Lynette Ikert joined The First National Bank of Bangor in August 1984 as a proof operator where she processed cash letters and local checks for daily reconciliation. Not long after starting, Ikert began training in the IRA department as well, and has worked diligently with the bank’s IRA customers and their retirement accounts throughout her career. As banking technology changed and eliminated a lot of the check handling requirements, Ikert was transferred into the bank’s loan department, where she has been primarily responsible for collateral documents and various processing duties. On January 31, during her retirement celebration, Ikert was presented with WBA’s Lifetime Service Award for dedicating 40 years of her career to the banking industry.
Archive for month: January, 2024
By Rose Oswald Poels
For generations, banking leaders across the state have made significant strides in ensuring the economic wellbeing of our communities and helping shape our industry into what we know today. To recognize the current and former bankers who have demonstrated excellence in banking, community service, and civic involvement, the Wall of Excellence was established by the Wisconsin Bankers Association in 2020.
Now in its fifth year of honoring Wisconsin’s most prominent bank leaders, the Wall of Excellence currently profiles the faces and stories of 28 Wisconsin bankers — some of whom were recognized posthumously — for their commitment to our industry and demonstration of the highest standards of ethics, professionalism, and enthusiastic service. Permanent plaques commending these individuals and families are on display in the WBA Engagement Center in Madison and are seen by thousands of bankers who visit our headquarters annually for a variety of meetings and training programs. An in-person ceremony, featuring speakers from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and a member of Congress, will be held in September at the WBA Office to celebrate the Class of 2024 Leaders in Banking Excellence.
Joining the WBA Leaders in Banking Excellence is the Association’s most esteemed honor, and nominations to join as part of the Class of 2024 are being accepted now through Friday, May 10, 2024. Nominators will honor their approved banker(s) by making a $10,000 contribution for an individual or family to the Wisconsin Bankers Association (may be tax-deductible as a business expense) or Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution).
It is truly a privilege to work alongside you and stand witness to the individual and collective contributions many have made to our industry. Thank you for considering this invitation to nominate yourself or another to join our Class of 2024 Leaders in Banking Excellence at wisbank.com/Excellence. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Starion Bank announces two new Chief Banking Officers as the bank continues to grow and serve new customers in North Dakota and Wisconsin.
Lee Weisbeck has been promoted from Bismarck-Mandan Market President and will now serve as Chief Banking Officer for the Bismarck, Mandan, Dunseith, Bottineau, Rolla, Oakes, and Ellendale markets. He joined Starion as a business banker in 2007, began managing the Mandan branch in 2015, and expanded to oversee all Bismarck and Mandan branches in 2018.
Weisbeck holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Mary and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado. He serves on the boards of Sanford Health, HIT, Bismarck State College Foundation, and as a Committee Chair for Mandan Growth Fund.
Dave Rogstad was promoted from Business Banking Manager to Chief Banking Officer of the Fargo and Wisconsin markets. Rogstad will also supervise the insurance, wealth management, experience, and marketing departments. He joined Starion Bank in 2014 with experience in the banking industry since 2001. His areas of expertise in business banking include working with commercial C&I, commercial real estate, and SBA loans.
Rogstad holds bachelor’s degrees in agriculture economics and accountancy from North Dakota State University, and graduated from the Graduate School of Banking Madison. He serves on the boards of Independent Community Bankers of North Dakota, Community Works North Dakota, and the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC.
Weisbeck and Rogstad are assuming their new roles from Dave Hoekstra, who has transitioned into a new position within Starion Bank.
“The bank is as solid and growth oriented as we’ve ever been. Lee Weisbeck and Dave Rogstad are stellar examples of leadership and strategic excellence, and of Starion’s commitment to serving our customers and communities,” says Don Morgan, Starion Bank CEO. “I have every confidence in their vision and guidance to not only help us continue delighting our current customers, but to also attract new markets and customers for many years to come.”
Forward Bank has contributed $100,000 to support the development of a pickleball complex to be located in Braem Park. This project is part of a larger revitalization effort for the area that currently includes frisbee golf.
Pickleball has been an increasingly popular sport that spans generations and encourages families to stay active. The addition of this complex provides additional access for those looking to play in Marshfield. It also serves to revitalize tennis and basketball courts that are seeing less use. This effort makes Braem Park more attractive to members of the community, and with the size of the pickleball complex is likely to draw people from outside of the community.
“This project is a natural fit for Forward to support,” commented Bill Sennholz, CEO of Forward Bank. “Our building in Marshfield overlooks Braem Park and our employees will have the opportunity to enjoy this new facility. The investment we make in projects like the pickleball courts encourages individuals of all ages to get out, stay active, and enjoy time with families and friends.”
Community State Bank (CSB) is excited to announce the return of 100 Women Who Care – Western Racine County on Thursday, February 8 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at 1841 Farms and Vineyard in Burlington. What started as an annual meeting in 2022, has grown into a biannual meeting. This will be the fourth event hosted and organized by CSB.
100 Women Who Care is a nationwide initiative that provides women with the opportunity to support non-profit organizations in their community. Each guest is asked to bring $100 ($50 for attendees 30 years of age or younger) in the form of a blank check or cash in order to enter the event. Guests are encouraged to nominate a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves Western Racine County. The group then votes and all funds raised at the event are awarded to the recipient.
“I love this event and everything that it supports,” said CSB Media and Communications Director Eloissa Heigl. “This is our second year of hosting 100 Women Who Care and we’ve already raised over $14,000 to support non-profits in our community. I think that’s incredible and I hope it inspires others to join us.”
Since the initiative began, three non-profit organizations have been chosen to receive event funds. Those recipients include Burlington Transitional Living Center, Healthcare Network of Racine, and Matthias Academy.
On the day of the event, nominators are asked to present why they have chosen their nominee in less than 5 minutes. Nominated non-profit organizations must meet certain criteria in order to be considered. The organization must serve the communities of Western Racine County, be a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, not affiliated or tied to any specific political viewpoint, and must not be a recipient in the past 12 months.
Online registration for the event is now open. Pre-registration is preferred, but day of registration is also available. The event is open to the public. For additional event details, please visit CSB.bank/100wwc
Prevail Bank is excited to introduce the newest members of Stevens Point’s branch management and personal banking team. Troy Kempfert is the office’s new branch manager and Miguel Baldemor is Stevens Point’s relationship banker.
As a working supervisor, Kempfert’s responsibilities as branch manager include supporting customers with their retail banking and consumer lending needs, identifying and executing the branch’s strategic direction, local management of sales promotions and sponsorships, fostering a collaborative and innovative work environment, and ensuring exceptional customer service and problem/solution management inside and outside the office.
As a relationship banker Baldemor can complete the consumer lending processes, including credit decisions; open consumer and commercial deposit accounts, including certificates of deposits (CDs) and IRAs; and assist those commercial customers who wish to maximize efficiencies and fraud prevention by establishing them with a premium Business Resource Manager solution.
By Lorenzo Cruz
With the start of the new year, many of us have taken time to reflect upon the accomplishments of the last year. For the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) and our members, 2023 was full of success. Of note, our team of dedicated banking advocates helped to secure a historic victory in the state budget, which will save the industry tens of millions of dollars annually through a state tax exemption on certain commercial and ag purpose loans. Without the grassroots and financial advocacy support of the membership, this monumental achievement would not have been possible. So, as you begin to consider your resolutions for the year ahead, I hope that you consider actively engaging in WBA’s political advocacy efforts in 2024.
As always, there are a plethora of ways for bankers to be involved with WBA’s advocacy efforts to aid in shaping the future of our industry. Being an election year, it is ever so important that bankers are present to make their voices heard. Capitol Day, the Association’s most important and largest advocacy event of the year, will take place on February 22 in Madison at the Monona Terrace. The one-day event is a great opportunity for all bankers, regardless of advocacy experience, to gain insight on policy issues impacting the Wisconsin banking industry and make direct connections with their elected legislators. These meetings, which occur in small groups based on Assembly or Senate district, are an effective way for WBA and the membership to share our legislative priorities with policymakers.
On the financial front, it is no secret that election years bring with them political campaigns that are skyrocketing in cost. Being “B” for “Banker,” it is more important than ever that we are prepared to support pro-banking candidates on both sides of the aisle.
At the individual level, bankers should consider becoming a member of the Silver Triangle Club or Leadership Circle by making a personal contribution to Wisbankpac or the Alliance of Bankers Conduit (ABW). At the bank level, an organization can achieve Gold Triangle recognition by meeting certain aggregate contribution amounts to the PAC and ABW. These contribution levels are based on the asset size of the bank.
After the big win in the budget, the WBA government relations team continues to lobby at the State Capitol in support of our top three priorities: elder fraud, financial institution modernization, and trust code updates. Our team is also playing defense on issues regarding privacy, Merchant Category Codes (MCC), Environmental Social Governance (ESG), and credit card swipe fees.
As the Legislature turns its focus on passing legislation over the next three months, WBA calls upon our members to remain engaged in the process both financially and on a grassroots level. Political activism allows our collective voice to stand out and be heard.
During a ceremony held on January 27, Tom O’Connor, president and CEO of TSB Bank, and his wife, Kathy, were recognized as the 2023 Lomira Citizens of the Year. Congressman Glenn Grothman also recognized the O’Connor’s with a congressional commendation on their achievement.
First Business Bank announces that its Accounts Receivable Financing team recently funded a $5 million ledgered line Factoring facility to a client operating as a carrier in the transportation sector. The facility includes an additional $5 million accordion piece for future growth.
First Business Bank’s new client is a second-generation family-owned business that has served the shipping needs of thousands of customers over several decades. Recently, the company became frustrated with the rigidity of its current bank and approached First Business Bank for a more flexible solution.
“We remain committed to serving the needs of the transportation sector during these difficult times,” said Bill Elliott, president – accounts receivable financing at First Business Specialty Finance, LLC, a subsidiary of First Business Bank. “Our new client has been less susceptible to rate contraction because of advantageous relationships with long-term customers.”
Lake Ridge Bank welcomes Christopher Anderson to its New Glarus location to serve as an assistant vice president – mortgage loan officer.
Anderson brings a unique understanding of the world of real estate beyond the lending process thanks to his background working not only in mortgage lending, but also at a real estate brokerage and at a title company in Madison. In addition, he has extensive experience working throughout south central Wisconsin and exudes sincere joy around helping people find the place they want to call home.
Anderson and his family live in New Glarus and take full advantage of the local recreation, including kayaking, hiking, biking, and fishing with his sons, as well as regularly walking to work.