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Choice Bank Announces Appointment of Jason Bristow, Kristi Carlson, James Mitchell, Jr., and Marie Pillai to Board of Directors

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We are excited to announce the addition of four new members to our Board of Directors: Jason Bristow, Kristi Carlson, James Mitchell, Jr., and Marie Pillai.

Choice Bank’s Board of Directors is comprised of entrepreneurs and experienced leaders that help support the foundation of our organization. They are individuals that recognize there is always a better way to do banking and are committed to supporting and expanding our People First promise.

“Jason, Kristi, James, and Marie will bring valuable expertise and insight to our Board of Directors that will greatly contribute to Choice Bank’s drive toward innovation and superior People First service,” said Brian L. Johnson, Choice Bank CEO and Board Director.

Jason BristowJason Bristow is Senior Vice President of Finance at Medtronic, overseeing the global Treasury and Tax functions and serving as Chair of Medtronic’s Finance Executive Committee. Prior to joining Medtronic, Bristow spent 11 years as Treasurer of, and held CFO roles at two privately traded companies in the technology space. Earlier in his career, he worked for GE and the Campbell Soup Company. Bristow also serves on the Board of Advisors of C2FO.

Bristow has a Bachelor of Science degree from DePaul University and an MBA from the Pennsylvania State University. He and his wife have two sons and reside in Minneapolis.

“I’m delighted to join the Board of Directors of Choice Bank and look forward to working with my fellow board members and the executive team at Choice,” Bristow said. “I was immediately impressed with what Brian and his team have built, and his innovative vision for the future. What’s more, the philosophy of People First resonates with me – this mission-driven focus will play a key part in the future success of the bank. I’m excited to join Choice on this journey.”

Kristi CarlsonKristi Carlson is Senior Vice President, Finance – Tax, Treasury and Internal Audit for Best Buy. Carlson is responsible for global, direct and indirect tax policy, planning, compliance, accounting, controversy and risk management. In addition, she provides leadership and strategic direction for the global Treasury capability and has responsibility for the company’s Internal Audit function. Prior to joining Best Buy in 2008, Carlson was Vice President, Finance – Tax at Northwest Airlines, Inc. where she held a variety of tax, legal and finance roles. Carlson began her career as a tax attorney for the Fredrikson & Byron Law Firm. Carlson also serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Kristi received her B.A. in economics from St. Olaf College and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. She resides in Eden Prairie, MN, with her husband and their two children.

“I am extremely excited to join the Choice Board at this important time in the evolution of the company,” Carlson said. “I am impressed by the leadership, culture and People First approach to advancing the innovation and growth of Choice. I look forward to supporting the management team and adding value to the journey.”

James MitchellJames Mitchell, Jr. is the founder of JMJ Advisors, which advises C-suite business leaders on corporate governance, investment strategies, and risk mitigation solutions when unanticipated events occur. His track record as a 25-year General Electric (GE) senior executive with domain expertise as an institutional investor in both private and public markets, banking and specialty finance, M&A, execution on global growth initiatives, and a focus on regulatory compliance drive his high standards of performance, integrity, and accountability. This is evidenced by his appointment to the Investment Advisory Committee of the $240B New York State Common Retirement Fund, the third-largest public pension system in the nation, and his corporate governance leadership at two privately held companies: Fora Financial and Aegion Corporation.

James is a Qualified Financial Expert and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Purdue University. In addition, he earned an MBA from The Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania.

Marie PallaiMarie Pillai has over 30 years of experience delivering fiduciary oversight and bottom-line results. She retired in 2019 as the Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer at General Mills. As CIO, she oversaw an $11B retirement plan portfolio; as Global Treasurer, she managed the liquidity and cash management policy and optimized the capital structure for the company improving cost of capital and credit profile in the wake of several transformative acquisitions. Prior experience includes similar leadership positions at Siemens (US Region-CIO, 2003-09) and Procter & Gamble (CIO; Business Unit CFO, 1986-02) enabling her to develop strategic, functional and global perspectives across multiple sectors.

Pillai serves on the Boards of the Putnam Funds, St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocese, Senior Advisor to Hunter Street LP; Bush Foundation Investment Committee. Prior board and investments service include the Catholic Community Foundation, University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities Catholic Charities.

Pillai earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Xavier’s College, India, an MBA from Case Western University, Ohio, and a master’s degree in international economics from Temple University, Pennsylvania. She has two children and lives in Minneapolis with her husband.

Choice Bank provides innovative financial solutions with a People First approach. Since its founding in 2001, Choice has grown to $4.95 billion in assets. Choice delivers a broad range of products & services and authentic community banking through a team of trusted advisors. Choice is headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, with 22 locations throughout Minnesota and North Dakota, and serves a broader customer base across the United States.

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