Stockman Bank is a Montana-born company, built on Western values and focused on creating long-standing relationships through integrity, expertise and results. Stockman Bank was founded in Miles City, Montana, in 1953 by Bill Nefsy. Bill was an orphan. He faced many challenges throughout life, worked hard and persevered. He achieved great things, and became a successful rancher, farmer and businessman. Bill had several founding principles that still guide Stockman Bank today. These founding principles include hard work, always do the right thing, empower your employees, invest for the long-term, and give back. He strongly believed in making each community served by Stockman Bank a better place. Today, Stockman Bank is the largest, private family-owned bank in Montana. They are recognized as one of the state’s strongest banks, one of the state’s most active commercial lenders and Montana’s largest agricultural bank. Stockman has 34 full-service banking locations across Montana and assets approaching 4 billion. They serve tens of thousands of their neighbors in every walk of life and industry found in Montana.
Bill’s family, and the directors and employees of Stockman Bank honor Bill’s legacy of giving back every day. Many of Stockman’s employees are alumni of MSU Billings. MSU Billings’ student-centered learning environment and well-rounded unique education prepares students to be successful in many ways. Stockman Bank is proud to partner with MSU Billings.
A significant milestone in Stockman Bank’s relationship with MSU Billings was the establishment of the Stockman Bank Opportunity Endowed Scholarship in 2012. Bill’s son-in-law, C.M. Coffee, overcame similar obstacles. C.M.’s father passed away from a horse accident when C.M. was nine years old at the beginning of the Great Depression. C.M. worked for neighboring ranches after school for dinner, so it was one less mouth for his mother to worry about. As C.M. grew so did his cowboying and rodeoing skills. He was a director of Stockman Bank for approximately 50 years, a successful rancher, an inductee into the Montana Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame, and an inductee into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. C.M. was eternally grateful for the opportunities he had throughout his life and enjoyed providing opportunities for others. It was in that spirit the Stockman Bank Opportunity Endowed Scholarship was created. The first scholarship was awarded for academic year 2013-2014.
Stockman Bank recognizes the significance of a student beginning at Miles Community College and then upon graduation continuing their higher education at MSU Billings. In 2019, the Stockman Bank NextStep Endowed Scholarship was established to support students who are transferring from MCC to MSU Billings to complete their bachelors degrees. Awarded to one female student and one male student, this scholarship helps students take the next step in their education, and honors the roots of Stockman Bank in Miles City, the heart and home of the Stockman legacy. The first scholarship was awarded for academic year 2019-2020.