Rendering of the interior of PWSB’s new Community Room provided by the Redmond Company.

Port Washington State Bank (PWSB) is excited to announce a renovation project involving the former Dairy Queen located at 218 E. Washington Street, just west of the bank’s headquarters in downtown Port Washington. With support from The Redmond Company of Waukesha, PWSB plans to create the PWSB Community Room for meetings and events. The new space will feature audio-visual equipment, a 30-person outdoor patio space, a catering kitchen, and ADA-compliant bathrooms and building access, all while maintaining a charming view of the harbor. The room will accommodate approximately 50 people depending upon the setup of the room.

James Schowalter, president and COO, shared his vision for the project. “Our Lakeview Room has been used frequently by non-profit groups and our internal teams for meetings and events, but our new detached room will be more functional and allow for better privacy.”

The new space will be similar in size to the bank’s Lakeview Room located in the Wilson House on the northeast intersection of Franklin and Main Street. The Lakeview Room will soon be converted to a multi-purpose space for the 80 employees that work at the bank’s Franklin street campus.

“As our bank has grown, so too have the number of employees who work here. Now that the pandemic has subsided and we can safely collaborate in person, it’s time to provide our teams with more open space for informal meetings, breaks, and lunches,” James added.

Information on renting the PWSB Community Room will be available on the bank’s website in late summer.

Ladysmith Federal Loan & Savings donated red oak trees to students in their communities.

In April, Ladysmith Federal Savings & Loan participated in two events that further showed their commitment to the communities they serve — WBA’s Power of Community Week (April 18–23) and Teach Children to Save Day (April 28).

During Power of Community Week, Ladysmith Federal had secure shred bins at their Ladysmith location during  for customers to shred old paperwork or billing statements containing sensitive information. In addition, Ladysmith Federal staff not only planted trees in their local community but gifted Ladysmith and Flambeau Elementary students red oak trees to bring home to plant and brought them snacks during their Earth Day activities. Flambeau School board member, Joel Taylor, visited the students to show them how to take care of and plant their new trees.

Ladysmith Federal’s Financial Literacy Coordinator, Kat Detloff, visited students in the community to teach about saving money.

For Teach Children to Save Day, Ladysmith Federal’s Financial Literacy Coordinator, Kat Detloff, visited Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary, Ladysmith Elementary, and Flambeau Elementary school students in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade. Detloff read the book “It’s a Habit, Sammy Rabbit!” written by Sam X Renick and illustrated by Juan Alvarado. Sammy learns from his Auntie Squirly that saving every day is a great habit that can really pay off in the future. Students discussed the story and learned about how important it is to save money, especially if they have a goal.

Students from the West Salem “Pink Panthers” test out their buzzers at the Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl State Tournament, hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

The Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl tournament for high school students across Wisconsin culminated in the state championship on Wednesday, May 18. The tournament is organized by the nonprofit organization Asset Builders and championship sponsors included the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation, Associated Bank, Huntington Bank, Old National Bank, and U.S. Bank.

Thank you to the WBA-member bankers who volunteered as quizmasters, scorekeepers, and judges at the championship tournament: Colin Brown, U.S. Bank; Lynn Boelter, First Federal Bank; Melissa Castillo, Monona Bank; Donna Cotter, Old National Bank; Leann Eddingsaas, First Federal Bank; and Matt Moore, U.S. Bank.

The Challenge Bowl is an opportunity for students to build upon their classroom learning in finance and economics in a fun and engaging environment. The spirit of friendly competition was evident as the teams competed for trophies and prizes.

Congratulations to this year’s winners (and their teachers):

  • First place – State Champion: Sun Prairie (Kurt Nickelsburg)
  • Second-place: Monroe (Erin Speth)
  • Final Four teams: Nicolet (Dan Schramka) and Monroe
  • Consolation Champion: Green Bay East (Scott Christy), with Stevens Point (Mike Olson) coming in second
  • Crowdpurr individual competition: students from Rhinelander (Patrick Kubeny), Milton (Nick Manogue), and Middleton (Shane Leadholm) finished in the top four spots.

Look for more information in the Wisconsin Banker Daily this fall on how to get involved with a regional tournament in your area.

With the mandatory compliance date for the new, revised General QM loan definition just on the horizon, banks should ensure their implementation plans are in place. In terms of a quick-look at dates, CFPB issued a final rule on December 29, 2020 (Final Rule) which amends the General QM loan definition in Regulation Z. The Final Rule included a mandatory compliance date of July 1, 2021. However, on April 27, 2021, CFPB extended that mandatory compliance date to October 1, 2022. The General QM Final Rule was effective on March 1, 2021 and, among other things, replaces the existing 43 percent debt-to-income ratio limit with price-based thresholds. As such, it presents the potential for significant changes to a bank’s mortgage lending operation.

To expand upon the new price-based thresholds with a general summary: a loan meets the revised General QM definition only if the annual percentage rate exceeds the average prime offer rate for a comparable transaction by less than the applicable threshold set forth in the Final Rule as of the date the interest rate is set. Additionally, the Final Rule removes Appendix Q as well as any requirements to use Appendix Q for General QM loans. Consequently, it amends the consider and verify requirements in Regulation Z and its associated commentary. First, it outlines the minimum considerations required by creditors, including, for example, the consumer’s current or reasonably expected income or assets. Second, it requires that creditors verify those considerations using reasonably reliable third-party records and reasonable methods and criteria.

Banks have likely already taken time to evaluate the categories of QMs they originate, and how the revised General QM definition may or may not affect its current loan policy and underwriting procedures. Even banks which originate Small Creditor QMs should still consider the extent to which they may or may not original General QMs. For example, does bank originate General QMs? Will it continue to do so, or will it exclusively utilize the Small Creditor QM exception, if applicable?

Given the mandatory compliance date of October 1, 2022 banks should confirm that their implementation steps are in place. Banks should prepare to fully transition current policies and procedures to conform with the new definition and consider what training might be necessary in advance of and after the transition.

As an additional resource, WBA has prepared an ATR/QM Toolkit to assist bankers.

Triangle Background

David Rouse to lead expansion of Ixonia Bank’s Mortgage Lending Program

Ixonia Bank, a full-service financial institution with assets approaching $560 million and seven locations, is expanding its footprint in the Metro Milwaukee area by opening a mortgage lending office in Brookfield this summer. Senior Vice President – Residential Lending David Rouse has been tasked with building and managing a successful lending team that will utilize cutting edge lending technology and combine with it the personal relationship that clients have come to expect when working with Ixonia Bank.

“This is a logical and strategic expansion for us,” states Dan Westrope, chairman and CEO of Ixonia Bank. “We expect this market to provide us with additional growth opportunities going forward and Dave is the ideal person to lead this effort.”

David Rouse adds, “I’m excited to lead the re-imagined Ixonia Bank mortgage lending division, not only in the communities we serve, but in all of southeast Wisconsin. ‘Helping You Succeed’ is not only our tagline, but something we’re committed to doing every day.”

The office will be in the Sendiks Towne Centre at 3815 N. Brookfield Road, Suite 103, in Brookfield. It will be devoted to lending activities and will include a space for client meetings and closings. The location will not accept customer deposits. Rouse can be reached at (414) 587-5870 to set up a meeting.

Rouse has more than 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry. He most recently served as single family housing group director at Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

Prior to that he has held many lending positions at local financial institutions. Well-known and trusted in the Wisconsin financial market, he has served on the Governor’s Council of Financial Literacy since 2017 and received a lifetime achievement award from the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association in 2019.

Mark Oldenberg, CEO of Security Financial Bank (SFB), is pleased to announce that Jennifer Moen has joined SFB as a treasury management officer. Moen’s position is an addition to the treasury management department. Her focus will be specific to the growth and development of a new portfolio of premier banking and cash management clients.

“This is an exciting opportunity to use my previous knowledge to impact businesses in a new way at SFB,” said Moen.

Moen has 15 years of retail and trust management experience as a branch manager along with seven years of treasury and cash management experience as a cash management specialist. She will be based in Eau Claire but will travel to all SFB markets to serve clients and grow the bank’s treasury management portfolio.

“Jen has valuable leadership and customer service skills that will move SFB forward in growing our treasury management clientele,” said Oldenberg.

Moen resides in Chippewa Falls with her husband and teenage daughter. She is involved with the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley as a board chair and is a Chippewa Falls Chamber ambassador.

Kurt Schaefer

The Bank of New Glarus is excited to announce the addition of Kurt Schaefer as vice president of retail sales.

“We feel very fortunate to have Kurt join our team. He comes with years of experience and we’re excited to see where that experience will take us as we navigate our successful future,” said Ron Schaaf, president of The Bank of New Glarus.

In his new role, Schaefer, a Monroe resident, with a degree in business administration, comes with 20+ years of banking experience. He will oversee all The Bank of New Glarus branches, including the new Monroe branch, slated to open late 2022.

“I am excited to join The Bank of New Glarus family,” said Schaefer. “The bank continues to build on a steep history of serving local communities and empowering employees and I look forward to being a part of what makes The Bank of New Glarus special.”

Creating a Welcoming Space for People With Underrepresented Identities in the Banking Industry

Rose Oswald PoelsBy Rose Oswald Poels

About two years ago, the Wisconsin Bankers Association board formalized a plan to build out the association’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Since then, a DEI Advisory Group has been established and meeting regularly to help drive WBA’s initiatives, including the development of a sample DEI policy for banks, the production of the Diverse Voices in Banking video series, the publication of DEI-related articles and resources for bankers, various education sessions at conferences and stand-alone programs, and the formation of a WBA Connect DEI Peer Group. The horrific, racially motivated shooting this past weekend in Buffalo, New York underscores the need to double down on our efforts and do more for our colleagues of color and from other underrepresented backgrounds who are acutely experiencing the effects of yet another act of violence and hatred.

The next component of WBA’s DEI plan is the formation of an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for bankers from underrepresented backgrounds. The ERG is designed to be a safe space for bankers to meet virtually for one hour approximately once per month in an open-forum discussion to share feelings, concerns, and frustrations as well as positive developments related to DEI. A moderator will lead each session, and group members are encouraged to bring up topics that they would like to talk about with one another.

ERGs provide a space for groups of people who share a common identity to voluntarily network and engage in employee-led conversation. ERGs also attract new employees and retain existing employees. WBA members have expressed a desire for WBA to organize a group to serve bankers statewide, as many member banks do not have the resources to offer this type of group on their own. The ERG is open to employees of banks of all sizes. Employees of small banks can benefit from connecting with people from backgrounds that may not be widely represented at their own bank, while employees from large banks that may already have ERGs can benefit from perspectives outside their own organization. The ERG is a place to share experiences, ask questions, and find mentorship.

Through this ERG, WBA seeks to support inclusivity at a statewide level across the banking industry. The first meeting will be held virtually from 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on June 9, 2022. This meeting will aim to provide a discussion space and explore the ways the group can serve the members going forward. The first meeting will include people from a variety of underrepresented backgrounds and gauge interest in branching into more focused ERGs.

Our organizations benefit when we bring our authentic selves to the workplace, and I am excited about the ways this ERG will help bankers from underrepresented backgrounds build high-trust relationships and thrive in their careers. I encourage bank leaders to invite their staff to sign up to participate in this opportunity by filling out the form.

Triangle Background

Peoples State Bank has announced the hire of John Osorio to branch manager of its Waukesha location. Osorio will lead the retail operations and staff, assisting customers with their personal banking needs.

“Peoples has a great reputation as a bank whose employees provide customers with great service,” said Osorio. “With my previous experience as a branch manager, I will work with our retail bankers to help them continue to develop their customer service skills so that we always maintain top-notch assistance for all our customers.”

Osorio joined Peoples with more than ten years of banking experience, half of which was in the role of branch manager. In that role, Osorio guided personal banking teams in their efforts to assist and educate customers on the products that could help them with their unique financial situation.

“John’s background in banking points to an attention to detail and focus on customer service that fits naturally at Peoples,” said Barbara Jones, Peoples State Bank vice president – southeastern Wisconsin retail team leader. “Our retail staff at the Waukesha branch will see John bring fresh ideas and perspectives to all facets of our personal banking experience.”

“Ultimately, great customer relationships are built when our staff takes the time to get to know the person across from them,” said Osorio. “I’m excited to share my knowledge and know I’ll learn a thing or two in the process.”

Osorio has a degree in political science and a minor in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a member of the Waukesha Rotary Club and the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce.