Experience the savings with WBA’s Association Health Plan

By Brian Siegenthaler

Five years ago, the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) became the first Wisconsin business group to launch a statewide Association Health Plan (AHP). AHPs provide the same flexibility to small businesses that large organizations enjoy when it comes to negotiating pricing and coverage options for healthcare.

The plan — offered exclusively to WBA-member banks through WBA Employee Benefits Corporation (EBC), a subsidiary of the WBA, is administered by UnitedHealthcare (UHC). Since its inception, WBA’s plan has saved WBA-member banks over $1.8 million. We’ve added 2,000 members and are UHC’s fastest- growing AHP.

Joining the WBA AHP has several benefits, including:

  • A Local Association Team

We provide a consultative approach to help you create a desirable benefit portfolio for your association groups. Our strong customer support helps teams ease the process of addressing healthcare needs.

  • Opportunity for Cost Savings

As a small group of 1–50employees, you can access plans that give you strength in numbers. For rating purposes you’re seen as a large employer, and not subject to Adjusted Community Rating. For groups with 51 or more eligible employees, UHC is offering a Premium Discount and a Renewal Rate Cap of 9% for the first renewal.

  • More Plan Options

UHC offers plan flexibility with dozens of plan designs to choose from — allowing flexibility in options to balance costs. Consumer-driven plan flexibility includes high deductible options, health reimbursement accounts (HRA), and health savings accounts (HSA). The AHP features a customized 45-plan package for the WBA Association Health Plan Employers.

  • Easy to Switch

Our array of plans, doctors, and services are likely similar to what members have today, making for a smoother transition.

  • Strong National Network

The nation’s single largest proprietary network that reaches 98% of the United States’ population — more than 907,000 physicians and healthcare professionals at over 5,500 hospitals.

  • Convenient Resources

Mobile, online, or person-to-person resources that help members make well informed choices about their healthcare costs and needs.

The process to receive a fully underwritten AHP health insurance proposal has been improved. Just two items are needed to receive firm rates — a quote checklist and census.

In addition, WBA EBC is thrilled with the successful launch of the online system for streamlined insurance and human resources tasks. The online portal, accessible through a partnership with the Iowa Bankers Insurance Services, provides member banks with enhanced service, better transparency on costs and expenses, member driven control of enrollment or changes, and the ability to better control administrative costs in the future.

For more information or if you have any questions about WBA EBC’s insurance options, please visit

Siegenthaler is vice president for WBA EBC, a WBA Gold Associate Member.

Always remember that your employees are your greatest asset

By Loni Meiborg

“People don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad managers.”
— Unknown

“Those who have a best friend at work are twice as likely to be engaged in their jobs.”
— 2018 Gallup Poll

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
— Helen Keller

We’ve heard it all. We’ve read it all. We’ve experienced most of it. But how, in today’s tumultuous employment atmosphere, do we keep our team engaged, grow great talent, and keep everyone happy without breaking the bank (both the brick-and-mortar and the piggy bank)?

With average costs of onboarding a new employee exceeding $4,100, it’s in every bank’s best interest to crack this code. Taking a page from the marketer’s playbook, it is much more cost effective to focus on growing existing relationships than acquiring new ones. And that adage adds up for employees as well. Here are six strategies to consider to build strength and longevity among your team:


Most people will agree, without purpose there’s no point. In fact, performance soars when you can tie an employee’s work to a bank-wide purpose. Providing a strong purpose to an employee’s role will ensure a deeper level of engagement, and even increased satisfaction.

To do this, make sure you are providing transparent communication. Explain the goals of the team, the bank, and offer a big picture perspective. Take an active interest in their development, both professionally and personally when possible. When their service positively impacts the overall goal of the bank, make sure they know that they are part of that success, it will encourage them to find more ways to contribute.


Each year Fortifi Bank surveys its employees to measure satisfaction. And each year, the number one desire is for more career advancement opportunities. An interesting response since, if you asked senior management, they would say the sky is the limit for every employee. So where is the disconnect?

During monthly check-ins, have open conversation about what each employee wants to be “when they grow up.” Then find the appropriate training and development opportunities to support that. Let them know you’re grooming them towards their goals, even if it’s in a different department. Once the right position opens, they’ll be ready and set-up for success. Don’t let your stellar employees leave for a “perceived” growth opportunity — offer it to them first.


No matter how long you’ve been a leader, rewards and recognition take constant focus and practice. Set up a system — whether it is a Microsoft® Outlook reminder or an assistant who follows through — to ensure your rewards and recognition efforts are timely and consistent. Although major performance achievements and milestones are important to note, don’t miss the little things either. Post their achievement on the intranet for all to celebrate, send flowers to a new parent or grandparent. When that big project wraps up, acknowledge their work and share your appreciation. Making that human connection with each employee will quell fears, instill trust, and develop a lasting relationship.


Okay, one more quote —

“In teamwork, silence isn’t golden. It’s deadly.”
— Mark Sanborn

This topic is multi-faceted. In part because when an employee has a voice at work, it opens the door for them to influence decisions. The other part is building the confidence that when an idea, concern, or perspective is expressed, there will be no workplace consequences.

When both are accomplished appropriately, you will get the feedback you need to achieve better results as well as having the team’s full support along the way. Make sure you’re asking for their
input regularly.

Share ideas and concepts well before execution to give them time to process and come back with a thoughtful response. And, whether you take their suggestions or not, it is important to circle back to share why their thoughts were accepted or rejected; and regardless of which, recognize their contributions to the conversation.


When building trust among your team, you need a sharp focus on being solution oriented. You might say, “well then what am I paying them for,” but I’m not talking about the day-to-day blocking and tackling. I’m talking about the issues that impact their passion, purpose, and drive to do a good job.

If a team (or individual) is toxic, they look to you for resolution. If they’ve hit a hurdle (or brick wall) on a project they want to see through, they look to you to remove it. If they need a change in process that is outside of their authority, they look to you to have their back. So, ask yourself, do your employees have frustrations? Take them seriously. Work with them to build an action plan and then see it through. You will have their loyalty in return.


It is not by accident I list this one last. Don’t get me wrong, money is still a high priority for many, however, with the right mix of compensation strategies, it doesn’t just come down to dollars and cents. In fact, if you jump right to money and skip the previous five strategies, you’ll find your employee turnover rate growing.

Nowadays people expect flexibility. And no, this doesn’t only mean “work from home.” They want to make it to their child’s dance recital at 3 p.m., they want to work at night sometimes to accommodate a later start to their day, they want to take a vacation without feeling guilty. That’s flexibility.

So do your due diligence when setting your compensation philosophy and dive into market research, but keep an eye on what else their package includes. Take an interest in their mental and financial health to keep your employees feeling appreciated. And, when you can, give them grace and stop watching the clock.

If you plan to adopt these or other strategies to engage your employee base on a deeper level, be sure to align your efforts with your entire management team for consistency as they will not be as effective when administered in a silo. In fact, if done in a here-or-there approach, it could cause animosity between teams and break down your culture even faster.

Engagement strategies should also reflect your company’s core values, which are truly the cornerstone of your culture. Consider your values when creating strategies, and how you deliver those strategies — it will make all the difference.

We know things will likely get harder when conducting business and the competition is fierce. Recognize that employees are your greatest asset and take good care of them; in turn, they will take good care of your customers. The dividends are priceless and the rewards vast.

Meiborg is senior vice president – organizational development at Fortifi Bank, Berlin, a member of the 2022–2023 WBA Marketing Committee, and serves as past chair of the WBA BOLT Section Board of Directors.

Triangle Background

By Dr. Donna O’Shea, Chief Medical Officer of Population Health, UnitedHealthcare

One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the wider adoption of virtual care, a trend that has staying power even as many people have returned to in-person appointments. In fact, 73% of people expect to access health care services virtually even after the pandemic ends.

While many people may think about telemedicine primarily as an alternative to in-person urgent care, technology is making it possible to access various health care services spanning routine, wellness and specialty. Importantly, virtual care has expanded from delivering care to people who are already sick, to helping prevent, detect and more effectively manage chronic conditions.

Virtual care may be appealing for a variety of reasons, including improved convenience, affordability and access, especially for the 46 million Americans who live in rural areas. As Wisconsin residents increasingly look to tap into technology to meet their health care needs, here are three emerging virtual care resources to consider:

Primary care. Primary care is a crucial part of helping people get or stay healthy. In fact, people with access to a primary care physician are more likely to receive high-value services, such as preventive screenings, and report better experiences compared to people without this type of care provider. Unfortunately, the number of Americans with a primary care physician has declined in recent years. To help reverse that trend, many local primary care physicians are now meeting with patients virtually, while some health plans have introduced options to help people establish and maintain an ongoing relationship with this type of care professional.

Physical therapy. For the 50% of U.S. adults affected by musculoskeletal conditions, such as back, knee or shoulder pain, physical therapy (PT) is often among the recommended initial treatments. With that in mind, some local physical therapists are now offering virtual appointments, allowing for education and coaching, and as a supplement for in-person care. When it comes to quality, a recent study confirms virtual PT was similarly as effective as traditional care for people rehabilitating after knee surgery. To make at-home PT support even more accessible, other programs use a smartphone’s front-facing camera and motion monitoring to provide people on-demand, 24/7 exercise feedback powered by artificial intelligence.

Dental care. If a toothache emerges at night or during the weekend, it may be difficult to know where to go for care. As a result, dental care ranks among the most frequently avoidable emergency room (ER) visits, despite the fact most ERs are not equipped to handle oral health issues. Virtual dental care may be able to help, offering people 24/7 access for advice and guidance to an appropriate setting for in-person care, such as a local dentist or a primary care physician. Some dentists and dental plans now offer virtual dental appointments, important resources given the connection between proper oral health and overall well-being.

As more and more people turn to technology to see or talk to health care professionals, these and other emerging virtual care options will play an increasingly important role in helping people get and stay healthy.

Workers return in droves to businesses across the U.S.

By Hannah Flanders

Across the U.S., employers are seeing workers return following a mass reshuffle in employment. Beginning in 2021, the year following the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of employees began seeking new opportunities with different companies or shifting entirely to different industries. However, as competition continues to grow and COVID precautions subside, many are beginning to return to their previous employers.

COVID Gives Way to New Opportunities

The Great Resignation, spurred by aspects of the pandemic, gave individuals a push to reconsider their employment. The combination of COVID stimulus checks, early retirement, lack of childcare, and reluctance to return to the office caused many — over 47 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — to voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021.

While many of these individuals — 53%, according to Pew Research Center — did not completely exit the workforce, workers seeking higher pay orgreater benefits — including remote options — were presented with a greater opportunity to find a new employer.

Not What They Expected

The beginning of 2022 marked a new wave for employees — the Great Regret — or the reversal of the Great Resignation. Some in client-facing, technology, and consumer industries quickly realized that new roles or companies may not have been the best fit. With increasing turnover, onboarding within many companies became less personal and individuals were often not allotted enough time to get comfortable in their new environment. In addition, remote work offered fewer social interactions and work-life balance sometimes took a backseat.

Seventy-two percent of employees surveyed by Muse in early 2022 stated that they had experienced surprise or regret in connection to what a new job opportunity led them to believe. Of the 2,500 individuals surveyed, 80% stated that it would be acceptable to leave a new job before six months if it didn’t meet initial expectations.

Additionally, as widespread access to COVID-19 vaccination continues, businesses and schools across America have re-opened their doors and many individuals are reconsidering their desire for fully remote work. A survey conducted by PwC reported that around 83% of employees have already returned to the office at least two days of the week.

Boomerang Employees

Each year, the number of boomerang employees — or those who return to a previous employer — continues to rise. In 2021, according to data presented by LinkedIn, 4.3% of all new hires were previous employees whereas 10 years prior, these individuals only represented around 2% of new hires.

Rehiring former employees is strategic for both the employer and the employee, but it’s important to consider why they departed initially. While the business regains knowledgeable talents who may not need extensive onboarding, the employee often returns with a higher salary or new position (given their gained experience during their departure and increased negotiating power) and is familiar with the workplace culture.

According to Glassdoor, recruiting former employees could save organizations up to $20,000 per hire. While of course not every former employee may be the perfect fit for the position, considering boomerang employees could tap Wisconsin businesses into “new” candidates that have the ability to fill important positions and reduce costs in today’s competitive job market.

Returning to the Workforce

As pandemic precautions subside and employees rethink previous career changes, many individuals are returning to their previous employers. According to a study conducted by Joblist, more than one in four people who quit their previous job regret their decision.

Although boomerang employees remain a small but growing percentage of new hires each year, the Great Regret has shown the return of many individuals who had previously left the workforce due to the pandemic, including those lacking childcare or entering early retirement.

Be it to combat rising inflation or to explore new opportunities outside of the home, 2022 has shown millions of individuals returning to work. Just this year, unemployment rates in Wisconsin hit record lows thanks to more individuals feeling comfortable with returning to the office, parents sending their children back to in-person classes, and previously retired Americans rejoining the workforce in droves.

Whether it be considering “boomerang employees” or welcoming back those who exited the workforce as a result of the pandemic, businesses throughout the state are seeing more opportunities to regain workers lost to the Great Resignation and benefit from the growing talent pool.

How Wisconsin employers can best invest in the security of their team

By Hannah Flanders

As inflation and the cost of living across the country continue to rise, more employees are feeling the increasing strain of financial burden in their day-to-day lives. While some individuals may choose to seek higher paying positions to combat this stress, many are looking to their current employer to assist them in finding new solutions to managing these burdens.

Financial stress is often defined as any emotional tension an individual may experience related to money, debt, or upcoming expenses. According to a survey by Purchasing Power in March 2022, 97% of all full-time employees reported that they experience financial stress.

While monetary stress manifests in many different ways, employers should be concerned that these stressors weaken productivity, negatively impact company culture, and decrease overall talent retention.

What Can Employers Do?

According to the 1,100 full-time employees surveyed by Purchasing Power, 57% say the benefits their employer offers have a major to moderate impact on their decision to stay at their current job. While unemployment rates return to pre-pandemic lows, employers must develop attractive benefit packages that not only meet the needs of incoming talent but set current employees up for success.

These benefits — ranging from health insurance and vacation time to retirement planning and financial wellness programs — impact overall employee satisfaction, both personally and professionally, and save businesses billions of dollars each year.

In a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), money stress experienced among Americans registered at its highest recorded level since 2015. By regularly reassessing employee benefit plans, businesses are better able to accommodate for common stressors — such as retirement and emergency savings — in relation to current events. Additionally, these opportunities allow greater chances for Wisconsin employers to integrate new, relevant, and cutting-edge tools for members of their team.

The Importance of Financial Wellness Programs

More than ever, employees consider it the employer’s responsibility to help employees with their financial well-being. In addition to providing employees the resources they need to feel secure, businesses that invest in financial wellness programs are more likely to retain current talent and save on the cost of recruiting and training.

Today, wellness is no longer determined solely by physical health. In order to wholly provide for employees, employers must account for all aspects that create tension in one’s life. By promoting resources that help employees stretch their dollar, employers are increasing productivity, engagement, and attendance among those who may otherwise be severely impacted by their financial worries.

PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey, conducted in early 2022 on over 3,200 full-time employees, highlighted that among the 29% of employees currently looking for a new job, 65% cite money as their primary reason. However, both financially stressed and non-stressed individuals surveyed reported being more likely to accept a position or stay with a company that they feel cares about their financial well-being.

Wisconsin employers who are not doing so already should consider adopting financial well-being into benefit packages and adding financial education opportunities such as private coaching as resources for every employee. As housing costs, gas prices, and living necessities skyrocket around the country, individuals are seeking additional initiatives that aid in overcoming the recent additional stress.

A Growing Need for Assistance

Similar to how the nature of work and its demands have evolved over the last three years, workers too are reassessing their financial priorities.

The U.S. Census Bureau states that, according to the most recent census data collected in 2020, Wisconsin’s median household income is $63,293, over $4,000 below the national average. Although the importance of establishing and ensuring a health emergency saving fund has been emphasized even more since the onset of the pandemic, a quarter of consumers still have no savings set aside for emergencies, according to the 2022 Emergency Savings and Financial Security report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Additionally, 39% have less than a month’s worth of income saved for emergencies.

This lack of funds directly originates from, according to the CFPB, an individual’s knowledge on how to save. Whether it be lack of information relating to saving or financial constraints, those without emergency saving funds are nearly three times as likely to “not know how to save” than those who have a fund of some proportion.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that while upwards of 95% of organizations offer retirement savings plans, less than 35% offer financial planning/ coaching, and even less (15%) offer emergency savings funds or payroll advances, causing many individuals facing an emergency to charge a credit card, borrow money, or cut other expenses.

However, as the prices for necessities such as groceries, shelter, and gasoline rise — more Wisconsinites than ever are struggling to set aside funds for emergencies, their future, or even other commodities. In addition to setting a 40-year record for total increasing prices (a 9.1% increase since June 2021), both food and energy prices increased by 10.4% and 41.6% percent, respectively, in the last 12 months. These skyrocketing prices represent the largest price jumps consumers have seen since the early 1980s, according to data presented in the June 2022 Consumer Price Index.

Resources Available

Financial wellness programs, such as America Saves and Wisconsin Saves, not only help employers meet the growing demand for budgeting tools, but these campaigns also build consumer confidence, assist individuals in reaching their financial goals, and save businesses added expenses caused by absenteeism or low productivity.

America Saves and Wisconsin Saves provide individuals with the tools and education needed to effectively approach savings goals such as retirement, debt repayment, or vacations. Be it a long- or short-term goal, America Saves supports low- to moderate-income households in saving money, building wealth, and preparing for the unexpected.

The Wisconsin Saves initiative, brought forth by a coalition of Wisconsin organizations including the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA), promotes automatic saving opportunities through split deposit. The program, launched in 2021, encourages small- and medium-sized employers to promote the ease and benefits of saving automatically for emergencies through split deposit.

By promoting the success of these programs, encouraging employees to take the America Saves pledge to access additional resources, or motivating teams to split their deposit into a savings fund — Wisconsin businesses can play an important and impactful role in helping their employees improve their financial well-being.

Join Wisconsin banking leaders in education and networking opportunities

Banking leaders from throughout Wisconsin will once again reconvene in Wisconsin Dells for a two-day event focused on education and networking. WBA’s Management Conference, beginning on September 13, is a must-attend event for CEOs, CFOs, CCOs, HR leaders, and other members of the bank’s management team.

An optional, pre-conference golf outing is scheduled for September 13 at Rock Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells. Bankers interested in additional opportunities to connect with their banking peers and event sponsors should plan to attend. Following the outing, the event will kick off on Tuesday night with a dinner program recognizing individual bankers who will be receiving WBA’s 30- and 40-year Lifetime Service Awards. Bankers interested in receiving this recognition or honoring an individual who meets the service award criteria should visit to complete the nomination form by August 19, 2022 to be included in the program.

On September 14, bankers will have the opportunity to attend two general sessions and two rounds of breakout sessions that include four management-related tracks including credit/lending, human resources, finance, and general bank trends.

In addition to networking among peers, Wisconsin bankers will hear from Sarah Sladek, founder and CEO of XYZ University, LLC during her keynote session on managing and leading during the new era of workplace shift that has recently emerged. While preparing for increasing innovation, shifting values, global connectivity, disruption, and opportunity, Sladek will assist bank leaders and organizers in understanding why they may be struggling to lead a high-functioning team as well as provide insight into how bankers may best be able to usher in a new generation of talent.

To learn more and register for the upcoming event in Wisconsin Dells, visit Questions regarding the conference can be directed to WBA’s Lori Kalscheuer, director – education.

WBA’s Management Conference Returns to Wisconsin Dells in September

Join over 150 banking leaders for WBA’s annual Management Conference September 13 and 14 in Wisconsin Dells. C-suite and HR professionals will enjoy several general sessions, breakout sessions, and opportunities to network among Wisconsin banking peers and over 50 conference sponsors and exhibitors from across the U.S.

The conference, to be held at Glacier Canyon Conference Center, will officially begin on Tuesday night with a dinner program and ceremony recognizing individual bankers who will be receiving WBA’s 30- and 40-year Lifetime Service Awards. Bankers are encouraged to attend this program not only to celebrate these milestone achievements, but for additional opportunities to network with banking peers. Bankers interested in receiving this recognition or honoring an individual who meets the service award criteria should visit to complete the nomination form.

Management Conference Banner

Before the dinner program on Tuesday, September 13, bankers looking to make the most of their time out of the office will also enjoy an optional pre-conference golf outing at Wild Rock Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells. Join WBA, your banking peers, and several sponsors at this unofficial kickoff for an additional opportunity to connect with banking leaders from around the state.

This year’s conference will focus on taking banking to the next level. By investing in opportunities to network with other community bankers and dive into topics that will help your bank succeed as a business, leaders are able to reinvest the skills and knowledge learned at the conference into every member of their team.

WBA encourages all bank management teams to take advantage of the four management-related breakout session tracks — including credit/lending, human resources, finance, and general bank trends — for the benefit of every leader, their team, and the continued success of their institution.

To learn more and register for the upcoming event in Wisconsin Dells, visit Questions regarding the conference can be directed to WBA’s Lori Kalscheuer, director – education.

Sponsored content by UnitedHealthcare, a WBA Associate Member

Now’s the time to start thinking about your employee benefits package and how an Associated Health Plan (AHP), serviced by UnitedHealthcare, could help you save. Gain similar purchasing power advantages and options that larger employers receive when you join other Wisconsin banks by enrolling in our AHP.

Through your enrollment in an AHP, your bargaining position is strengthened to help you obtain more favorable rates. A variety of flexible plan options are available to help balance costs and your administrative costs can be reduced through economies of scale.

And your employees will benefit too. They’ll have access to UnitedHealthcare’s provider network – the largest in Wisconsin – resulting in less disruption and a smoother transition. Wellness programs designed to motivate healthier habits and cost estimator tools to assist with making more informed care choices will help your employees with their overall health and budgetary goals.

The advantages don’t stop there. If you’re looking to add vision to your employee benefits package, UnitedHealthcare has you covered. Like their medical network, UnitedHealthcare has one of the nation’s largest vision networks. That means your employees will have the freedom to visit their favorite provider or retailer for vision services and eyewear needs. Alliances with Warby Parker® and are included.

Learn more by visiting

Vieau and Endres on Farm

By Cassandra Krause

Ask anyone from out of state what the first thing that comes to mind is when they think of  Wisconsin, and they’re likely to respond “farms” — and for good reason. Wisconsin farmers work hard to put food on tables across Wisconsin and the globe. Fondly known as “America’s Dairyland,” Wisconsin is also a leading producer of cranberries (the state fruit), soybeans, potatoes, ginseng, corn — the list goes on and on.  

According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), agriculture is a major economic driver, contributing $104.8 billion annually to our state’s economy. The state is home to 64,100 farms on 14.2 million acres (the average farm size in Wisconsin is 222 acres). For those working in the industry, farming is not just a profession, but a way of life — one that poses unique stressors and challenges.

Tough Times Made Tougher by the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. farmers were already dealing with damaging weather conditions, increased global competition and tariffs, and falling commodity prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), citing data from the Federal Reserve, reported in July of 2021:

Clear signs of financial distress had emerged among U.S. farmers even prior to the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. Investment in equipment was down, farmer debt was up, and so was borrowing against land. By the end of 2019, the delinquency rate on commercial loans hit a six-year high, and the delinquency rate on farmland loans was at its highest level since 2013.

When COVID-19 began rapidly spreading and parts of the global economy shut down, the food system was hit by major supply and demand shocks. For example, when demand for milk from restaurants and schools plummeted due to closures, producers were forced to dump milk. Meanwhile, milk supply on grocery store shelves was sparse for consumers purchasing for their homes, and prices rose.

Sara Kohlbeck

Sara Kohlbeck
is the director of the Division of Suicide Prevention at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a researcher on farmer suicide in Wisconsin.

Especially on small farms, many families rely on income and benefits from jobs outside of the farm and were hurt by job losses due to the pandemic. In addition to the financial stresses of running a family farm, interpersonal issues often come into play between spouses and family members who work together. This is particularly evident when it comes to succession planning and the legacy of a longstanding family tradition.

A 2018 survey from the National Farm Medicine Center, headquartered in Marshfield, showed that 29% of farmers suffered from depression and 35% suffered from anxiety. The National Farm Medicine Center conducts a wide range of research ranging from topics such as child rearing and women on farms to veterans who become farmers. More can be found at

Sara Kohlbeck is the director of the Division of Suicide Prevention at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and is researching farmer suicide in Wisconsin for her doctoral dissertation. “Just about every farmer I talked to mentioned finances as a stressor,” said Kohlbeck of interviews conducted for her research. A small, organic farm may be one hailstorm away from being wiped out, and a larger farm may be millions of dollars in debt — the farmers’ entire livelihood can be at stake. While suicide is a relatively rare outcome (about 190 farmers are reported to have died by suicide from 2004–2018), Kohlbeck emphasizes that, “even one is too many.” Suicide rates are disproportionately high among farmers (about 2% of total suicides in Wisconsin, while farmers make up about 1% of the labor force), pointing to a larger mental health concern.

Resources for Farmer Wellness

Wisconsin Farm Center and Farmer Wellness Program

  • Farm Culture Training for Ag Lenders and Ag Service Providers
  • Online Farmer and Farm Couple Support Groups
  • 24/7 Farmer Wellness Helpline | 888-901-2558
  • Tele-counseling | 888-901-2558
  • Counseling Vouchers | 800-942-2474

DATCP’s Farm Center started during the farm financial crisis of the 1980s, when farmland values dropped up to 60% in some areas of the Midwest. At its onset, the Farm Center strengthened relationships between ag lenders and farmers. It has since expanded its consulting and referral services to include financial consulting (reviewing balance sheets and cash flow, analyzing profitability and viability, analyzing debt structure, etc.), transition/succession planning (financial stability, operating agreements, tax implications, etc.), and farm mediation (dispute resolution).

The Farm Center’s Farmer Wellness Program began with $200,000 of funding in the 2019–21 biennial state budget and is now in addition funded by USDA grant money and other sources.

Vieau and Endres on Farm

Penn Vieau and Karen Endres are hosts of the “Rural Realities” podcast and recently brought their wellness messages to the stage at the WBA Agricultural Bankers Conference.

The Farmer Wellness Program offers services including a 24/7 Wisconsin farmer wellness helpline (888-901-2558), tele-counseling, and counseling vouchers. It also hosts online farmer and farm couple support groups. All of the resources are free of charge to Wisconsin farmers and their families. The services are there for those who are experiencing anxiety or depression, or just need a welcoming ear to talk to. Karen Endres, Farmer Wellness Program coordinator at the Wisconsin Farm Center, explained that the program was designed with the “4 A’s” in mind: affordability, accessibility, acceptability, and awareness. “Our most important resource is our mind,” said Endres. “We need to do a better job of taking care from [the neck] up.”

Endres noted that rural areas lost some of their sense of community during the pandemic as people were no longer seeing each other at coffee shops, card clubs, and so forth. The Farmer Wellness Program’s farmer support groups have served to combat the isolation felt by many farmers and have the added benefit of connecting farmers from around the state who may not otherwise have met but have much in common. Every session is facilitated by a licensed mental health provider with experience serving farmers and/or a trained peer leader.

The helpline, tele-counseling (via phone or Zoom), and vouchers for in-person counseling sessions all connect farmers and their families with licensed mental health professionals. The counselors can help bring control to farmers in navigating challenging situations. One farmer caller who sought mental wellness counseling for the first time through the program said, “please tell every farmer there is hope.”

Shifting the Mindset

Endres teamed up with mindset coach and former banker Penn Vieau to produce the Farm Center’s ‘Rural Realities’ podcast, which provides expert advice that can help farmers reduce stress, improve finances, implement effective farm family communication skills, and more. Vieau recently addressed the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) Agricultural Bankers Conference on the power of a positive mindset and is scheduled to speak at the upcoming WBA Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow (BOLT) Summer Leadership Summit, June 9–10, 2022 in Wisconsin Dells. He discussed how the stigma of mental health in farming communities can be a barrier to getting help. “Stress does not equal crazy,” said Vieau. “When stress is too much to bear, talk to somebody.”

A 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation study revealed that a majority of farmers/farmworkers think the media (72%), people in their local community (58%), and their friends (56%) attach at least a fair amount of stigma to mental health.

How Bankers Can Support Farmer Mental Health

Agricultural bankers are part of rural communities and have strong ties to the farming industry — many grew up on or live on farms themselves. MCW’s Kohlbeck said bankers may be coming into contact with farmers more often than their doctors. “We’re not expecting them to be therapists, but in some ways, bankers can be nontraditional helpers,” she said. She said the most important ways bankers can help are 1) sharing resources and 2) understanding the red flags and what to do about them.

Karen Endres

Karen Endres
Farmer Wellness Program Coordinator
Wisconsin Farm Center

Endres underscored, “bankers are relationship people, and they want to do what’s best.” She recommends the Farmer Wellness Program’s online farm culture training for agricultural service providers. It is a free, virtual course to help ag lenders and other service providers understand the unique stresses and challenges of farming, handle difficult conversations, and recognize signs and symptoms of stress with farm clients. More information and the link to register are available at

One piece of advice Vieau offered the attendees of his presentation was to create a “personal board of directors” for their mental wellbeing — in other words, identify a group of close contacts to serve as trusted advisors and consultants. He pointed out that a banker is most likely already on a farmer’s “personal board of directors,” so the banker has a unique opportunity to share a flyer or card for the Farm Center’s services. “Bankers are always offering a value-add, like sharing trending reports,” said Vieau, and likened the practice to hospitality staff offering tips on local attractions. He said it’s a great idea for bankers to use the resources and information offered by the Farm Center for themselves personally and as an added service for their clients.

To learn how to spot the signs of distress in farmers, bankers and community members may participate in gatekeeper training for lay people. The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is one example of an organization that offers free, one-hour training sessions online and in person.

The Outlook

All of the experts interviewed for this story agreed that more can be done to build more supportive communities and policies for farmers. “Instead of expecting farmers to reach out, we need to reach in,” said Kohlbeck. “Farmers are proud. For policies on things like climate change, don’t put the onus on farmers to solve the problems on their own.”

Penn Vieau

Penn Vieau
Professional Speaker and Coach

Vieau noted, “we spend a lot of time with [corporate] executives doing leadership training, and we need to do the same to break the stigma with farmers, who are independent businesspeople.” He highlighted that this focus is also important in encouraging the next generation of young people, who prioritize mental wellness in their careers, to become farmers.

Similarly, Endres expressed the need for everyone to look out for our farmers, who are stewards of the land and grow our food. She encourages community members to talk to one another and direct those who could benefit from a resource or service on how to access it.

“If one person shares a resource and saves a life, that’s a pretty great day,” concluded Endres.

If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about the wellbeing of someone you know, call the Wisconsin Lifeline at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), the Wisconsin Farmer Wellness Helpline (888-901-2558), or 911.

Nearly 100 Employers Have Joined Statewide Effort to Encourage Employees to Save Automatically at Work 

America Saves Logo Wisconsin Saves Logo

In an increasingly competitive labor market, Wisconsin business owners are working to set themselves apart from other employers by offering a financial wellness benefit to employees: the ability to save automatically through their paycheck using the established practice of split deposit.  Nearly 100 small to mid-size employers in Wisconsin representing approximately 14,000 employees are now part of a statewide campaign to encourage workers to save automatically through their paycheck.  The Wisconsin Saves Automatic Saving Initiative encourages the use of split deposit in order to prepare for unexpected expenses including home repairs and car maintenance as well as fun opportunities like last minute travel.

The campaign was launched in April 2021 and is led by Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski; Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary-designee Cheryll Olson-Collins; President and CEO of Wisconsin Bankers Association Rose Oswald Poels; Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Cooperation (WWBIC) President Wendy Baumann; and America Saves, the leading national campaign in promoting savings.

The 99 employers are: Adams Transit Inc. ■ Aloekui Handmade Soap ■ Amcor Flexibles North America, Inc. ■ Apache Stainless Equipment Company ■ Apple Tree Educational Svc LLC ■ AppleTree Credit Union ■ AstroJun LLC ■ Badger Globe Credit Union ■ Bank of Kaukauna ■ Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce ■ Bierock ■ Blumenfeld & Associates ■ Bluff View Bank ■ Breaking Barriers Mentoring Inc. ■ BSI ■ Cesarz Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home ■ City of Mayville ■ Class A Cleaning ■ Clinicare Corporation ■  Community First Credit Union ■ Cream City Caramels and Confections ■ CultureCon ■ Dairy State Bank ■ Dane County Credit Union ■ DCC ■ Don Johnson Motors ■ Edmund Mitchell Corporation ■ en.courage Nutrition ■ Evergreen Credit Union ■ F&M Bank – Kendall ■ First Community Bank ■ First State Bank ■  Fond du Lac Credit Union ■ Food is Fuel LLC ■ Fort Community Credit Union ■ Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce ■ GreenLeaf Bank ■ Heartland Credit Union ■ Hometown Pharmacy ■ Horizon Electric Company ■ Hurley Burish, S.C. ■ Indianhead Community Action Ag ■ Jan Pro Cleaning ■ Johnsville  ■ Kathy’s 2nd Chance Plants ■ Johnsville ■ lac courte oreilles ojibwe college ■ Lawrence University ■ Lee Hemp Farm, LLC ■ Los Parbulitos Daycare ■ MACHA ■ Madison Development Corporation ■ Madison Innovation Labs, LLC ■ Marie Hunt Beauty ■ Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry ■ Marquette County ■ Mound City Bank ■ Mount Horeb Area School District ■ North Shore Fire Department ■ Organic Valley ■ Office of the Wisconsin State Treasurer ■ PCM Credit Union ■ Pindel Global Precision ■  Port Washington State Bank ■ Qlink  ■ Ripco Credit Union ■ Royal Credit Union ■ School District of Bayfield ■ School District of North Fond du Lac ■ Schuk Law, LLC ■ Securitas ■ Serigraph, Inc. ■  Specialty Coating Systems, Inc. ■ Summit Credit Union ■ TechLogix Networx ■ The American Deposit Management Co. ■ The Galleria of Tile ■ The Human Service Center ■ The QTI Group ■ The Stephenson National Bank & Trust ■ The Wisconsin Credit Union League ■ Town of Grand Chute ■ Train Up a Child Learning Center, LLC ■ UnitedOne Credit Union ■ Valley Packaging ■ Vesta Memory Care ■ Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin ■ Village of Frederic ■ Village of Saukville ■ Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. ■ Westbury Bank ■ Westby Coop Credit Union ■ WICPA ■ WiLS ■ Wisconsin Bankers Association ■ Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions ■ Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce ■ Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

Recognizing that employers can serve as a powerful source of information for their workers, Wisconsin Saves helps support small to mid-size employers as they promote the ease and benefits of split deposit to their employees.  Often, these businesses have limited resources to focus on issues outside of their core business.  This effort empowers employers by equipping them with easy-to-use resources for their employees.

“Our goal with Wisconsin Saves is to help more Wisconsinites build emergency savings and save for the future,” said DFI Secretary-designee Olson-Collins.  “We know that saving automatically is the easiest and most effective way to save.  That’s why we enlisted the support of employers from all over Wisconsin to help promote saving automatically through split deposit.  This helps financially prepare more Wisconsinites for unexpected expenses and build financial security.”

Employers can sign up to participate in the Wisconsin Saves Automatic Saving Initiative at

America Saves is a campaign managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America that uses the principles of behavioral economics and social marketing to motivate, encourage, and support low-to-moderate income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. America Saves encourages individuals and families to take the America Saves pledge and organizations to promote savings year-round and during America Saves Week. Since its inception, over 12,000 organizations have participated in America Saves Week to promote savings to their communities. Learn more at


Snap up this expert training for new security officers. Everyone has to start somewhere — even security officers. They are foundational to the safety of each financial institution and training is essential to their success. This practical program will address the security officer’s role, best practices, regulatory compliance, physical security issues, and more.

After This Webinar You’ll Be Able To:

  • Comprehend exactly what the security officer is responsible for under the Bank Protection Act and implementing regulations
  • Understand lighting, landscaping, locations, and locks – the four Ls of security
  • Determine the proper steps to take with cash recyclers and ITMs
  • Explain to management the need for an annual risk assessment
  • Identify the records the bank security officer should keep

Webinar Details
The Bank Protection Act (BPA) and implementing regulations specify security officer requirements. This program will focus on these regulations, especially on Regulation H, to demonstrate what your security program should contain. Although the regulations are very specific, they allow leeway for risk-management decision-making. This program will include industry standard practices and demonstrate (with pictures) how to comply. Security officer dos, don’ts, and best practices will be covered. Other topics will include:

  • How often your staff should be trained on security
  • How new equipment will change your training strategies
  • How often the security officer should receive specialized training, like active shooter
  • What the security officer should consider when evaluating equipment or training issues

Who Should Attend?
This informative session is designed for security officers, risk management professionals, internal auditors, and compliance officers.

Take-Away Toolkit

  • Regulation H checklist to determine if your security program is current
  • Night inspection form to help implement your physical security inspections
  • Proper Employee Conduct During and After a Robbery form for training
  • Risk Management Basics: Before, During, and After the Robbery
  • Risk Management Basics: Robbery Styles
  • Risk Management Basics: Physical Risk Assessments, Thinking Like the Robber
  • Sample incident report
  • Employee training log
  • Interactive quiz
  • PDF of slides and speaker’s contact info for follow-up questions
  • Attendance certificate provided to self-report CE credits

NOTE: All materials are subject to copyright. Transmission, retransmission, or republishing of any webinar to other institutions or those not employed by your agency is prohibited. Print materials may be copied for eligible participants only.

Barry Thompson, CRCM – Thompson Consulting Group, LLC
Barry Thompson
is an international speaker, trainer, consultant, and writer. He is a security and compliance “guru” for a leading national training organization and regularly presents security conferences for trade groups – he has trained over 54,000 financial professionals.

Thompson is recognized worldwide, presenting in Brussels, Belgium to European bankers on internal fraud; at the United Nations on identity theft; and to Japanese bankers on bank security. Thompson has worked in the financial services industry for over four decades, and has held the positions of security officer, compliance officer, treasurer, senior vice president, and executive vice president. He has handled over 900 security cases and has been involved with investigations and prosecutions at the federal, state, and local levels. Thompson is the author of 101 Security Tips for the Beginning Security Officer and Inside the Vault and has been interviewed by Newsweek, Computer World, USA Today, and other national publications.

Registration Options

  • $245 – Live Webinar Access
  • $245 – OnDemand Access + Digital Download
  • $350 – Both Live & On-Demand Access + Digital Download

For an organization to have the chance to fully engage its workforce and get the best from them, it needs to build the foundations of a healthy workplace culture. Employees need to feel that they are valued — which includes being heard, kept healthy and safe, and shown respect and fairness. Research shows that when these conditions are achieved, employees are more likely to become more engaged and increase their discretionary effort for the organization. Key efforts that leadership should build or strengthen include ways employees can speak up about misconduct and concerns, how managers can best listen up regarding these reports and concerns, maintaining a healthy and safe workplace, preventing and addressing suspected harassment and employment discrimination, and promoting efforts to augment diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the workforce.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why organizational culture impacts the bottom line
  • A healthy workplace culture has a direct relationship to employee engagement
  • Encouraging employees to speak up sets the foundation for a healthy workplace culture, and why managers “listening up” is essential to this effort
  • Why the need for physical and psychological health and safety and feelings of respect and fairness are necessary
  • How a healthy workplace culture supports ethics and compliance and other risk management efforts

Who Should Attend
HR professionals, corporate executives, and compliance officers who are making decisions that impact the work lives of employees and impacting organizational culture.

Jonathan Gonzalez has dedicated his entire career to management-side labor and employment preventative practice. While a skilled litigator, Gonzalez has focused his practice toward advising employers on risk areas in labor and employment and has worked with companies of all sizes to reduce incidents of harassment, discrimination, and abusive conduct.

Understanding its critical importance to healthy workplace culture, Gonzalez also has worked to increase inclusion of thought in diverse workplaces, and routinely helps companies address other issues that arise in workplaces throughout the United States (and globally). Gonzalez’s deep understanding of employers taking a mindful approach toward cultural improvement sets him apart from his colleagues in the industry.

Jason Lunday is chief learning officer at Syntrio, Inc., and Syntrio’s compliance officer. In this role, Lunday oversees research for development, and liaises with subject matter experts, to produce Syntrio’s learning products and services.

Lunday has worked for over 30 years in risk management, compliance, and ethics, both as a corporate professional and consultant. His work has involved supporting corporate values initiatives, developing and revising codes of conduct and related policies, conducting organizational risk, culture and program assessments, developing and delivering training, building monitoring systems, and auditing compliance systems and activities.

Registration Options

Live Access, 30 Days OnDemand Playback, Presenter Materials and Handouts $179

  • Available Upgrades:
    • 12 Months OnDemand Playback + $70
    • 12 Months OnDemand Playback + Digital Download + $100
    • 12 Months OnDemand Playback + CD + $100
    • Additional Live Access + $50 per person

Have you joined the FedNow train? It’s barreling down the tracks and will be rolled out in mid-2023. This will be a huge change for the U.S. electronic payments system. Get on board and start preparing sooner rather than later. Discover more with Kevin Olsen, the payments professor.

After This Webinar You’ll Be Able To:

  • Understand the credit transfer and liquidity management participation types
  • Differentiate participation types and how they will apply to your financial institution
  • Comprehend the reconciliation process
  • Identify the different report options that will be available to participants to balance accounts
  • Understand the different use cases available with the FedNow service
  • Define a FedNow cycle date

Webinar Details
FedNow instant payments are coming in 2023 and will forever change the electronic payments landscape in the U.S. What are you doing to prepare for the biggest change in payments in decades? Join the Payments Professor to learn more about the FedNow service, participation types, liquidity management, settlement, reconciliation, and more!

Who Should Attend?
This session is best suited for directors, managers, operations personnel, and anyone who will be impacted by the FedNow service.

Take-Away Toolkit

  • Employee training log
  • Interactive quiz
  • PDF of slides and speaker’s contact info for follow-up questions
  • Attendance certificate provided to self-report CE credits

NOTE: All materials are subject to copyright. Transmission, retransmission, or republishing of any webinar to other institutions or those not employed by your agency is prohibited. Print materials may be copied for eligible participants only.


Kevin Olsen, AAP, NCP, APRP, CHPC – VSoft Corporation
For most of the past two decades Kevin Olsen has been managing the development and delivery of education services, including in-person, web conferences, and webcasts. Olsen creates programs, presentations, and articles designed to orient and educate financial professionals on electronic payment topics. As the “Payments Professor,” he brings enthusiasm and motivation to presentations. He views the world as a classroom, which is exemplified in the “edutainment” ed-u-tain-mint (noun: when education is motivating, informative, and fun) style of training he uses to educate and inform all on the latest developments and trends in the fascinating world of electronic payments

Registration Options

  • $245 – Live Webinar Access
  • $245 – OnDemand Access + Digital Download
  • $350 – Both Live & On-Demand Access + Digital Download

Do you know the differences between owned, earned, and paid social media content? With this program, you’ll learn how to ascertain which social media platforms are optimal for your situation. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover more about maximizing the use of social media for your financial institution.

After This Webinar You’ll Be Able To:

  • Distinguish between paid, earned, and owned assets
  • Identify which social media platforms will work best for your organization
  • Understand how paid and owned assets help generate earned media
  • Better define how social media can contribute to your overall marketing and PR goals

Webinar Details
Social media is increasingly being used for developing connections and advocacy efforts. Utilizing a mix of owned, earned, and paid social media increases engagement, raises awareness of your brand, and ultimately improves your bottom line. It’s a balance of what you are saying, what others are saying about you, and what paid messages are purchased. This session will provide insights for establishing a social media plan incorporating owned, earned, and paid media.

Who Should Attend?
This timely program will benefit marketing and public relations managers, social media specialists, CEOs, COOs, and anyone who has creative authority over or contributes to your social media presence.

Take-Away Toolkit

  • Employee training log
  • Interactive quiz
  • PDF of slides and speaker’s contact info for follow-up questions
  • Attendance certificate provided to self-report CE credits

NOTE: All materials are subject to copyright. Transmission, retransmission, or republishing of any webinar to other institutions or those not employed by your agency is prohibited. Print materials may be copied for eligible participants only.


Patrick Dix – SHAZAM, Inc.

Patrick Dix is Vice President of Strategic Alliances at SHAZAM. He leads SHAZAM’s relationships and partnerships with more than 70 industry organizations and trade associations. The focus of SHAZAM’s strategic alliances is to support the advocacy work of association partners and ensure community financial institutions have a strong voice in the payments industry. Before joining SHAZAM, Dix spent 25 years as a broadcast journalist, including 16 years as the senior morning news anchor at the NBC affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa.

Registration Options

  • $245 – Live Webinar Access
  • $245 – OnDemand Access + Digital Download
  • $350 – Both Live & On-Demand Access + Digital Download

With BSA, the buck stops with the board of directors, who is ultimately responsible for BSA compliance. It’s imperative that they understand how BSA applies to them, the institution, accountholders, and the products offered — because regulators are making examples of some with penalties and enforcement actions.

After This Webinar You’ll Be Able To:

  • Define the five pillars of BSA and the importance of each
  • Understand director responsibilities for establishing and reviewing the BSA program
  • Assess and manage BSA/AML risks
  • Explain the impact of pending BSA regulation and changes
  • Distinguish the key details your examiners will look for in your board reporting
  • Identify 2022 BSA/AML hot topics

Webinar Details
Ultimate responsibility for BSA compliance lies with the board of directors. They must understand the importance of BSA/AML regulatory requirements, ramifications of noncompliance, and the risks posed to their institution. Without a general understanding, the board cannot adequately provide BSA/AML oversight; approve related policies, procedures, and processes; or provide sufficient BSA/AML resources. Regulators are strongly conveying the importance of BSA compliance via recent penalties and enforcement actions against institutions without strong BSA programs. This is a must-attend session for your board and senior management team!

Who Should Attend?
This informative session is designed for directors, senior management, BSA officers, compliance officers, and internal auditors.

Take-Away Toolkit

  • Sample BSA/AML board report
  • Quick reference guide of key BSA/AML terms and requirements
  • Employee training log
  • Interactive quiz
  • PDF of slides and speaker’s contact info for follow-up questions
  • Attendance certificate provided to self-report CE credits

NOTE: All materials are subject to copyright. Transmission, retransmission, or republishing of any webinar to other institutions or those not employed by your agency is prohibited. Print materials may be copied for eligible participants only.


Dawn Kincaid – Brode Consulting Services Inc
Dawn Kincaid began her banking career while attending The Ohio State University. She has over 20 years’ experience in client service, operations, information technology, administrative and board relations, marketing, and compliance. Most recently Kincaid served as the Senior Vice President of Operations for a central-Ohio-based community bank, where she created and refined policies and procedures, conducted self-audits and risk assessments, and organized implementation of new products and services. Kincaid has served in the roles of Compliance, BSA/AML, CRA, Privacy, and Security Officer. She has led training initiatives, prepared due diligence information, completed a variety of regulatory applications, coordinated internal and external audits and exams, and presented for numerous state associations.

Registration Options

  • $245 – Live Webinar Access
  • $245 – OnDemand Access + Digital Download
  • $350 – Both Live & On-Demand Access + Digital Download

Finding and keeping excellent officers is crucial to your bank’s success. This presentation will focus on performance-based compensation approaches that should be considered to attract and retain quality officers.

After This Webinar You’ll Be Able To:

  • Assess senior management total compensation
  • Design annual and long-term incentive plans
  • Understand how to avoid risk in annual incentive plans
  • Utilize different types and design features of equity grants
  • Better understand supplemental executive retirement plans (SERP) and employment/change-in-control agreements

Webinar Details

This presentation will examine the current compensation environment and address different performance-based incentive vehicles. You will learn the keys to effective and motivating cash incentive plans and what banks are using regarding equity-based/longer-term incentives. This session will incorporate applicable regulatory guidelines and updates surrounding incentive-based pay. Market data from Blanchard Consulting Group surveys and databases will be incorporated throughout.

Who Should Attend?

This insightful webinar will benefit senior management, directors, and human resources officers.

Take-Away Toolkit

  • Example compensation philosophy
  • Sample annual incentive plan worksheet
  • Summary of the Sound Incentive Compensation Policy regulations and how to assess risk within incentive plans
  • Pros and cons of restricted stock versus stock options
  • Employee training log
  • Interactive quiz
  • PDF of slides and speaker’s contact info for follow-up questions
  • Attendance certificate provided to self-report CE credits

NOTE: All materials are subject to copyright. Transmission, retransmission, or republishing of any webinar to other institutions or those not employed by your agency is prohibited. Print materials may be copied for eligible participants only.


Mike Blanchard is the CEO of Blanchard Consulting Group. He has extensive experience in human resources and has conducted or supported over 500 compensation planning, market research, and organizational development projects over the past 25 years, with over 20 years specifically for the banking industry. Blanchard has presented to various banking associations including the American Bankers Association, the Bank Director Annual Compensation Conference, and several state banking associations on a variety of compensation and board governance topics. With a master’s in advanced industrial and organizational psychology, his experience includes advising clients on assessing total compensation for executives and directors, incentive planning, equity plan design, salary administration, and performance management.

Matt Brei is president of Blanchard Consulting Group. He has been a compensation consultant since 2000 and has been exclusively focused on the banking industry since 2002. Prior to founding Blanchard Consulting Group, he worked at Amalfi Consulting, Clark Consulting, and Arthur Andersen. He takes a lead role with client engagements and focuses on identifying the unique compensation needs and concerns of each client. Brei’s areas of expertise encompass multiple disciplines within executive, director, and staff compensation. He frequently speaks at banking conferences and has written a number of published articles. Brei received a bachelor’s with a double major in accounting and business management from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Registration Options

  • $245 – Live Webinar Access
  • $245 – OnDemand Access + Digital Download
  • $350 – Both Live & On-Demand Access + Digital Download

It is widely perceived that companies face a reality gap. More and more business leaders are seeing that cultivating equality is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. Diversity alone doesn’t move your entire business forward — inclusion is an integral part. All people need to feel a sense of belonging. Inclusion is when every person is valued, heard, respected, empowered, and feels a true sense of belonging.

Senior management needs to commit to education and discussions surrounding D&I. You will want your entire staff onboard with your company’s mission to embrace this topic.

What You’ll Learn

  • Generational Differences and providing all of them inclusion
  • Where you are with diversity awareness
  • Understand what it is and is not
  • The value of diversity in The organization
  • Tools and resources that will aid you in taking D&I to a new level
  • How focusing on inclusion is directly related to employee engagement

Who Should Attend
Human resources, leadership, management, supervisors, trainers, and anyone responsible for leading and engaging.

Registration Options

Live Access, 30 Days OnDemand Playback, Presenter Materials and Handouts $279

  • Available Upgrades:
    • 12 Months OnDemand Playback + $110
    • 12 Months OnDemand Playback + CD + $140
    • Additional Live Access + $75 per person

In this webinar you will learn strategies to avoid losing your top talent, and how to establish a simple, yet successful, Talent Management Program. This in turn integrates into your Strategic Plan. The presenter will cover nine competencies your successors must possess and you will walk away with strategies and tactics you can implement in your institution immediately.

What You’ll Learn

  • Learn about the key components of a strong Talent Management Program
  • How to conduct a talent assessment in your organization
  • A step-by-step process of how to integrate your Talent Management Program into your Strategic Plan
  • Strategies on how to retain your top talent and attract the right talent
  • The importance of succession planning and how to get started at all levels
  • The nine competencies your successors must possess
  • How to strategically outsource HR

Who Should Attend
Human Resources personnel including HR Director, managers, supervisors, senior leadership of any organization, Board of Directors, as well as ownership.

Instructor Bio
Marcia “Marci” Malzahn is the president and founder of Malzahn Strategic, a community financial institution management consultancy focused on strategic planning, enterprise risk management, treasury management, talent management, and EOS’ Implementation.

Malzahn has 30 years of banking experience, ten of those years as the EVP/CFO and COO of a community bank she co-founded where she oversaw all areas of operations. In her last year as EVP/COO/CRO, Malzahn created and focused on the bank’s enterprise risk management program.

Malzahn is the recipient of several professional awards, is a published author of four books, and an international bilingual keynote speaker, speaking frequently at banking and credit union conferences and associations as well as leadership and women’s conferences. As a Certified Virtual Presenter, Malzahn also provides online and onsite training for financial institutions.

Malzahn is a certified life coach, holds a B.A. in business management from Bethel University, and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin.

Registration Options

Live Access, 30 Days OnDemand Playback, Presenter Materials and Handouts $279

  • Available Upgrades:
    • 12 Months OnDemand Playback + $110
    • 12 Months OnDemand Playback + CD + $140
    • Additional Live Access + $75 per person

Why do robbers choose one location over another? How can robbers be deterred? What life-saving steps should employees take when facing a robbery? All financial institution employees must recognize the risk that exists, and understand that knowledge and quality training are vital to survival.

After This Webinar You’ll Be Able To:

  • Use situational awareness to become safer
  • Recognize vulnerabilities within your habits and environment
  • Distinguish different robbery methods
  • Realize the importance of safe opening procedures
  • Know what steps to take during a robbery
  • Understand which actions to avoid during a robbery
  • Identify habits that endanger
  • Reduce risk

Webinar Details
There have been many changes in our country over the last couple of years. In what seems to be an increasingly violent world, how can we protect ourselves? Despite robbery being one of the most feared crimes for the banking industry, training is often lacking and uninspired. This session will go beyond basic robbery training to focus on prevention and recognizing weaknesses that can cause vulnerability. It will reveal the facts about robbery, address current trends, and provide step-by-step guidelines for effective prevention, safe response, and managing the aftereffects.

Every employee can play a role in prevention, and it is critical that all personnel are prepared and trained in the safest response methods. Attendees will learn various methods used by crooks, how their observations of the event can be valuable, and essential actions to take following a robbery.

Who Should Attend?
This must-attend webinar will benefit all financial institution employees.

Take-Away Toolkit

  • Robber description form
  • Robbery quiz
  • Before, during, and after a robbery checklist
  • Robbery basics and beyond handout material
  • Employee training log
  • Interactive quiz
  • PDF of slides and speaker’s contact info for follow-up questions
  • Attendance certificate provided to self-report CE credits

NOTE: All materials are subject to copyright. Transmission, retransmission, or republishing of any webinar to other institutions or those not employed by your institution is prohibited. Print materials may be copied for eligible participants only.

Carol Dodgen – Dodgen Security Consulting, LLC

Carol Dodgen is the owner of Dodgen Security Consulting, LLC. Since 1998, her company has provided services including training, ATM lighting inspections, and security assessments to financial institutions, government entities, and businesses. Previously, Dodgen served as the security training officer for Compass Bank. She earned a Master’s in Criminal Justice and spent several years as an adjunct criminal justice instructor.

Dodgen is a nationally recognized speaker who has provided training for over 150,000 corporate, manufacturing, utility, law enforcement, and security personnel over the past 26 years. She holds a Crime Prevention Designation and provides instruction on crime prevention, workplace violence, and robbery. In 2009, Dodgen was appointed by the governor to the Alabama Security Regulatory Board and served for six years as vice chair.

Registration Options

  • $245 – Live Webinar Access
  • $245 – OnDemand Access + Digital Download
  • $350 – Both Live & On-Demand Access + Digital Download

This program will step you through the best practices of hiring for the right fit. Being intentional about training managers and supervisors on the hiring process is key to creating stellar teams.

What’s our end game? Hire right, coach great, and build strong teams. This program will step you through the best practices of hiring for the right fit. Being intentional about training managers and supervisors on the hiring process is key to creating stellar teams.

Raise the bar when it comes to best practices for hiring for the right fit. Aimed at management and anyone that is involved in the hiring process, the interview, and selection of new hires.

What You will Learn:

  • How to set the tone for success — seeing everything through the lens of the candidate
  • Establishing desired attributes for the individual positions we are hiring for
  • Preparation involved in conducting interviews
  • Learning from recent hire decisions — are the right people or the wrong people leaving?
  • Understanding the importance of being an employer of choice
  • Considering cultural fit in the hiring decision
  • Best practices related to the candidate evaluation process

Target Audience: Human resource officers, supervisors, CEOs

Presenter: Vicki Kraai, InterAction Training

Registration Option: Live presentation $330

Recording available through March 1, 2023