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Ken Thompson HeadshotBy Kenneth D. Thompson

As my time as WBA Chair comes to a close on May 31, and I prepare to hand the baton over to Daniel Peterson, I wish to reflect upon the remarkable efforts bankers throughout our state have made this year to ensure the success of our industry. Even as we continue to feel the residual impacts of the pandemic, Wisconsin bankers continue to face every challenge in stride and stand as trusted partners in their communities.

 

Advocacy

This year, over 100 bankers from around the state attended WBA’s annual Capitol Day at the State Capitol in Madison. In addition to hearing from Wisconsin political leaders, bankers met with legislators to convey how issues like credit union expansion, banking regulatory modernization, interchange fee legislation, and elder fraud directly impact their local economies and consumers.

Similarly, many bankers have testified on several WBA key issues in the last year. Your grassroot involvement was critical in preventing bills such as those allowing for the expansion of credit unions from moving past either House. Your engagement in testifying, commenting, and supporting WBA’s efforts further unites our industry.

Education

As bankers continue to embrace new post-pandemic realities, WBA staff too is learning and shifting to best meet the needs of WBA members. Between new hybrid approaches to specific conferences and events geared at keeping our bankers informed — thousands of bankers from throughout the state have benefited from WBA’s adaptability in times of uncertainty which has allowed banks across the state to continue to grow and embrace each challenge faced.

These challenges, though difficult, have also been extremely rewarding. Bankers have shown their innovation and flexibility not only for the sake of their team members, but for their communities. This year, over 100 banks participated in WBA’s fifth annual Power of Community Week to engage with members of their communities through various service events. Throughout the year, the efforts bankers make in establishing connections within the communities they serve prove valuable in aiding the financial wellbeing of our neighbors. Additionally, your efforts assist in shaping the public’s opinion of the banking industry — a valuable perspective to hold especially as we approach election season — continue to explore new ways of embracing technology, and evolve as an industry.

I would also like to extend a sincere ‘thank you’ to WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels and her staff — I speak for many of us when I say I am deeply grateful for the work that the association does for the banking community in Wisconsin and beyond.

Moves come as community bank continues to grow in Waukesha and Walworth Counties

Citizens Bank is pleased to announce the following promotions and new hire:

Adam Raychel has been named senior vice president – chief financial officer. He is responsible for overseeing the areas of finance and IT, along with the deposit and loan support areas. Adam received a master’s in accounting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has over 16 years of experience in the banking industry. He currently holds a CPA credential in the state of Wisconsin.

 

 

 

Ryan Lilly has been named first vice president – business banker. Ryan joined Citizens Bank in 2015 and has 15 years of banking experience. He has developed a customer-first philosophy that guides him to provide the best experience possible for each of his clients while helping them find and unlock the keys to their growth. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

 

 

 

Frank Sterbin is welcomed as chief credit officer. In his role, he will be responsible for managing the bank’s Commercial Credit Team. Frank earned his bachelor’s in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and his MBA from Marquette University. He is also a board member of RAMAC and is involved with other non-profit organizations.

Kendra Anderson with members of the De Pere Police Department

In an effort to celebrate the strong bond and relationship between local businesses, schools, and families and their hometown community bank, The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT) recognized the Power of CommUNITY Week April 18–23 during National Community Banking Month and National Financial Literacy and Capability Month.

The purpose of Power of CommUNITY Week is to highlight the longstanding tradition of local hometown community banking. We urge consumers, small business owners, farmers, and community leaders to learn more about the relationship community banks have with the communities that are not home only to our bank, but our families and our livelihoods. The role banks play in building strong communities, and the quality products and personal services we provide give our customers the support they need to succeed.

Below are the ways each SNBT Office participated in the Power of CommUNITY week:

  • The Marinette Office bought lunch for the Peshtigo Fire Department and donated money to help families recovering after a fire.
  • The Menominee Office donated to the Emergency Rescue Squad of Marinette.
  • The Oconto Office gave $50 Gift Certificates from Brubaker’s, along with other essentials to 16 Oconto foster families.
  • The Crivitz Office donated to Operation Bandshell – to help build a bandshell in the community park. They also donated to the Crivitz Middle School, in their efforts to build an outside area for children.
  • The Wausaukee Office donated to the Wausaukee Rescue Squad and Wausaukee Fire Department.
  • The Pembine Office donated money to help with improvements to the American Legion Park.
  • The Green Bay Office brought a meal to Ashwaubenon’s Police and Fire Department. In addition, they will fill the De Pere Soccer concession stand and organize SNBT volunteers to help.

“On a regular basis, we dedicate time, effort, and resources to strengthening our community. This is our way of joining together with the rest of the Wisconsin banking industry to show the tangible ways in which we empower the communities we serve,” said Dan Peterson, SNBT president & CEO.

First State Bank recently announced the promotion of Brian Wood to vice president – loan operations. In his new role, Wood will oversee all aspects of application, processing, and servicing of First State Bank’s loan portfolio while ensuring adherence to loan policy and regulatory compliance.

Wood has held various credit and loan processing supervisory roles during his eleven years at the bank. Promoted in 2021 to senior credit analyst/assistant vice president – special projects, Wood led several process improvement initiatives in the bank’s credit and lending operations.

“Brian is a creative leader in our organization,” commented bank President Bob Van Asten. “He thoroughly understands the loan process and has great vision for balancing all of the behind-the-scenes details of lending with making the loan process as easy as possible for our customers.”

Wood is a 2010 graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration with majors in finance and economics. He also graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2021. Wood is located at First State Bank’s new Stevens Point office at 5500 Carrie Frost Drive, which opened mid-April.

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Prevail Bank is proud to announce that its own, Ryan Ludy, mortgage loan originator in Eau Claire received the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Above & Beyond Rookie Member Award.

“We are very proud to have Ryan on the Prevail Bank team and as a volunteer with the Chamber,” said Brent Arndt, Prevail Bank’s senior vice president mortgage manager. “He is a great asset to his community and his efforts are appreciated by Prevail Bank and those he works with.”

“I joined the chamber to connect with my peers that share the same passion for giving back to our communities and supporting the great things that Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley has to offer,” said Ludy. “I am honored to be selected for this award; every one of my ambassador family members are equally deserving. I am extremely proud to be part of this group!”

Chamber Ambassadors are a positive group of business community volunteers, who facilitate and promote the Chamber at various events throughout the year. They host professional networking events, volunteer at many of the Chamber’s larger events, as well as facilitate and represent the Chamber at ribbon cutting and ground breaking ceremonies.

Ludy joined Prevail Bank with a strong desire to help customers make smart financial decisions that positively impact their financial future. He is a devoted Wisconsin sports fan and enjoys the many activities that the Chippewa Valley has to offer with his wife and three children.

Ken Thompson, president and CEO of Capitol Bank, is pleased to announce the following promotions:

Dina Aybazova has been promoted to office coordinator. Dina joined Capitol Bank over two years ago. In that time, she has grown in her role by taking on additional responsibilities with the day-to-day coordination of the bank’s internal needs. Dina’s hobbies include hiking, anything outdoorsy, trying new food and coffee, traveling with family and friends, meeting new people, exploring new cultures, good movies, listening/singing to 60s music, and Bon Jovi. Congratulations, Dina!

 

Evan Bauer has been promoted to assistant branch manager – Verona. Evan has been with Capitol Bank for over a year. In his time, he has taken on additional responsibilities by tracking the bank’s referral program and he continues to pursue banking courses to mold his skillset into what best serves customers. In Evan’s free time, he enjoys basketball, football, soccer, weightlifting, and has taken various mission trips with his church to help rebuild areas after disasters. Congratulations, Evan!

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Last spring, Jenna Raisbeck was awarded the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation’s (WBF) Agricultural Banking Scholarship. Originally from Lancaster, Wisconsin, Raisbeck is now a junior at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville and holds a position as a credit analyst and branch marketing liaison at Community First Bank in Platteville.

This inaugural scholarship awarded two individuals attending accredited Wisconsin universities with career interests related to agricultural banking/finance a $1,000 scholarship towards their education. WBF is excited to soon announce the recipients of 2021’s Agricultural Banking Scholarship, which accepted applications in the fall.

Raisbeck was raised understanding the importance of agriculture to her local community, despite not living on a farm herself. As a credit analyst, she works closely with farmers and their credit and has come to realize the need for having good agricultural finance professionals and resources for farmers. Not only does her current position allow her to explore finance and banking, but it also combines her interests in the agricultural industry and helping her community.

Along with receiving the scholarship from WBF, Raisbeck also had the unique opportunity to enter the bank as an intern. “Most companies target graduating seniors for full-time positions, but hiring younger students as interns or tellers can be just as important,” she says. “In my experience, the bank has been able to teach me a lot since I started out so young and with little experience. They know what areas I am interested in and eventually can help me prepare for the right position.”

Following her graduation this January, Raisbeck plans to continue her banking career long term. Through opportunities such as job shadowing, she has decided to pursue lending because it will allow her to work closely with customers, utilize the financial skills established through her time as a credit analyst, and help customers reach their goals.

“Being the recipient of the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation Agricultural Banking Scholarship has benefited me by helping lighten my financial burden that comes with attending college,” says Raisbeck, “This has allowed me to focus more time on my courses which is important to my career. Without successfully completing these finance-focused courses, I would not be able to pursue the career I want long-term, nor would I be able to be in the position that I am now. Getting this recognition for all my hard work from the WBF means a great deal to me and motivates me to continue to push myself to be the best I can be.”

Earlier this year the CFPB issued its long-awaited proposal for implementing Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires collection of credit application data for small businesses, including women-owned and minority-owned small businesses. Comments on the proposal are due January 6, 2022. WBA will be creating a draft comment letter for use by members to reply to CFPB regarding concerns and impact of the proposal on banks. WBA encourages each bank to consider submitting its own letter reflecting bank-specific information. In preparation for these comments, WBA has prepared the following considerations regarding the rule.

What specific burdens will your institution face as a result the proposal? Some examples might include:

  • Costs, technology, training, staffing, customer-facing educational information needs.
  • Review of application process (based upon the rule’s definition of application).
  • Is the proposed “firewall” process workable for the bank?
  • What sort of implementation period will be necessary?

More specifically you might consider:

  • Will bank need to hire new staff (compliance, processor, etc.)?
  • Technology costs, such as a new platform, or 1071 data software.
  • Costs associated with updating existing systems, testing, applications, training, development of new policies and procedures, legal consultation, review of implementation, etc.
  • New annual costs related to collection such as customer service, data management, resolution of errors, exam prep, etc.

In preparation for filing comments, banks should plan to provide specific estimates where possible. For example, if bank predicts new software will be necessary to capture the data, be prepared to provide CFPB with a specific cost if possible.

As mentioned above, WBA will be creating a draft comment letter for use by members to reply to CFPB. The letter will be released shortly to allow banks time to personalize their letter with bank-specific information. For more information about CFPB’s Section 1071 proposal, please see the WBA Toolkit and PowerPoint materials.

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Pictured left to right are: Ali Hansen (Southern Lakes Area Love, Inc.), Pat Yakes (Southern Lakes Area Love, Inc.), Jen Lavery (Southern Lakes Area Love, Inc.), Hunter Baumstark (Southern Lakes Area Love, Inc.), Becky McClelland (Community State Bank), Amanda Seifert (Rotary Club of Burlington)

Community State Bank (CSB), Rotary Club of Burlington and the Burlington Rotary Rescue Squad Fund have raised funds to donate a total of 237 meals to the 2021 Love, Inc. and Rotary Club of Burlington Thanksgiving Meal Campaign. This campaign is hosted annually by the club and has been providing meals to local families in need for over 20 years.

“Our annual drive is about community,” said Rotary Club of Burlington president, Amanda Seifert. “Burlington has given much to us, and we have a responsibility to pay that forward. We want our neighbors to have the same wonderful holiday we share with our families. Having Community State Bank and the Burlington Rotary Rescue Squad Fund join this effort shows that Burlington feels the same way. The assistance from CSB nearly doubled our reach!”

Community State Bank employees, along with the bank, donated a total of 64 meals and members of the Rotary Club of Burlington collected a total of 70 meals. The Burlington Rotary Rescue Squad Fund then agreed to match those donations up to $3000 for a grand total of 237 Thanksgiving meals.

“This is our second year participating in the campaign and it’s just as exciting as the last,” said CSB Burlington market president, Becky McClelland. “Our bank team rallies together with their very own funds to provide as many meals as we can. Community State Bank then matches our personal employee donations. It’s a group effort and we’re grateful to be a part of it.”

Thanksgiving boxes were distributed to families mid-November at Love, Inc. where families had the choice of a ham or turkey, an apple or pumpkin pie, and all the fixings.

In addition to the Thanksgiving boxes, for the second year, Love, Inc. was able to hand out grab-and-go style meals on Thanksgiving Day to ensure that the needs of the community are met. In years past, St. John’s held a Thanksgiving Day meal, but COVID restrictions prevented them from being able to safely serve.

“Our mission here at Love is to be a community network helping our neighbors in need,” said Southern Lakes Area Love, Inc. executive director, Patti Wojciechowski. “This partnership is a great illustration of our mission in action. We are truly grateful to be able to provide a positive experience for our guests.”