.

City Center Partnership Awards

City Design Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding architectural design.

Renovation $1 million to $3 million: Carlson-Tillisch Eye Clinic

Renovation under $500,000: Bumbelou

Sustainability: Hubbard Building

Downtown Detail: Stoltzman Park

Creative Placemaking: ChalkFest

The CityArt “People’s Choice” Award will be revealed at the awards banquet.

GreenSeam Awards

Seamed in Success Award

The award, which goes to Farmamerica, recognizes those who highlight the importance of agriculture.

Growing in the GreenSeam

The award honors a business that has recently opened in the area.

The award goes to Revol Greens, a Medford business that grows organic lettuce in greenhouses.


– Mankato Free Press by Tim Krohn, October 2, 2019

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