Union State Bank, West Salem, was proud to donate $7500 to support the Veterans Memorial Paws Park.

Paws Park will be located in Veterans Memorial Park in West Salem. Community and county leaders have come together to create a place of joy where dogs can stretch his/her legs off-leash, socialize with other dog buddies, and both dogs and humans can get the exercise and fresh air that helps them thrive. They will be able to meet and greet other dog lovers in this nature haven!

Union State Bank is a locally owned community bank that is continuously working to support our local nonprofits and community organizations. To learn more about Paws Park project or to donate please visit

By, Ally Bates

Waukesha State Bank is pleased to announce the expansion of its private banking services with the hire of Jeremy Behling as private banking associate.

“Our private banking services launched in 2019, which gave us the opportunity to introduce more affluent members of the community to the excellent array of financial services and expertise that Waukesha State Bank offers,” stated Victor J. Schultz, President of Waukesha State Bank Wealth Management. “We are pleased to welcome Jeremy to our wealth management team to expand these services. He has an extensive background in retail banking and sales, which positions him well to offer high-touch, insightful customer service.”

Behling joined Waukesha State Bank in 2019 as a personal banker. After briefly leaving in early 2021, he returned in June as a private banking associate. In his new role, he will be responsible for supporting the growth of private banking relationships as part of the wealth management division of Waukesha State Bank.

Behling is an experienced management and sales professional with over 15 years of financial experience. He holds two bachelor’s degrees in economics and history from the University of Iowa – Iowa City. He and his family currently reside in Burlington, and he will be based out of Waukesha State Bank’s Oconomowoc office located at 1227 Corporate Center Drive.

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By, Ally Bates

Intercity State Bank, Schofield, is pleased to announce the promotions of Loralee Geier and Necia Colvin-Beausoleil.

Geier will assume the role of Branch Manager of the Weston office, where she previously held the titles of Teller Supervisor and Personal Banker since 2017.

Colvin-Beausoleil has been promoted to Head Teller of the Schofield Office, where she has been a Teller since January.

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By, Ally Bates

One Community Bank is excited to announce the three recipients of the OCB Scholarship! OCB launched its scholarship program in April of 2021, with the commitment to grant three $1,000 scholarships. The application process was open to all high school seniors graduating in any of the communities that we serve. Congratulations to the following recipients:

Paige Luecht graduated from Sun Prairie High School. Luecht will apply her scholarship funds towards an accounting degree at Madison College.

Emily Gavinski graduated from Waunakee High School. Gavinski will use to her scholarship funds towards education through UW-Platteville for Ag Education, Horticulture, and Spanish.

Kirsten Oppliger graduated from Oregon High School and is also a colleague of One Community Bank. Oppliger will use the scholarship funds to apply to her education through Madison College for the liberal arts transfer program. Oppliger is excited to stay employed with OCB while she attends school.

“We are thrilled to launch the first year of our scholarship program. The number and quality of applicants exceeded our expectations.” said Steve Peotter, President and CEO of One Community Bank. “These three candidates are very involved in making a positive impact in their communities, which is a key component of why they were chosen. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

This scholarship program aligns with One Community Bank’s commitment to invest in our communities. The eligibility requirements to apply for the scholarships were as follows: the applicant must be a graduating high school senior, must be in good academic standing, and have post-graduation plans at a 2-year or 4-year institution; a technical or trade school; or an apprenticeship program. The application process also required an essay on community service and involvement. One Community Bank is excited to continue this investment into our communities for years to come. 

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By, Ally Bates

Horicon Bank announced the appointment of Daniel Shea and Alex Simic to their Board of Directors.

Shea serves as Chief Operating Officer of Shea Electric and Communications, LLC in Oshkosh, WI. He is also a member of TEC/Vistage, is Chairman of the Fox Valley Division of WI NECA, and serves on the Board of Directors for the WI National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

Horicon Bank President, Frederick F. Schwertfeger said Shea has shown in his own business the importance of customer experience and looks forward to profiting from the knowledge Shea brings to the Board.

“Dan is passionate about providing excellent customer service and creating a dynamic company culture,” said Schwertfeger. “His business expertise and leadership will greatly benefit Horicon Bank.”

Simic is Founder and CEO of Storage Master, LLC, which operates ten self-storage facilities in the Metro Milwaukee area. Simic has also founded Self Storage on Wheels, LLC and MKE Movers, LLC. Simic is a Milwaukee native and former Managing Director, Global Co-Head of Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank in London.

“Alex’s background in business banking and business ownership bring a high level of financial understanding and expertise to our Board of Directors,” said Schwertfeger. “His knowledge of the Milwaukee area will be especially valuable as we expand into New Berlin later this year.”

Shea and Simic join Fred F. Schwertfeger, Fred C. Schwertfeger, Dr. Sharon Haase, Patrick McConnell, and James Blise on Horicon Bank’s Board of Directors.

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By, Ally Bates

First State Bank President and CEO, Bob Van Asten, announced that the bank will soon be breaking ground on a new office in Stevens Point. The new 15,363 square foot office will be located on a 2.6-acre site on Carrie Frost Drive in the Portage County Business Park off County Road R (Brilowski Road) and will replace the bank’s current office on Park Ridge Drive which was acquired with the merger of Pioneer Bank in 2020.

“We are excited to be expanding to a larger, more easily accessible location that will allow us to better serve our growing customer base in the Stevens Point region,” said Van Asten.

Keller, Inc. has been chosen as the design/build general contractor for the project. Construction will begin the week of July 5, and the new office opening sometime in early 2022.

The public is invited to attend the official groundbreaking event for First State Bank’s new Stevens Point office. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 20, at 10 am at the construction site on Carrie Frost Drive. Call (715) 342-9071 or email to RSVP or for more information.

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By, Ally Bates

Peoples State Bank has hired Curtis McElhaney as vice president, mortgage sales manager. McElhaney (NMLS# 400617) will be responsible for the mortgage loan officers and the underwriting teams at Peoples.

“Curtis brings a wealth of mortgage and financial experience to Peoples,” said Jeffrey Saxton, vice president, retail sales and service manager. “He’s managed large mortgage teams, and that experience will prove beneficial to directing our mortgage team and in working with other teams throughout the bank.”

McElhaney will work closely with the loan processing and operations teams to find efficiencies and continue to leverage the bank’s technology platforms to create a great customer experience.

“I’m excited about joining the Peoples’ team,” said McElhaney. “Peoples has an outstanding reputation when it comes to mortgage lending. I want to be part of that and continue the outstanding growth.”

McElhaney spent the last ten years at a local credit union. He was responsible for leading loan officers, underwriters, and processing staff. 

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By, Ally Bates

After nearly 50 years of service to State Bank of Cross Plains (SBCP), Charles L. Saeman is stepping down from one of his two chairman roles associated with the Bank. While Saeman will continue as Chairman of the Bank’s holding company, S.B.C.P. Bancorp, Inc., the Board of Directors has unanimously appointed Vernon Jesse as the new Chairman of the Board for SBCP.

Jesse has been an active Director for both the Bank and the holding company since 2015. The institution has seen tremendous growth during those six years, giving him ample preparation for the important work of steering strategic direction for the future.

An attorney serving the Greater Madison community for 32 years, Jesse has been with the law firm of Murphy Desmond S.C. since 1999. His substantial expertise representing real estate and corporate clients provides insight to many different facets of the Bank’s business. During his tenure to date, Jesse has been instrumental in improving the customer experience for Bank customers and providing long-term value to shareholders.

“We have an awesome Board filled with amazing people,” says SBCP President & CEO, Jim Tubbs. “Vern stood out as the clear choice to lead this organization. His historical knowledge of the Bank, his expertise within the industry, his background as an attorney, and his absolute integrity will be appreciated at every level of Bank interactions.”

The move provides for a seamless transition in anticipation of Saeman’s retirement next year. Saeman joined SBCP in 1972 and worked in a variety of departments throughout the years, including marketing, consumer and mortgage lending, securities portfolio management, and finance administration. He served as Bank President from 2000–2009 and has been Chairman of both Boards since 2010.

“We are really lucky to benefit from Vern and Charlie working cooperatively this year as Vern assumes his leadership role,” shares Tubbs. “It’s such a testament to Charlie’s leadership style that he would see the value in stepping down a year early in order to serve as a resource during the transition process.”

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By, Ally Bates

Community State Bank (CSB), Union Grove, is pleased to announce the promotion of Carol Klimke to the position of Assistant Vice President, Credit Administration.

Klimke joined the CSB team in 2014 as Special Projects Officer, where she worked closely with the Business Banking team and CEO Scott Huedepohl, who also serves as the Chief Credit Officer for the bank. In her new position, Carol will continue to work closely with the Business Banking team and Chief Credit Officer, but will also be responsible for the day-to-day management, and leadership of the bank’s Credit Review team.

“I couldn’t be the Chief Credit Officer without Carol’s expertise and talent,” said Huedepohl. “Carol has an exceptional ability to work through complicated challenges, and help develop solutions. She has a critical eye for detail that the position demands, and is an important part of what we do at Community State Bank. I’d like to congratulate her on the new position.”

Klimke assumed the new role and responsibilities as AVP, Credit Administration immediately following the internal announcement of the promotion to CSB staff.

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By, Ally Bates

Wisconsin banks have always been catalysts for economic growth. Serving our communities is at the heart of what we do, and this seems to only grow more apparent each day. I believe it is important for us to take pride in these efforts, take in this new energy, and take action on behalf of our industry.

To encourage taking action, of course, is not an implication that bankers have not done so in the past year – in fact, just the opposite is true. Bankers have worked long nights and weekends to assure that their communities would rise above the surface of the challenges we have faced. We have been successful in this goal, and the assistance we provided continues to positively impact our communities in ways that we may never fully know.

This call for action is a reminder of all the exceptional work bankers have done. As we step into a more hopeful outlook, our colleagues, our communities, and our industry will surely face new challenges. To take action is to ride this momentum into a new fiscal year by getting involved, exploring educational opportunities, and advocating on behalf of Wisconsin bankers. I recognize that many of you already dedicate your time to these objectives, but the ways in which these can be accomplished are always evolving and expanding.

Making Your Voice Heard

Demonstrating the different ways your bank engages with its community is one of the most effective ways to advocate for our industry, and it is also one of the easiest. Your voice plays a critical role in making change, and this can be done by sharing your positive stories with WBA so we can highlight our collective community impact. This is essential for emphasizing our goals and values, because no one can tell the story of Wisconsin bankers better than us.

Getting Involved

Continue to support a culture at your bank of giving back – not only through donations, but by serving on local boards, committees, or as an advocacy officer. These officers coordinate regulatory, legislative, and community advocacy efforts for the bank by working with other bankers, WBA staff, state, local, and federal levels of government, and other state or national trade groups. About 60% of all member banks currently have a designated officer, and we are nearing closer to WBA’s goal of 70% to help further our priorities. 

Supporting Our Advocates

Last year, 27 banks earned the BIGG (Bankers Involved in Grassroots and Government) Award, the highest achievement for bank involvement in advocacy for WBA. The list of Gold Triangle Award banks – those at the forefront of the industry’s political actions efforts – included 38 banks that contributed a specific threshold of support to the Alliance of Bankers for Wisconsin political conduit or WBA's political action committee, Wisbankpac, for the support of pro-banking candidates. Earning one of these awards supports important banking legislation and spotlights your bank at the annual WBA Bank Executives Conference. 

Expanding on Education

Now is the time to refocus on giving our employees the knowledge and training they will need for tomorrow and explore new ways to leverage these opportunities to develop the level of professionalism we are known for. Carving out time to understand the important issues impacting Wisconsin banks can entail signing up for one of the many classes offered by WBA’s education department or be as simple as allocating a few minutes to checking on news and current updates. 

There is no single correct way to take action, and it cannot be done alone. Gaining the momentum that we need to create the change we strive for is a collective matter requiring the strength, innovation, and diversity of the industry. Only then can we double down on our past success and carry out our mission of helping our local communities. With such a bright outlook on the upcoming year, I am grateful to be joined by such passionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated bankers as we turn a new focus toward the path ahead.

By, Ally Bates