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When we asked lender John Thwing to join the team here at 21st Century Bank, he accepted on one condition – he wanted his title to be “The SBA Guy.” He has used the moniker for decades (even registering it as his license plate), building a strong reputation in the Twin Cities as a lender that entrepreneurs know and trust.
“I tell clients that I take each transaction personally,” said Thwing, who has closed more than 440 Small Business Administration (SBA) loans over the course of his career. “And I really do care. Their problems and worries keep me up at night, and I’m personally invested in these loans coming together.”
In the early 1980s, Thwing began working as a mail boy at Northwest National Bank, and later graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Drawn to the idea of using loans to help facilitate some of the largest decisions in a person’s life, he dedicated his career to serving the community as a lender.
For the next 30 years, Thwing worked to become known as “The SBA Guy,” gaining experience in owner-occupied commercial real estate, business acquisitions, expansions, partner buyouts, franchise and construction financing. “People think my job is about the loan, but the loan is just a tool that I use to help people navigate the process of buying or owning a business,” he said.
With an approachable demeanor and enthusiastic energy, Thwing often teaches entrepreneurs in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area about small business financing. He presents to advisors, industry groups and those interested in buying a business or commercial building – and has shared his expertise with the Life After Business podcast, Upsize Magazine, Minnesota Business Magazine and subscribers of the Small Business Bulletin from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Among his professional achievements, Thwing was recognized by C-LEVEL Magazine with a 2016 “Champion of Business” award, is a 17-year affiliate member of the Minnesota Commercial Association of Realtors (MNCAR) and has been a business plan judge for the University of St. Thomas MBA program and for BPA-DECA.
Thwing says he chose to partner with us at 21st Century Bank due to our entrepreneurial spirit, high energy and ultimately, the “mojo” between us. “For me, having fun every day and being excited, and working for an organization where I can have a significant impact and it can also have a significant impact on me – that’s key,” said Thwing.