By Hannah Flanders
This June, Dan Peterson, a native of DePere, Wis., began his year-long term as chair of the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA). The banking veteran, nearing 35 years in the industry, inspires bankers around the state with his strong work ethic and overall dedication to local communities and the banking industry.
After graduating from St. Norbert College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Peterson began his career as a lending officer with a finance company, first located in Milwaukee, transferring to Marinette after nine months. In 1988, after two years with the finance company, Peterson began his banking career with The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT) in Marinette as assistant loan officer.
Peterson gained experience in all lending areas of the bank and served as head of the commercial loan department in 2003 before advancing to his current role of president and CEO in 2013.
As WBA chair, Peterson hopes to continue deepening member engagement with the Association. Between education opportunities, advocacy related events, and efforts put forth by the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) — the nonprofit arm of WBA — Peterson encourages bankers to not only foster growth in their own banks and communities by engaging with the Association, but also help WBA continue to advocate and support members as it has done for the last 130 years.
“I think as members of WBA, we owe it to the organization because they provide so many benefits to us as bankers,” says Peterson. “I would really like to see member engagement continue to increase over the next year.”
Peterson highlights the newly remodeled WBA office in Madison, including the state-of-the-art Engagement Center as being one of the many opportunities banks can utilize to further engage with WBA. The Engagement Center, open to all WBA member bankers, regularly hosts education events and training sessions. It also serves as an additional resource for bankers to reserve for meetings or strategic planning sessions.
“I think it is important for us as bankers to really support the WBA,” Peterson adds. “Your involvement will help us to remain a highly relevant and impactful organization for the membership.”
In his tenure at SNBT, Peterson has also contributed greatly to the efforts of WBA, the banking industry, and his local community. Peterson has previously served on the WBA Bank Executives Conference Advisory Board, the FIPCO (Financial Institution Products Corporation) Board, and the American Bankers Association (ABA) Community Bankers Council. Additionally, Peterson is currently the president of the Peshtigo Lion’s Club.
Peterson and his wife of 36 years, Barbara, currently reside in their little “slice of heaven” in Marinette. The couple, both St. Norbert alumni, raised two sons who also went on to attend St. Norbert College. Peterson enjoys spending his time away from the bank outside; be it hunting, fishing, or maintaining his property and spending time with his six — soon to be seven — grandchildren. Despite his banking background, Peterson jokingly states that members should not expect to find him on the golf course anytime soon, that is unless he is driving the beverage cart!