Buffalo Grove banker earns business honor
PNC Bank relationship manager Aaron Rochholz is the Buffalo Grove Chamber Of Commerce's member of the year. Rochholz said he prides himself on personal service to customers. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 5, 2013 12:10PM
BUFFALO GROVE — Ask Aaron Rochholz how many accounts are active at PNC’s Buffalo Grove branch, where he works as the bank’s relationship manager, and he won’t give you an estimate off the top of his head.
Instead, he digs through his computer for the accurate answer.
“Bankers, and numbers ... we don’t like to guess,” he said.
That kind of attention to detail helped Rochholz win the Buffalo Grove Area Chamber of Commerce’s Member of the Year award at their luncheon this month. The Wheeling native splits his time between PNC’s Buffalo Grove location at 1177 W. Lake Cook Road, and two other sites.
But as competition among national banking chains grows, Rochholz said he does his best to treat the nearly 2,000 Buffalo Grove accounts individually.
“That’s exactly the reason that I work at this bank,” Rochholz said. “Fewer banks are owning more locations, that’s just the way it’s going. Products are becoming very similar. The personal touch is what keeps people here. People bank with people — the name on the building shouldn’t matter.”
PNC is the third name to go on this building, which was built in 1980 to house the Bank of Buffalo Grove’s satellite office. Tammi Malinowski, PNC Buffalo Grove’s manager, said the building’s structure reveals how much banking has changed in the last three decades: their branch has a basement as large as the ground floor, which was once used for paperwork storage.
“This is one of the few that remain” of that breed, Malinowski said.
Today space is more cramped, she and Rochholz said, as neighboring businesses grow. Burdeen’s Jewelry is expanding into the eastern side of PNC’s parking lot, and Rochholz said the construction prompts a lot of questions from their longtime clients, some of whom have stuck with the location through its name changes.
“People have been banking for generations at this physical location,” he said.
After graduating from the University of Iowa, Rochholz said he was working at a car dealership when one of his old roommates told him about the joys he had discovered in banking. Rochholz followed and found a role on the retail side of the industry, working face-to-face with clients.
He joined the chamber to deepen his roots with the rest of Buffalo Grove, he said — that effort lead to his creation of the chamber’s first-ever bags tournament, held during Buffalo Grove Days. The experiment was a success, he said, and will return this summer.
“We made money, if that’s the way you want to gauge success,” he said. “If you’re not playing Bingo, you’ve got something to do now.”
His involvement also includes the Lake County Young Professionals and the chamber’s newly formed Financial Partners group.
“To live and work in the same place now, it really brings that connection home.”