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Joe Falteysek of Owatonna Receives $1,000 In Seed Money

Community Roots | November 7, 2022

Brad Vettrus from our Owatonna branch recognized Joe Falteysek of Owatonna, Minnesota with $1,000 in cash as part of our on-going Seed Money campaign. This campaign helps Home Federal and its employees recognize the unsung heroes in the communities we serve.

Who Is Joe Falteysek?

Joe is a hardworking, dedicated, and passionate veteran in the Owatonna community. After graduating high school, Joe immediately joined the Air Force and served our country for four years. Once he returned from service, he married his wife Bev and was a carpenter for 50 years (he retired in 2021). Despite working hard during the day, he always found time to help make Owatonna a great community that appreciates its veterans and community members.

All Joe wants to see in the community is that people are happy, “I get the satisfaction of watching other people enjoy what I’ve done.”

What Makes Joe Falteysek So Deserving?

Joe is very deserving of the Seed Money because of who he is and what he has done throughout the Owatonna community. “He has provided a lifetime of service, commitment to others, and [has a] passion for thanking and honoring veterans,” John Iverson, fellow Honor Guard volunteer, shared.

He has been active in the Military Honor Guard for the last 16 years – and has been commander for the last five. As commander, Joe coordinates the Honor Guard and Color Guard for the various engagements they participate in throughout the year, such as parades, patriotic events, and funerals.  

Joe and the other Honor Guard volunteers assist in giving veterans a proper burial rain or shine. “They served our country and a lot of them were in the war and they deserve a final resting spot. We try to help the family achieve that,” Joe disclosed.

Beyond his work with the Military Honor and Color Guard, he has also filled his time by hosting holiday dinners at the VFW, being a Cub Scout leader, volunteering at St. Mary’s, coaching 6th-grade basketball, building exhibits for the Steele County Historical Society (where he won volunteer of the year), and volunteering with the marching band where he even went to Washington and Florida with the band.

Brad Vettrus, Market President, knows Joe from his various volunteering endeavors and as a client of Home Federal. Brad believes that recognition is well deserved for all the work he has put into improving others' lives. “He has done so much volunteering quietly while not wanting the acknowledgment from others that he most certainly deserves.”

Where Did We Surprise Joe Falteysek?

Bev Falteysek, Joe’s wife, did most of the work in helping us get Joe to the Owatonna Home Federal branch. She had told him that there were some “issues with their account” – little did he know he was going to be getting a “cash deposit” of some Seed Money instead.

Brad Vettrus and our camera crew patiently waited for Bev and Joe to be brought to the conference room by Consumer Banking Specialist Connie Kniefel.

“We want to appreciate you today for your service to the community. You were nominated for the Seed Money campaign and you were selected to receive $1,000 as a thank you for all that you do. We probably didn't even capture all that you do for the community, but we want to thank you,” Brad explained to Joe while handing over the Seed Money.  

Once he received the $1,000 in cash, a surprised Joe simply responded with “Wow, thank you very much, I appreciate it a lot. I kept looking at the accounts and I didn’t think you screwed anything up!” which prompted some laughs.

After the surprise, we went over to the Owatonna VFW to learn more about his efforts in supporting veterans.

Why is Supporting Veterans so Important?

Joe personally understands that the individuals who have served the country deserve recognition and he works tirelessly to make sure they have it. “I think it’s important to support veterans for the service that we put in,” Joe shared.

John also shares in this belief. “Our veterans have served us as a country and preserved all the things we hold dear. I think it’s important that we recognize what service is to others and to a greater meaning than just yourself.” 

By supporting your local VFW and American Legion, you will be able to directly help support your area veterans. Whether it’s making a donation or just going for dinner or attending an event, any support is appreciated. The Owatonna VFW is open to the public.

Home Federal Believes In “Giving Today to Help Grow Tomorrow”

Seed Money has been created to help us recognize and reward the individuals going above and beyond in their communities and Joe is someone who has been going above and beyond in the Owatonna community for the last fifty years.

“We’re thankful that we were able to appreciate a man in town with $1,000 as a small token of thanks for all that Joe has done over the years.” Brad reflects after Joe’s surprise.  

To capture Joe’s dedication to service, we documented his Seed Money surprise and posted it to our Youtube channel. Feel free to view Joe’s story, and other recipients’ videos to see the full impact that Seed Money is providing to our communities.

Seed Money is part of Home Federal’s Community Roots Initiative where the mission is to “Give Today to Help Grow Tomorrow.”

We thank people, like Joe, for all you do in the communities we serve. See our other Seed Money stories and how we’re giving back by visiting our Seed Money page.

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