ALBANY -- A locally-owned bank with a worldwide reach is expanding its operations at one of its facilities in Albany. Stearns Bank is adding more than 10,000 square-feet to its Equipment Finance Division.

The company has experienced strong growth over the years and now has more than 450 employees. That number is expected to grow with the latest expansion.

Kelly Skalicky is the President of Stearns Bank. Her father Norm Skalicky bought it in 1964 and remains the owner and Chief Executive Officer.  The company has grown into a $2-billion national bank with more than 40,000 customers worldwide. Kelly Skalicky says they're a bank first, but also are a leasing company, offer equipment financing and small business loans among others.

She says the growth is because of their hometown touch, coupled with state-of-the-art technology...

We really pride ourselves on being high-tech, in that you can do it 24-7, you can do business online if you want, but we're high-touch in that we want you to call us.  When you call us we'll pick up on the first ring.  I think that is really something, even in our own lives, that we appreciate...when you call and want service it is so frustrating to be punching in numbers and trying to communicate through email when, man if I had somebody on the phone I could get this done in three minutes.

Stearns Bank has locations in Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida. They specialize in small business loans and equipment financing.

In June, Minnesota Business Magazine recognized it as one of this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. It's the second straight year Stearns Bank made that list.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion at 500 13th street in Albany will be held in September.