First Business Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Kim Preston to senior vice president – director of treasury management and Melissa Fellows, CTP, to senior vice president – managing director of treasury management.

Kim Preston

“Our entire organization benefits greatly from Kim’s expertise, resourcefulness, and her dedication to our clients and leading our treasury management team,” said Kevin Kane, president of First Business Bank’s southeast Wisconsin market. “Kim is not only an excellent advocate for business owners, helping them improve their businesses, she’s also passionate about working with community organizations and volunteering time to make southeast Wisconsin a better place to live.”

Kim Preston has been with First Business Bank for 30 years and has more than 35 years of experience in financial services. She leads First Business Bank’s treasury management teams to assist businesses to improve cash flow, fraud mitigation, improve efficiencies, and maximize earnings. She has worked in numerous areas in the banking industry, including treasury management, operations, client services, business development, and internal audit.

Preston is actively involved in the community and currently serves as the past chair for the Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County, past board chair on the board of directors for Elmbrook Humane Society and currently serves as chair of Facilities and Nominating Committee and is a board member and governance chair for Easter Seals SE Wisconsin. She has also volunteered her time with several nonprofit organizations including United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Habit for Humanity of Waukesha County, and Pathfinders Milwaukee.

Melissa Fellows

“We’re very fortunate to have Melissa leading our treasury management teams,” said Jim Hartlieb, president. “She is a dedicated leader with a passion for helping businesses optimize and streamline their processes to accomplish more with fewer resources.”

As a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) with more than 20 years of banking experience, Fellows leads First Business Bank’s treasury management teams to deliver First Business Bank’s full suite of banking solutions. She and her team are responsible for developing and maintaining broad-based relationships. Together, they generate ideas for process improvement with a goal to help businesses improve cash flow, mitigate fraud loss risk, and maximize earnings potential.

Prior to her current role, she served as a treasury management officer, credit analyst, and also worked in retail banking. She earned her bachelor of business administration from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater in finance & business law. Fellows is actively involved in her community and with several organizations including United Way of Dane County, Madison Downtown Rotary, and is a member of Association for Financial Professionals.

First State Bank President Bob Van Asten led a joint news conference on April 12 with community leaders announcing the construction of a new bank office in downtown New London. The bank’s New London office also serves as the corporate headquarters of its ten offices located in Waupaca County and throughout Central Wisconsin.

“New London has been First State Bank’s home since 1933,” said Van Asten. “We are proud to renew our commitment to this community and to be a leader in contributing to the revitalization of New London’s downtown.” Van Asten shared that the new footprint of the new office will encompass the bank’s current drive-up facility and green space along Waupaca Street and will combine the lobby, drive-up, and local operations into one facility.

In a second announcement, Van Asten also shared that First State Bank is donating its iconic downtown office building at 113 W. North Water Street to the New London Public Library. The bank will transfer ownership of the building to the library when the bank opens its new corporate headquarters in spring of 2023.

“Today’s libraries are not just a place for books; they are resource centers where community members can gather and learn,” Van Asten commented. “We are excited to help propel this vision forward for the library and make it a cornerstone of New London’s downtown.”

With the bank’s donation, the library will shift from its plan to build a separate library annex along with maintaining the current library facility to redeveloping the two floors of the bank building into the library’s future home. The significantly larger, 26,000 square-foot facility makes it possible for all current library services and the new community resources that were envisioned as part of the annex to come together, downtown, under one roof.

“Our architect, Keller, has done a thorough evaluation of the bank building and is now designing plans that transform the bank to fulfill the library’s vision as a community resource center,” explained New London Public Library and Museum Board President Virginia Schlais.

Schlais also announced that with the library’s move, the New London Public Museum would have the opportunity to expand from its lower-level location in the current library-museum building at 406 S. Pearl Street to the main level, eventually utilizing the entire building. “The ripple effect of a gift like the one made to the library by First State Bank is just amazing,” said Schlais.

Mayor Mark Herter echoed these sentiments on behalf of the City of New London. “First State Bank’s donation to the New London Public Library provides us with a great opportunity,” commented Herter. “It will keep this beautiful building thriving with a new purpose and allow the library to expand its services in the heart of our downtown.”

Groundbreaking for First State Bank’s new office begins this summer and should be complete in April 2023. Renovations for the new library would begin thereafter and would take four to six months. According to Museum Director Christine Cross, a timetable for an expanded museum will be determined as planning ramps up later this year.

Triangle Background

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) has announced an exciting partnership with First Business Bank to become the “Official Bank” of the United States Mint Negro Leagues Commemorative Coins program. The alliance will see the NLBM and First Business Bank team on a comprehensive marketing strategy to encourage consumers to purchase the collectible coins that were released by the Mint for sale on January 6, 2022.

In 2020, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) along with Senator Tim Kaine (Va.) and Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, II (Mo.) and Steve Stivers (Ohio) introduced the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. The bipartisan bill directed the U.S. Treasury to produce a three-coin series to commemorate the Centennial of Negro Leagues Baseball. The coins are the first-ever Mint coins honoring the rich history of the Negro Leagues.

“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is thrilled to welcome First Business Bank as a partner and the official bank of our U.S. Mint Negro Leagues Commemorative Coins program,” said Bob Kendrick, NLBM president. “The Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act is one of the most important initiatives in museum history. And, while we are ecstatic to have gained the issuance of the coins, the true success comes with our ability to realize as much of the revenue potential as possible. I’m extremely confident that our partnership with First Business Bank and their tremendous connections to the business community will help us accomplish that goal.”

Public Law 116-209 directs the Mint to produce $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half dollar clad coins as part of the program. The Mint accepts orders at catalog.usmint.gov/ and 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).  Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1-888-321-MINT. Visit catalog.usmint.gov/customer-service/shipping.html for information about shipping options.

The Commemorative Coin program is operated at no cost to taxpayers and the Treasury Department will be reimbursed for the costs of issuing the coins. After the U.S. Treasury has recouped expenses for designing and minting the coins, funds will be distributed to the NLBM. The program could yield as much as $6 million if all 850,000 coins (50,000 gold; 400,000 silver; and 400,000 clad) are sold. First Business Bank will manage any assets generated for the NLBM through the commemorative coin program.

“We are ecstatic about our partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and being named the Official Bank of the U.S. Mint Negro Leagues Commemorative Coins,” said Rob Barker, First Business Bank’s president of its Kansas City Metro market. “The legacy and history maintained by the NLBM is very important to preserve and we are honored to help promote this program to benefit their efforts and ensure their financial wellness in the years to come.”

In addition to its “Official Bank” designation of the commemorative coins program, First Business Bank will also be involved in various NLBM programs and events, including the 2022 Buck O’Neil Golf Classic being planned for August 16 at Shoal Creek Golf Course.

North Shore Bank today announced that Margaret Capper, the bank’s senior vice president – commercial banking, has been named to BizTimes Media’s Notable Commercial Banking Leaders feature.

This accomplishment recognizes outstanding executives in commercial banking in Southeastern Wisconsin for their success and accomplishments in the past year.

“I’m honored to have been recognized among these notable commercial bankers. I’m proud to work with an outstanding team of colleagues, community partners, and customers who continue to show their support of one another, the community, and the banking industry,” said Capper.

Within the past year, Capper led her lending team with supporting areas through PPP loans, partnered with Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Wisconsin to create a revolving loan fund for Latino businesses, spearheaded the bank’s partnership with The Lonely Entrepreneur to identify 11 Wisconsin Black entrepreneurs to gain access to a learning community, and more.

“We have always considered Margaret to be a notable commercial banking leader, so we’re pleased that her dedication, commitment, and care to cultivate a collaborative workplace and community has been recognized in this way,” said Jay McKenna, president of North Shore Bank.

Capper is on the Finance Council at her alma mater Divine Savior Holy Angels, teaches financial literacy to juniors at Marquette University High School, and is a trustee at Christ King Parish for the past nine years, where she has been involved in finance, school budgeting, and establishing an electronic payment program for tuition.

National Exchange Bank & Trust has announced that Kari De Smith has been named operations manager for the Adell office and Amanda Schultz has been promoted to operations manager for the offices located in Brandon and Rosendale.

Kari De Smith

De Smith has taken on the duties of operations manager for the Adell location of National Exchange Bank & Trust in addition to her current role as operations manager in Cedar Grove.

De Smith joined the bank in 2015 as a teller/customer service representative. She then became team leader/supervisor before being named operations manager in Cedar Grove in January 2021. With this promotion, De Smith will oversee deposit operations at both offices. She will lead her teams in providing excellent customer service and ensure smooth and efficient retail office operations including scheduling, hiring and training.

De Smith grew up in Bonduel, Wis. where she attended Bonduel High School. She has received certificates in Personal Banking and Branch Management from the Wisconsin Bankers’ Association and a Supervisor certificate from the American Bankers Association.

Today, De Smith resides in Oostburg with her family where she is active in the community as a part of Kids Hope USA Mentoring Program, the Cedar Grove Christmas Village Market Committee, and serves as treasurer for the Holland Mutual Insurance Board.

Amanda Schultz

Amanda Schultz has been promoted to operations manager for the offices located in Brandon and Rosendale for National Exchange Bank & Trust.

Schultz joined the bank in 2016 as a customer service representative. In her new role, she will lead deposit operations, oversee the hiring and training of new staff, and continue providing excellent customer service.

Schultz grew up in Columbus, where she attended Columbus High School. She went on to earn her bachelors of science in criminal justice from Herzing University in Milwaukee.

Today, Schultz resides in Brandon with her family. She is active in the community and organized a horse pull for the Brandon Community this past year, which she hopes will be an annual event. Additionally, Schultz has assisted with clerking the Livestock Auction at the Alto Fair for the past five years and has helped the Brandon office in their efforts to be a part of the Holiday Parade for the past two years.

Eric Engstrom, CIMA®

First Business Bank is pleased to welcome Eric Engstrom, CIMA®, as vice president – investment portfolio manager.

An essential member of the client service team, Engstrom also works with Private Wealth’s Investment Committee. Engstrom previously worked at Central Wealth Management as investment manager on all client assets. In this client-facing role, Engstrom worked primarily on investment analysis and portfolio construction and management. He was also responsible for producing educational materials (videos, blogs, etc.) for clients on market conditions and investment performance. Prior to Central Wealth Management, Engstrom was a financial advisor with New York Life where he gained valuable experience in sales, investment management, and financial planning. Engstrom began his career as a teacher of physics, astronomy, and chemistry at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wis.

Engstrom earned a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and completed the CIMA® Executive Program through the Sloan School of Management (MIT).

“Our private wealth team is very pleased to welcome Eric,” said Brendan Freeman, president – private wealth. “His depth of experience helping clients achieve their priorities and the insight he provides clients with portfolio construction are both great assets we’re excited to add to our group.”

Triangle Background

First State Bank staff celebrate the grand opening of the new bank location on 5500 Carrie Frost Drive in Stevens Point.

Nearly eight months after breaking ground last summer, First State Bank held a ribbon cutting for its new Stevens Point office which opened on Monday, April 11. Located at 5500 Carrie Frost Drive in the Portage County Business Park, the more than 15,000 square-foot office replaces the bank’s location on Park Ridge Drive, which closed on April 8.

“We think our customers will really enjoy this convenient location and access,” commented Bob Van Asten, First State Bank’s president and CEO. “We are also excited to expand our local services and staff in this larger facility,”

The bank has added to its business and agricultural lending staff over the last eighteen months and soon plans to hire a local mortgage lender for the Stevens Point office. A financial advisor is also being sought for the First State Investment Center. “Having these individuals in our Stevens Point office simply helps us be a better financial resource for our customers,” explained Van Asten.

The Stevens Point office is also home to several of the bank’s operational staff as well as its training facilities. “With our decentralized operating model, we are able to attract talent from communities throughout our market area,” said Van Asten. “And with Stevens Point being central to our footprint, it is the perfect location to bring our teams together for training. Our lower level can seat more than 100 people or be broken down into smaller group spaces.”

First State Bank plans to hold a grand opening celebration for customers and the community in June.

Jenni Dolata has been named retail lending officer at the Oconto office of The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT). She recently completed the Residential Mortgage Lending School through the Wisconsin Bankers Association in Madison, Wis.

“We’re happy to have Jenni transition to this role and join our loan team,” said Justin Wroblewski, SNBT vice president – business loan Officer and retail loan manager. “Her years of expertise along with her proven ability to provide outstanding service will help us continue delivering exceptional loan solutions to our customers and the community.”

Dolata joined SNBT in 2008 and currently has 30 years of experience in financial institutions. She has previously held the positions of AVP eBanking, customer service operations officer, and customer service supervisor.

She received her associate degree from NWTC-Green Bay and continued her education by completing Electronic Banking Officer Certification, Deposit Regulatory Compliance School, along with Residential Mortgage Lending School.

As an active member of her community, Dolata has been an active member of her community involved with the Oconto Chamber of Commerce, Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce, Peshtigo Woman’s Club, and Marinette-Menominee Youth Hockey Association. She has also been the recipient of the SNBT WINGS (Worthy Individual Noted for Generous Service) Award. This award recognizes steady participation in public service for the community.

Starion Bank has announced that Ryan Taylor and Levi Andrist have joined the board of directors. The board guides the overall strategic direction of the bank, including principal business focus and merger and acquisition activities. The board includes representatives of the communities served by the bank, senior managers, and owners of the bank.

Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a 4th generation rancher from Towner, North Dakota. He is the director of public policy at Ducks Unlimited, using his agricultural and public policy expertise to promote resiliency in rural communities and conservation of our natural lands and resources in the prairie states.

He also owns and manages Taylor Ranch, which was homesteaded by his family in 1903 and was inducted into the N.D. Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2010. While attending North Dakota State University, Taylor founded Sandhill Communications, a communications business.

Taylor has also served as state director of Rural Development at the USDA to help create new economic opportunities and boost quality of life in North Dakota, was awarded the 2013 Bush Foundation Fellowship for leadership, and served as a North Dakota State Senator for District 7 from 2002–2012.

Taylor is a well-known speaker, performer, columnist, and author of the Cowboy Logic book series. He has bachelor’s degrees in agricultural economics and mass communications from NDSU.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in agriculture my entire life, from our 119-year-old family ranch to the off-farm careers I’ve had over the years,” says Taylor. “I look forward to bringing on-the-ground agricultural insights to the Starion board as the bank continues to be a trusted adviser to farm and ranch customers who face both opportunities and challenges in the years ahead. I look forward to this role with a super-community bank where I can help farm families continue their legacies to steward the land, produce food, and support their communities.”

Levi Andrist

Levi Andrist is a Bismarck attorney and shareholder at GA Group, PC, a firm that specializes in government affairs, regulatory affairs, ballot campaigns, and ethics, and represents clients from a wide range of industries.

Andrist interned on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., served as the editor in chief of the North Dakota Law Review, and served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Gerald W. VandeWalle of the North Dakota Supreme Court.

Andrist is a former singer and performer at the Medora Musical and graduated from Concordia College with a bachelor’s degree in music. He earned a Juris Doctor from University of North Dakota School of Law, where he graduated with distinction and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

“Wherever you see a Starion Bank branch, you’ll find an incredible amount of support for local programs, charities, and nonprofit organizations,” says Andrist. “I’m thrilled to join the Starion family to help advance their legacy of building up the communities they serve.”

Craig Larson, chairman of the Starion Bank board of directors, is pleased at the broad spectrum of experience brought by the new members.

“Levi has such finesse in navigating discussions with the legislative and executive branches of state government, as well as a deep knowledge of the ins and outs of highly regulated industries like banking. And he brings a fresh perspective on community building. I look forward to his insights and his growth as a director,” says Larson. “Ryan is the quintessential cowboy. His heart is in rural America, sustainable farming and ranching practices, and the conservation of our natural lands and resources. We know his experience in regenerative agriculture, public policy, and public service will be invaluable to us in the coming years.”

Other members on the Starion Bank board are Donovan Bertsch, president of Theel, Inc., Bottineau; Randy Hatzenbuhler, president Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, Bismarck; Dr. Dale Klein, a family medicine physician at Sandford Health, Mandan; Paul Lenhart, president and CEO of Krupp General Contractors, Madison, Wis.; Michelle Larson, Larson Family Owner, Bismarck; Cameron Knutson, owner of Knutson Realty, Bismarck; Matt Younkle, co-founder and CEO of Pythonic Corporation, Madison, Wis.; Joan McCusker, SVP of Risk and Administration, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, West Fargo.

Starion Bank managers on the board include Craig Larson, executive chairman, and Don Morgan, president/CEO.