By Daryll Lund

The Wisconsin Bankers Association Employee Benefits Corporation, Inc. (WBA-EBC) was formed in 1982 and as our Association Health Plan (AHP) begins its fourth year, I would like to thank each WBA member that has chosen to trust us for their insurance needs.

The flexibility of our high-quality health benefits (dental insurance, medical insurance, prescription drug plans, and vision) as well as life and disability insurance are typically reserved for large employers but — through the purchasing power of WBA-EBC — are offered exclusively to WBA members at preferred prices. In the last three years alone, our member banks have collectively saved $1.8 million thanks to their member-driven AHP.

This year we are pleased that nearly 40 banks throughout the state have chosen the WBA-AHP through UnitedHealthcare for their health insurance program. Through your enrollment in our AHP, 1,800 members will have access to affordable, high-quality benefits and insurance throughout Wisconsin. In addition, our partnership with Lincoln Financial provides life and disability coverage for 10,000 members and our Delta Dental plans cover 7,000 members.

I, along with WBA-EBC vice president Brian Siegenthaler and our dedicated team look forward to continuing to assist you and your employees through our one-stop-shop for members enrollment and administration. We thank you once again for choosing WBA-EBC to provide for the wellbeing of all employees in your organization.

As labor shortages wear on and baby boomers retire in droves, every industry is facing the issue of how to approach the younger generation, and banking is certainly no exception. Raised on technology and emerging trends, there is no doubt these kids know our future. After all, they are it. Each day, it becomes increasingly more important to reinvest our efforts into making sure our future is prepared to take on important roles in our society.

The trouble however is not understanding why banks should hire new, younger talent; they understand future technology and have the ability to use vast experiences to provide a non-banking perspective. The question remains how do banks promote careers in banking to a Gen Z.

Jim Johannes, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business professor emeritus of banking and finance, knows firsthand the way his students see banking: an app on their smartphone or a teller behind a screen. It’s a difficult task to grasp every aspect of banking without the ability to experience it directly. According to Jessica Fox-Wilson, director of Career Works at Beloit College, college students are impressively passionate and enthusiastic about what they do, and their lack of preconceived notions also makes them to be far more adaptable to an industry than a seasoned veteran may allow for.

Although, students typically don’t gravitate towards a career in banking, Kim Huntley, senior vice president of human resources at Waukesha State Bank, understands that new graduates from high school and college aspire to make lasting impacts on the communities; a trait perfectly aligned with the banking industry. Through community service and the ability to help foster growth in individuals and businesses in the community, banking offers just the type of rewarding work younger generations strive to achieve.

It’s difficult for many non-bankers to truly grasp the full scope of the industry without experiencing it directly. This means that “telling the banking story” (or, allowing those interested in the industry to fully see their impact) becomes that much more important, according to Johannes. Investing time to give interns the opportunity to allocate capital and see their work in action will make them much more invested in the functions of the job.

When drawing awareness to the different opportunities offered, it is important to consider the different skills that lend themselves to the banking industry. While accounting, finance, and mathematics remain as popular as ever, more and more students are graduating with focuses on communications, business, and computer science. Fox-Wilson highlights Beloit Colleges’ four core transferable skills that, regardless of the major, are evident in every college graduate: communication, collaboration, problem solving, and agility. Individuals who possess traits such as service and detail-orientation also hold the abilities that allow for a strong foundation. This means community banks are able focus their time on task-specific training.

Over the past few years, discussions regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have been important to helping grow the banking industry. By making clear efforts into hiring talent from a broad range of experiences, banks will not only emphasize the potential in every person but allow for a collaborative and innovative environment where employees are invited to enact change through their own perspective. As Gen Z is known to value inclusivity, employers that demonstrate inclusive culture also become attractive employers. Striving to diversify the talent within banks ultimately leads to greater innovations and a well-rounded team.

While the public sees banking as mainly tellers, using opportunities when interacting students while guest speaking or at job fairs to highlight the many facets of the industry including IT, marketing, and human resources may convince the otherwise skeptical that a career in banking could be a good fit for them. Not only are these positions necessary to the bank, but they are also of increasing interest to graduates. Simply informing students of available opportunities can be a great way to drum-up interest in a specific industry.

New graduates are extremely motivated by advancement opportunities and is a major advantage to beginning a career in community banking. “Community banks are small enough to give employees opportunities to grow in several areas of the bank and would prefer to promote employees from within the bank before searching outside of it,” says Huntley. The benefit of learning and growing your career quickly is highly sought-after by younger, bright-eyed graduates, especially when skills learned on the job are applicable to other aspects of banking or their career.

Banking typically isn’t conceived by younger generations as a “glamorous” or trendy career choice, which makes it a bit trickier when convincing younger generations that they make a great fit for the industry. “If you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s just a great career,” says Johannes. “You make a difference in your community in meeting and interacting with a lot of very different people and you’re able to serve a huge social function by allocating credit and preserving the payments mechanism.” Banking also provides stability and work-life balance that is unlike many other industries. Highlighting benefits that resonate with new graduates, such as generous time off policies and the ability to spend holidays with family, help the industry stand apart.

Of course, the answer to how to recruit for banking careers is multidimensional. In working alongside schools and institutions of higher education to promote an accurate image of the full banking industry, community banks would have the ability to create connections and highlight the applicability of a wide range of skills in addition to financial literacy. By having a deep understanding of the career paths that would allow each employee to be successful, banks are able to equip employees with the needed skills in their career path long before openings arise and through creating DEI missions that not only found a thriving community outside of the bank but encourage the same community involvement within. Ultimately, banks can benefit from fresh perspectives and understanding that are brought by individuals who represent the broader community in which the intuition serves.

By Hannah Flanders

A Graduate Profile of Tionne Riley, Bank Five Nine
By Hannah Flanders

Tionne Riley leads life with ambition for anything she sets her mind to. A former customer service representative at a local grocery store, Riley was ready for a change. When her stepmother gave her a Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development flyer for BankWork$, it was meant to be.

Riley graduated from Primavera Online High School with a passion for math, networking, and finances but wasn’t entirely sure where her path would take her. However, her dedication and persistence allowed her to develop even more skills, such as customer service and cash handling, that would make her the ideal candidate for the BankWork$ program and ultimately a career in retail banking.

After completing two interviews and allowing program directors to get to know her, she was accepted to participate in the eight-week program which covered topics ranging from customer relationships and the fundamentals of finances to preparing for employment. Riley described the program as “extremely hands–on” and the small class sizes allowed for one-on-one learning within a team-oriented environment.

“I was looking for a career rather than a job” said Riley, who graduated from BankWork$ in June 2021. After the graduation ceremony, a hiring event is held for banks to connect with qualified talent. “We have been incredibly impressed with the program, its leaders, its instructors, and of course, the students!” said Ann Knutson, senior vice president, human resources director at Bank Five Nine. At this event, Riley was recruited by Bank Five Nine’s Brookfield branch as a universal banker. With her interests in finance and service to her community, she was a wonderful fit for their team.

“Tionne has been a great addition to the team,” said Bank Five Nine branch manager Michelle Kurth. “I feel the BankWork$ program has allowed her to adapt very quickly to her surroundings, which allows her to accurately process her transactions, assist our customers in a professional convenient manner, and even assist her peers!”

“Bank Five Nine has been involved with the BankWork$ program since its inception in 2018,” told Knutson. Alongside fellow advisory committee members from around the U.S., Knutson has been able to offer guidance and input into the program and offerings at BankWork$ to help create graduates that are ready to succeed at any bank.

Riley spoke of both BankWork$ and Bank Five Nine with pride, “Everybody here wants to see you win.” She has gained mentors throughout the industry, even in a short time, and has enjoyed working with like-minded, focused individuals who encourage her to consider the possibilities of her future in banking.

Riley perfectly exemplifies quality talent that needed the right opportunity, as offered by BankWork$ and Bank Five Nine, to help turn their interests into something more. “Completing the BankWork$ program really gave [Tionne] a sense of pride and accomplishment in a work environment that maybe she would not have otherwise explored or realized she would be successful in,” said Kurth. For banks looking to recruit talented, young individuals to join their organizations or even those looking into connecting with BankWork$, Riley offered some words of advice from her experience in completing the interview process.

“My advice for banks would be to make sure the people you hire are dedicated,” she said. “This job is not for everyone, and we are changing people’s lives, make sure you have a team to execute the goals of the industry.”

By Paul Gores

Like many Wisconsin businesses, banks are having difficulty finding qualified workers — especially front-line employees like tellers — as the pandemic lingers and other companies offer similar or higher hourly wages.

The shortage of potential employees has left banks focusing on other ways, such as flexible work time and a more-personal culture, to attract and keep employees.

“Yes, it has been a struggle to find good, qualified candidates for open positions,” said Sandy Soda, senior vice president for human resources at Berlin-based Fortifi Bank. “The number of resumes we receive for positions has declined in recent years, and more drastically since the pandemic started.”

A search of the state-run Jobs Center of Wisconsin last week (Friday, September 16) showed more than 500 job listings in the past 30 days for the keyword “bank,” a lot of them for tellers and consumer service representative positions. Banks that included information about the starting wage generally put it between $12 and $18 per hour, although many listings said pay would be based on experience.

The unemployment rate in Wisconsin remained steady at 3.9% in August, while the state’s labor force increased by 5,500 people from July, and was up 59,000 from August 2020, according to the Department of Workforce Development.

Some think with this month’s end of the federal government’s $300-a-week pandemic unemployment payment, which began as $600 weekly in March of 2020 as COVID-19 arrived but later was cut in half, might bring more people back into the workforce.

But surveys have shown that since the pandemic began, people’s attitudes about work have changed, and it might take more than an acceptable hourly wage to draw them. Some have become comfortable working from home, for example, and don’t want to go into work every day. And more are thinking about career changes altogether rather than returning to jobs they’ve done in the past.

Almost 1 in 3 U.S. workers under 40 have thought about changing their occupation or field of work since the pandemic began, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, which was conducted July 6 to 21. About 1 in 5 workers overall have considered a professional shift, a signal that the pandemic has been a turning point for many, the Post reported.

Banks, like other employers, are having to adapt to the needs of potential hires.

“The big key term is flexibility,” said Candy Allard, assistant vice president and human resource specialist with Badger Bank in Fort Atkinson. “We’ve been able to be flexible. Some employees have been able to work at home when needed. Others, we’ve been able to make their schedule a little more flexible. I’m trying to come up with things that may not have to do with salary, like maybe a day off for their birthday — other things to try to say, ‘Hey, this is a really good place to work.’”

Soda said higher pay generally isn’t the only answer to attracting employees, although for some it is. Like Allard, she suggested the culture of a bank also can help draw new employees.

“The best way to find and keep good employees is to maintain an engaged workforce in a culture they can articulate and be proud of,” Soda said. “It’s paying people for their value, providing good benefits and work-life balance, and recognizing their contributions and accomplishments.  It’s allowing them to grow, develop and contribute.”

She added: “To find good employees, you need to sell your organization. You can do this by playing a positive role in your communities and maintaining a culture that employees share with and brag about to others.”

Erick Gorecki, managing director of B$ Recruiters in Hartland, said community banks might have an advantage over large financial institutions if culture is what attracts and retains workers.

“If somebody doesn’t like their job, being highly paid is [only] going to keep them in their chair for so long,” Gorecki said. “The beauty of community banks is that they tend to be synonymous with really good culture, which is something that you probably can’t say about a lot of the bigger banks.”

He said many people who move to smaller banks from big ones “just gush about how refreshing of an experience it is.”

“The ability to focus on the customer without overburdening administrative tasks and bureaucracy is a big part of that, along with the ability to have fun at work,” he said.

While pay isn’t always the determining piece, Gorecki said it’s a “candidate-driven” market right now, meaning people have more opportunities for work and are paying attention to compensation.

“There’s probably a little extra temptation to understand what they might be worth to a competitor, which isn’t to say that is going to hurt retention, but it may,” Gorecki said. “There’s always sort of a curiosity factor for knowing what you’re worth on the market.”

Banks have lots of competitors for workers. Soda listed some.

“Any other type of financial institutions, schools, medical facilities, and manufacturing facilities — particularly for administrative, IT, HR, marketing, and accounting positions, which can be done from home in some form,” she said.

Allard said bigger retailers and restaurants sometimes can offer a better starting wage.

“We a lot of times now are competing with starting wages being higher at our fast-food restaurants, or we’re competing with Walmart, or one of our locations is next to the outlet mall, so we are competing with the $15 starting wages that they can offer because of their size,” she said.

However, unlike retailers and restaurants, banks generally can promise job candidates that there will be no night hours and no weekend work except perhaps Saturday mornings.

Gorecki said with the fluidity of the job market, banks might be reluctant to spend time on training the way they would if they were sure a new employee was going to stick around. But that would be a mistake, he said.

“It’s a tough thought for some banks — or any organization — to invest a lot of training in people and them having the unfortunate day when you see them leave the bank,” Gorecki said. “But that’s going to be a way better scenario than neglecting development of people and then having them stay with the bank.”

Soda said tough competition for employees was going on even before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19.

“Human resource professionals have been discussing this for some time now,” she said. “The Baby Boomer generation is retiring and Generation X and Generation Y (millennials) families tend to be smaller. They don’t have as many children, which is all starting to affect the labor pool.”

Soda said the pandemic appears to have reduced the number of qualified candidates available because many who worked from home for months wish to continue with that practice.

The outlook for hiring in 2022 doesn’t seem likely to change greatly from the situation today.

Gorecki said the end of the special pandemic unemployment payment may inspire more people to rejoin the labor market.

“I would suspect that dries up and that normalizes to where maybe a lot of these entry level openings are filled up by people who need to get back to work,” he said.

Soda said the competition for hiring next year probably won’t be much different than it is now.

“Even as the pandemic diminishes, organizations will continue to find ways to attract and retain good talent in a tight labor pool,” she said. “Perhaps finding ways to involve retirees and utilizing things like part-time positions, job-sharing, work from home, etc. will become the way of the future.”

Paul Gores is a journalist who covered business news for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for 20 years. Have a story idea? Contact him at

By Alex Paniagua

A Graduate Profile of Anthony Lamar Smith, II, Associated Bank

An entrepreneurial spirit, Anthony Lamar Smith, II has been interested in how businesses operate since he was a kid. But as he explored a few different professional paths, he never expected this passion might lead him to a career in the financial services.

Smith graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in management information systems. Although his education and aspirations felt like the perfect combination, something never felt quite right once he earned a business analyst position with a major health insurance provider. Still on the job hunt, Smith came across an eight-week career training program called BankWork$ designed to help young adults establish a career path in banking. He described the occurrence as something that almost ‘fell in his lap’ after exhausting the options he thought were sure to be the best fit.

“I received an advertisement through the [Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development] for BankWork$,” Smith said. “I read a bit about it, completed the inquiry, and received a call back to do the initial interview process.”

Smith immediately connected his business background with the similarities in banking. His knowledge of economics, background in retail, and his keen interpersonal skills were only a few things that played a role in bridging the gap between the two industries. Although certain elements such as compliance and regulation were new to him, Smith caught on quickly and enjoyed not only the information the program offered, but the experience overall.

After graduating from BankWork$ in June of 2021, Smith is now one of over 4,000 individuals who have had their career in financial services launched with the help of the program. He was offered a job at Associated Bank, Milwaukee, as an entry-level banker and is currently participating in 13 weeks of training where he receives hands-on experience and learns the ins and outs of the bank. He works as a teller but also trains his way toward being a certified banker. Each day he has ample opportunities to observe the tasks of his coworkers and has started on account openings and other services where he can interact with customers. This side of his role is Smith’s favorite part of the industry.

“Being able to build rapport with clients and offer solutions that they find tangible and advantageous to their situation is so important,” said Smith. “Learning more about the customers, understanding how their financials look and work, what their expectations are, and recommending the best options have all been great.”

Whether in or out of the office, Smith has proven himself to be a self-starter. When he’s not working at Associated, his time is spent designing graphics, building websites, or mixing and mastering music for a variety of clients. He has also volunteered teaching Junior Achievement courses and helped co-found multiple startup companies. Part of what Smith loves about using his many skills outside of the banking industry is getting to collaborate with others and make a difference in their success.

“Associated Bank is proud to work with Employ Milwaukee to provide adults with an opportunity to learn skills in the financial industry through the BankWork$ program,” said Sandra Meka, talent acquisition consultant manager, Associated Bank. “Associated is pleased to celebrate Anthony’s graduation from the program and will continue to help him grow in his position.”

As Smith continues his time with Associated Bank on his new journey, there’s a lot that intrigues him about the banking industry that he looks forward to learning more about — especially as it relates to technology. From the growing shift toward online banking to the ways that artificial intelligence helps banks with underwriting decisions, he’s grateful that there’s always been someone at the bank willing to offer their insight. He anticipates all the new information to be gained, skills to be learned, and ways he can use his many talents to help his fellow bankers and customers.

Finding the right career path can be complicated when there are so many to choose from. Although Smith was confident that his role as a business analyst would be the right fit, it wasn’t until the opportunity through BankWork$ came along that things began to really make sense. For others exploring professional possibilities of their own, Smith had some words of wisdom to offer from his own experience.

“Start early, and get involved in as much as you can,” he said. “Find a way to connect what you want to do with what you love, and then you can avoid being pulled in too many directions that don’t fit together.”

By Robb Rempel, executive vice president, Haberfeld, a WBA Associate Member

With 2020 in the review mirror, the economy is reopening. Many teams are excited to return to the office, but others hope to follow a hybrid model. The last 18 months have challenged banks to innovate and embrace different staffing models and arrangements to continue serving their communities. As leaders, managers, and team members, we have an opportunity to not just go back to the way things were but to build something even stronger. Creating an environment of engagement is an on-going strategy that drives employee retention, satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately higher revenues and profitability.

State of Employee Engagement

At a high level, engagement means having such a positive impression about a job or role that great effort is gladly given, essentially, the individual has a “calling.” Most recent Gallup Poll results show that 35% of employees are engaged, 52% disengaged or psychologically unattached to work, and 13% not engaged. On a positive note, employees who are engaged have increased by 7% since 2019. While we do not know how these numbers might shift with some employees wanting the autonomy of working remotely,  Pew Research reports that more than half of employees whose jobs have allowed them to work remotely during COVID-19 want to keep doing so all or most of the time; another third said they’d like to work from home some of the time. Whether or not your bank will offer these options, it is important to create an environment of employee engagement. This must be driven by the leadership team, helping your team find the “calling,” the “why,” and meaningful connections.

Leadership is the Key To a Calling

Building trust with your team enables you to take people from where they are to where you know they can be. We need to help our team members find a higher calling than just business-as-usual. Simon Sinek, in his valuable TED talk and book “Start with Why …,” describes how most companies and individuals understand the What and How of their products and work, but few understand or identify the WHY. When we focus on the What and How, it doesn’t contribute much meaning to our work. However, if we help our team members understand the WHY of our organization — the higher calling we have as community bankers — it provides a greater sense of meaning and value. Rather than focusing on products and processes, let’s reorient around our purpose.

Community banks exist to make our communities’ and people’s lives better. We spent this last year helping small businesses survive a terrible threat. We helped families manage their money during times of great uncertainty. In the future, we’ll help folks buy their first home, save for college or retirement, and much more. We help people realize their goals and dreams. We just happen to do so by providing caring service, trusted advice, and fair and valued banking products and services. When we “start with WHY,” we help our team members find a higher calling and greater meaning in work.

Meaningful Connections

When so many of us were taken out of our normal work environment, separated from our colleagues, and asked to be productive in new contexts, it became difficult to remember how our work connected to the broader organization. We each knew our own role and continued to perform at the best of our ability. However, many individuals may have lost sight of how their work contributed to the greater organization. We need to unite our teams around a common cause. What is the vision that drives our organizations forward? What goals are we trying to achieve together? What can be the common cause that unites us in our work? We need to provide a common cause involving the entire organization — each team contributing in its own way within its own role — to rebuild a sense of unity of purpose.

As an example, a strategy oriented toward growing the number of core customers can involve every part of the organization. The operations group helps evaluate and shape products, policies, and processes to enable growth in customers. Marketing brings innovative tactics and approaches to drawing in new customers and creating opportunities for the branches. Lending teams leverage their customer relationships to ensure that those customers get a chance to hear about other bank products and services. Branch teams learn service and sales techniques to capitalize on the prospects responding to the marketing. Senior management lends vocal support to the frontline teams, recognizing their key role in achieving the goal of growth. And every employee encourages those in their circle of influence to become a customer, because they understand the importance of growth for the organization’s future health and success.

Leaders have an opportunity to build even more meaningful connections with those on our teams as we come back together. We’re all busy so the hard work of building relationships and connections is best accomplished as part of a strategy through regular practices like:

  • Team meetings — gathering the team together weekly will be especially important after the separations of the last year. Rather than focusing on policy or process discussions, use it to reestablish connections. Let team members share their successes and their challenges. Encourage them to celebrate the good they’ve seen in their coworkers — “Cheers for Peers.” The foundation of personal trust you build here will be the basis of your team’s future growth.
  • Check-ins — 15-minute weekly, individual conversations with each team member. Allow these to be both personal and professional updates. We all found that during the pandemic those lines between our work and our personal lives blurred. Showing you care about them as people, not just as employees, will enable you to serve them far better.
  • Coaching sessions — spend time observing your team members at work with customers, then debrief with them. Perhaps skills have grown rusty. We’ve reinvented the way we serve customers because of the circumstances in which we found ourselves. Coming alongside as their coach will again build trust that you are going to help them thrive whatever the future holds.

The pandemic caused many to question the way things have been. The old ways aren’t good enough anymore. We have an opportunity to do more than just return to business as usual by reengaging our teams and building something better and more rewarding. By reminding our folks of the WHY — the Higher Calling, uniting them around a Common Cause, and creating more Meaningful Connections, we’ll not just survive but thrive.

Robb Rempel, is an Executive Vice President at Haberfeld, a data-driven consulting firm specializing in core relationships and profitability growth for community-based financial institutions.

On August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for prevention of the disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. This means that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine meets high standards for safety and effectiveness. It also means that Wisconsin employers can implement a vaccine mandate with less legal risk, provided they consider reasonable accommodations for employees who cannot get the vaccine due to disability or sincerely held religious beliefs.

Wrongful Discharge Claim Risk Diminished

Wisconsin employers that now decide to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine will likely no longer face a risk of wrongful discharge claims if they terminate employees for failing to get the vaccine. The previous risk of liability for wrongful discharge derived from the vaccine being only approved for emergency use by the FDA, which may have given individuals a right to refuse the vaccine on the grounds that they were objecting to getting a vaccine that was not fully authorized by the FDA. Forcing employees to get the vaccine under these circumstances could violate public policy because FDA emergency use authorization allowed individuals to refuse the vaccine. Now, the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine. Any employee subject to an employer's COVID-19 vaccine mandate can no longer realistically object to receiving the vaccine on that basis. Therefore, terminating an employee for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine that has been fully authorized by the FDA is unlikely to result in a viable claim for wrongful discharge.

Disability and Religious Accommodations Still Required

Mandating the COVID-19 vaccine, however, still implicates legal issues related to disability and religious discrimination under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Despite full FDA approval, employees may still claim they cannot get vaccinated due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief. The law imposes constraints on the questions employers can ask employees and what documentation employers can request. Therefore, employers should consult with legal counsel if an employee asks for an exemption to the vaccine mandate based on a disability or sincerely held religious beliefs.

If an employee informs an employer that they are unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief, the employer generally cannot terminate the employee without first engaging in the interactive process with them as to whether a reasonable accommodation is available that does not pose an undue hardship on the employer. Because the legal standards for undue hardship are different depending on whether the employee is requesting an accommodation due to disability or religious belief, employers should consult with legal counsel when assessing the accommodation.


Full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine means that employers are now on stronger legal footing to require employees to be vaccinated. However, to avoid potentially viable discrimination claims, employers must still consider reasonable accommodations for employees who cannot be vaccinated due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief. If individual questions arise, please reach out to a member of the Boardman Clark Labor and Employment Practice Group for assistance identifying a reasonable accommodation request, conducting an individualized direct threat analysis when appropriate, assessing undue hardship under the appropriate legal standards, and deciding on the best way to proceed in a given situation.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Rather, it seeks to make recipients aware of certain legal developments that affect human resource issues. Recipients who want legal advice concerning a particular matter should consult with an attorney who is given a full understanding of the relevant facts pertaining to the particular matter.

By, Cassie Krause

In the March 16 edition of the Wisconsin Banker Daily, WBA shared information about on-site vaccine clinic requests. Wisconsin’s vaccine distribution is rapidly evolving, and Governor Tony Evers announced yesterday that people with certain medical conditions will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 22, which is a week earlier than previously expected. In addition, Milwaukee is further expanding vaccine eligibility for all people age 18 and older living in 10 at-risk ZIP codes that rank high on an index of social vulnerability. See more on the ZIP code-based eligibility in Milwaukee. WBA Legal and Communications have worked together with Boardman & Clark to develop the following FAQs for Wisconsin banks. Banks should reach out to legal counsel for specific advice on their individual circumstances when contemplating or establishing an on-site clinic. 

Important Dates:  

  • March 17:  Vaccinators who will administer vaccines at on-site clinics must have their allocation requests into DHS by March 17 to receive doses for the weeks of March 29 and April 5. Contact a local vaccinator today if you wish to host an on-site vaccination clinic in the coming weeks.  WBA understands that it may be difficult to find available vaccinators in the short term due to high demand of their services.  
  • March 17: Milwaukee is expanding vaccine eligibility for all people age 18 and older living in 10 at-risk ZIP codes that rank high on an index of social vulnerability. 
  • March 22:  Vaccine eligibility expands to include individuals age 16 and older with specified medical conditions.  
  • May 1:  DHS plans to open vaccine eligibility to all individuals age 16 and older.  

The COVID-19 vaccination program is rapidly evolving, and the state and federal governments will continue to communicate information as it becomes available. 

Question 1: Who provides and administers the vaccines for an employer-based vaccination clinic? 

Answer: Only state-authorized vaccinators, such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and public health departments, can obtain and administer vaccinations. An employer must locate and work with an approved vaccinator to start the process of hosting an employer-based vaccination clinic. A list of vaccine providers is available here. Due to the fact that many of these vaccinators may be fully occupied at their regular places of employment, it may be difficult from a practical perspective to find available vaccinators at this early time. Once located, work with the vaccine provider to determine a targeted date, location, and number of vaccines needed for the clinic. Vaccinators who intend to request an allocation of vaccine specifically to support a closed, employer-based clinic can now make a separate request to DHS receive a dedicated allocation as vaccine & supplies are available. Banks may inform their employees that they must give notice if the employee intends to get vaccinated at the on-site clinic. The vaccine provider will submit a request to DHS for the vaccine. Requests will be accepted through the current bi-weekly allocation survey every other Wednesday, beginning on March 17. The vaccine provider will be notified by DHS if the request is approved. Please keep in mind that requests for vaccine exceed the current supply and DHS will not be able to fulfill all requests.  

DHS has issued the following documents for employers who would like to host a clinic in their workplace:  

DHS Guidelines: Wisconsin Employer-Based COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics  

DHS COVID-19 Vaccination Program: Planning a Vaccination Clinic Checklist  

Additional information is available from the CDC:

CDC Recommendations: Workplace Vaccination Program  

Question 2: How do I determine whether my bank needs an on-site vaccine clinic?  

Answer: Whether a bank should offer a “closed clinic” to those employees currently eligible for vaccination is a business decision to be made by the bank. Some institutions have a significant number of employees who are eligible, other institutions do not. In order to determine if there is sufficient employee interest to warrant an on-site vaccine clinic (and so that the vaccinator can order sufficient supply of the vaccine), banks can ask employees if they have received the vaccine already or if they wish to receive the vaccine through a potential on-site clinic. Such information must be retained confidentially. Due to anti-discrimination laws, banks should not ask follow-up questions such as why an individual might or might not wish to receive the vaccine. Additionally, banks may be asked by vaccinators to prioritize employees in case they do not receive the full requested number of vaccines. Employers must be careful to comply with applicable anti-discrimination laws when prioritizing employees. To that end, creating the prioritization list based on employee job duties is advisable. 

Question 3: Where are bank employees prioritized in the COVID-19 distribution by the state?   

Answer: Despite efforts by our financial services coalition, bank employees — public-facing or otherwise — have not been designated as eligible as a group for the vaccine at this time by the Department of Health Services (DHS) or the Governor’s administration. However, bank personnel may be eligible to receive the vaccine using criteria that isn’t specific to their occupation, such as being 65 or older. Beginning March 22, overall vaccine eligibility will be significantly expanded to include individuals ages 16 and over who have certain health or medical conditions. For a list of individuals currently eligible, and those who gain health-related eligibility on March 22, please refer to this release from Gov. Evers.  

Question 4: What timeline do employers need to keep in mind?  

Answer: If an employer would like to host a clinic the week of March 29 or April 5, they must reach out to a vaccinator as soon as possible as vaccinators must submit their requests to DHS today (March 17). Those who miss the March 17 deadline must wait until March 31 to be approved. Also, keep in mind that eligibility for vaccines will be greatly expanded on March 22 when individuals age 16 and older with specified medical conditions will become eligible for vaccination. Therefore, an on-site clinic offered after March 22 may reach a greater percentage of your workforce. 

Question 5: What information can bankers provide to employees seeking vaccines?  

Answer: Employees may be directed to the DHS webpage COVID-19:  Where Can I Get Vaccinated for more information. WBA members are invited to attend the upcoming webinar for more information.

WBA Webinar – Coronavirus Management Series:  Vaccinations & Beyond  

On Thursday, March 25 from Noon – 1:30 p.m., WBA will be hosting Coronavirus Management Series: Vaccinations & Beyond, a free webinar detailing the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will be recorded and available to the membership following the live webinar. 

By, Alex Paniagua

Travel plans didn’t just take a back seat during the chaotic ride of 2020 – for many, they were left on the side of the road.  

Restrictions and limitations remain in place, but PTO hasn’t disappeared in the same way travel capability has. As a result, using vacation time has taken on a new meaning without taking a trip abroad or getting the whole family together for the holidays. With people having worked their way through the pandemic, a new concern is whether 2021 will continue this trend of people abandoning their vacation time in favor of more hours spent at their desks and home offices.  

The Year Vacations Stopped 

Taking time off was never banned by any means. The initial global shutdown combined with the unprecedented amount of people working remotely in the spring simply had many asking a very rational question: ‘Why would I take time off from working at home just to spend more time at home?’ Gwen Schnitzler, assistant vice president, human resources director at Forward Bank, Marshfield, saw a fair amount of this throughout the year. 

“Last year we definitely saw a decrease in PTO usage,” she said. “Some people may have planned trips they had to cancel because they couldn’t travel or didn’t feel comfortable doing so. Some questioned why they would take time off if there’s nowhere to go. There were a lot of factors contributing to this decrease.”  

A lack of places to go was only the starting point for this trend. For other employees, uncertainty in the future and health concerns played a larger role in their willingness to take time off than anything else. 

“With so many unknown factors related to COVID, we had a lot of employees holding on to their PTO,” said Ann Knutson, senior vice president, human resources director of Bank Five Nine, Oconomowoc. “People weren’t sure how this was all going to unfold. Even with FFCRA, people were reluctant to use all of their paid time off.” 

With so much uncertainty and a hold put on travel, it made sense that banks began reconsidering how to accommodate for this evolving scenario. Molly Bauer, Bank of Wisconsin Dells vice president, human resources officer, noted that properly responding to this created necessary reassurance for the individuals preparing for any unpredictable occurrence. They ultimately decided to do what they noticed other banks were doing. 

“We increased our carryover amounts for 2021,” said Bauer. “Then, time not used by the end of June goes into our ‘extended leave bank’ which can be used for illness-related events.”  

Each bank took its own approach to the situation based off the needs of its employees. Forward Bank realized early on that even if 2021 did provide a glimpse of hope, many of their employees might very well continue viewing the situation with caution. The fear was that the additional time off would simply go unused.  

“Under normal circumstances, employees can already carry over a week,” said Schnitzler. “We thought about extending that, but then understood how in a way we were almost prolonging the problem.” 

Instead, Forward Bank offered employees the option to cash out up to two weeks of PTO. The option was announced in the summertime, which allowed everyone to fully think about what they wanted to do and plan for it. For those who opted to use this choice, the payment was made on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  

“It gave the people who didn’t think they’d use that PTO a way to cash out instead,” Schnitzler added. “We timed it around the holidays so if employees wanted to put that toward holiday-related expenses they could.” 

She noted that the idea was well-received, even by those who decided not to take advantage of it. People were just happy to have that element of choice during a year that vacations allowed for anything but.  

A Good Time to Take Time Off 

Although these changes helped to make life easier, there hasn’t been much of an argument to carry this concept over into the new fiscal year. For some, this is a matter of life finally beginning to return to normal. For others, there is a concern that employees are not taking the time off they deserve. Many employees point to the recent growth in work spurred by essential tasks such as PPP as reason for sticking around. 

“Things got really busy, really quick,” said Schnitzler. “Of course, we still accommodated for when people wanted to take time off. But with mortgages, PPP loans, and the knowledge that even if time was to be taken off there weren’t a lot of options for recreation, the majority of people decided they would just keep working.” 

This became especially difficult for employees still working remotely. Now that their home had doubled as their office, taking time off simply meant spending more time in the place that they work. Schnitzler added that especially now with workloads leveling out a bit, it’s good to view spending time not working as an important part of the work itself, regardless of where or how you end up using that PTO.  Whether you’re simply recharging or looking to spend more quality time with your family, taking that time away from work is crucial for your health and well-being.  

“If you’re at a point where you feel like you have so much going on and can’t possibly take time away, that is exactly the time to use some vacation,” said Knutson. “This prevents burnout and encourages creativity. When people are away from work, they’re able to think about how they might take a new approach to their work style. They can think about developing new workflows. And it helps you keep in mind that life isn’t just about work.” 

Encouraging employees to take time off comes with several benefits. It can help them gain perspective, recalibrate, and have a positive effect on mental and physical health.  

“The past year speaks a lot about our workforce and the fact that so many people are willing to keep powering through, especially last year when things were so crazy,” Schnitzler said. “Seeing that dedication in this industry is amazing.” 

But at the end of the day, she noted that dedication doesn’t mean giving up the PTO you’ve earned. Allowing yourself some extended time to relax is part of the reward for hard work, not the antithesis of it. 

“It’s really as simple as this,” she added. “We don’t give people vacation time with the expectation that they’re not going to use it.”  

Returning to the Office 

Taking the opportunity to clear the mind outside of the day-to-day responsibilities of work is a necessary part of self-care, but prioritizing this time off doesn’t change the fact that the spread of COVID is still an issue. Making sure guidelines are set in place upon return to the office gives workers the time off they deserve while preventing any further spread. This might look different at each bank, and it doesn’t have to require any extraordinary planning. 

“We’ve just been following CDC and local health department guidelines,” Knutson said. “We are not scientists, we are not doctors, we are not medical professionals, and we don’t want to pretend like we are. I think that’s important because we don’t want to step outside of our expertise. We have to be able to rely on the experts.” 

Knutson noted that when you follow the professional advice that’s out there, you have the experts to lean on. And though planning is crucial, it’s equally as important to not overreach when it comes to people’s lives. Managing risk does not mean asking workers to quarantine after returning from seeing their in-laws in Illinois, and having a plan can be as simple as asking employees to be honest with where they’ve been and if they believe they’ve been exposed to the virus. 

“The banking industry is one that likes to make quick decisions once we have as many facts as we possibly can,” she continued. “This way we can make a more accurate decision upfront and won’t have to change our position at a later date.”  

Another concern is whether employers might discourage people from enjoying themselves by placing harsh restrictions on their ability to work once they come back. If allowing a few days of remote work isn’t an option, setting allotted time aside for employees to quarantine if necessary when returning from a trip is one way to incentivize vacation and stay safe in the process.  

“[Bank of Wisconsin Dells] has set up a bank of the equivalent of 10 days of paid time for anything that we require you to be out for, such as travel quarantine or extra days for illness,” said Bauer. “This is in addition to our PTO plan and the FFCRA time.”  

With all these factors considered, it is still uncertain whether people will end last year’s trend of skipping out on vacation time. While there are still plenty of things to remain cautious of, there is also reason to be optimistic that bankers are re-evaluating the importance of their time off.  

“We don’t know what the future is going to look like,” admitted Schnitzler, “but we’ve seen employees begin to feel more comfortable with traveling again. The virus is still out there, but there are a lot more precautions in place and I think people are really becoming more comfortable.” 

As Knutson sees it, employees are preparing for some much-needed time out of the office, whether it be for travel plans or to simply unwind.   

“I’m finding and hearing that more people are planning on taking PTO for vacation purposes,” she said. “It seems that so many people are beginning to look past the current situation and realizing that they just need some time to relax after such a long, difficult, and unexpected year.” 

By, Alex Paniagua

American Banker has recently announced its 85 “Best Banks to Work For” which includes four WBA members.   

American Banker has asked the banks’ executives to share how they’ve managed to keep employees engaged and motivated while operating during a pandemic. Many of the participants noted that their approach has been to communicate often, keep an open dialogue, offer reassurance, and celebrate when possible.  

This marks the eighth year that American Banker has put together their list of the 85 Best Banks to Work For. We’ve included insight from the list’s WBA members to highlight the ways they’ve handled managing in a crisis.  

Forward Bank, Marshfield – #27 

CEO Bill Sennholz 

“Any crisis can throw off work-life balance for our team. It can drastically shift focus to changing needs at home or take them away from their families more. We’ve focused on celebration and support during difficult times.” 

Bank Five Nine, Oconomowoc – #38 

President and CEO Mark Mohr 

With the pandemic changing the way that many organizations celebrate, Bank Five Nine took a different approach to celebrating Random Act of Kindness Month in April.  

This year they wanted to support healthcare workers and local restaurants. They spent $20,000 with 18 business clients, who prepped and delivered meals to 1,400 healthcare workers across 14 local medical facilities and hospitals. Bank Five Nine continues to support restaurants impacted by the pandemic by purchasing food from three local vendors for its on-site staff.  

Peoples State Bank, Wausau – #55 

President and CEO Scott Cattanach 

“We found that showing employees they are valued, appreciated and connected during a crisis has a huge impact on their mental health.”  

Bank First, Manitowoc – #69 

CEO Mike Molepske 

“As a result of COVID-19, we provided extra assistance to employees who were adversely impacted by childcare, financial and work-life balance issues.” 

For the full list of winners and their tips on how they’ve managed to keep employees engaged and motivated while operating during a pandemic, visit American Banker.

If you enjoyed this topic, you’ll likely enjoy the upcoming WBA Human Resources Conference.

By, Alex Paniagua


Is the signature genuine? Is the signer the appropriate party? Does the signer have legal capacity? What are the parameters of the Medallion program? Attend this webinar to learn the answers to these questions and more, including how to mitigate risk of loss.


  • Distinguish among the various types of signature guarantees
  • Explain the STAMP Medallion Program and its requirements
  • Identify situations when Medallion or signature guarantees are used
  • Analyze the potential liability to your institution and how to reduce that risk
  • Determine the proper questions to ask to mitigate risk

Signature guarantees are not new, but the financial losses and administrative problems associated with them are increasing because many institutions do not understand the responsibilities and liabilities assumed when guaranteeing a signature or using a Medallion stamp. It is imperative that all financial institutions that issue or accept signature guarantees have effective internal controls to mitigate the associated losses and problems. Do you know the differences between the various signature guarantees, including the STAMP Medallion Program? Join us to learn the situations in which each type of signature guarantee is required, including analysis of the related risks and liabilities.

NOTE: This seminar is not sponsored by or affiliated with the STAMP Medallion Program.

This informative session is designed for any staff member that issues or accepts signature guarantees or participates in the STAMP Medallion Program.


  • Checklist of questions to ask before guaranteeing a signature or using a Medallion stamp
  • PDF of slides and speaker’s contact info for follow-up questions
  • Attendance certificate provided to self-report CE credits
  • Employee training log
  • Interactive quiz

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.

MEET THE PRESENTER – Elizabeth Fast, JD, CPA, Spencer Fane LLP
Elizabeth Fast is a partner with Spencer Fane LLP where she specializes in the representation of financial institutions. Fast is the head of the firm’s training division. She received her law degree from the University of Kansas and her undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University. In addition, she has a master of business administration degree, and she is a Certified Public Accountant. Before joining Spencer Fane, she was general counsel, senior vice president, and corporate secretary of a $9 billion bank with more than 130 branches, where she managed all legal, regulatory, and compliance functions.


  • $245 – Live Webinar Access
  • $245 – OnDemand Access + Digital Download
  • $320 – Both Live & On-Demand Access + Digital Download

If you lead a team, and you need others to take direction from you in order to succeed, you will find this program of tremendous value. The webinar focuses on the techniques and strategies you need in order to lead and manage effectively.

This program will ramp up your leadership skills and address critical supervisory issues necessary to becoming an excellent team leader. If you are ready to take your commitment and skill set to the next level register today for this program, you will be eager to put to work what you’ve learned.

Join us, we will send you home with a toolbox to inspire your team to deliver extraordinary results.

What You Will Learn

  • Creating a quality workplace
  • Building trust, respect, and confidence
  • Excelling at effective communication
  • Handling those difficult conversations with employees
  • Address difficult or uninspired team members
  • Coaching – When, Why and How
  • Employee one-on-one meetings
  • Skills in giving and receiving feedback
  • Assessing your Supervisor effectiveness
  • Ideas to empower and motivate within the workplace
  • Best practices in leading and managing

Who Should Attend?
Trainers, managers, supervisors, team leaders, or anyone with supervisory responsibilities.

Vicki Kraai’s 25+ years of Community Bank experience started at the family bank in rural Nebraska, serving as a bank teller and eventually becoming CEO. Kraai’s many years of banking include credit card lending experience where she was a member of the management team that launched the Cabela’s credit card program.

She founded her own Community Banking Consulting firm, VK Solutions in 2010 specializing in coaching and assisting financial institutions to improve their bottom line through their people portfolio. She has a passion for developing people for success in the financial services industry.

Attendees of her training and coaching sessions value Kraai’s highly engaging “been there, done that” approach to all facets of her training.

Kraai shares her expertise and experience as a faculty member for State Bank Association Schools and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, WI.

Kraai was recently announced as the new CEO of InterAction Training.

Registration Options

  • Live Plus Five (days) – $265
  • OnDemand Recording – $295
  • CD-ROM – $345
  • Live Plus Six (months) – $365
  • Premier Package – $395

Training should be more than a checkmark on an attendance list!

Are you tired of staff complaining about ALL THE MANDATORY training they are expected to complete? Does it frustrate you when you see people skip the content of online training and rush through the test? You expect your people to learn, so we are going to put complaining on a diet at your company!

A big way to curb training-resistance is to elevate morale. “Good job” goes a long way but this webinar will also show you ways to reduce job dissatisfaction and increase productivity through effective training. You will learn how to prepare to train smarter with proven, practical and creative solutions and techniques.

During this program, you will discover how to design training that promotes learner involvement. We will tell you why you need to stop throwing as much information as you can at your trainee. You will also learn the proper use and purpose of training manuals.

We will look at how everyone at your organization plays a role in training and teach you how you should explain your learning culture and why you should make it part of your new-hire interviews and annual evaluations.

What You Will Learn

  • Solicit and keep the support of top management
  • Help the supervisor understand their role in making training stick
  • Conduct a needs and audience analysis to determine who, what, why, how, and when
  • Why it’s important to engage key partners
  • Identify measurable learning objectives
  • Apply adult learning principles
  • Take the sting out of mandatory, online training
  • Stop procrastinating and launch your design for a training program
  • Establish an environment that is conducive to learning
  • Set-up fun and creative content opportunities for learner engagement
  • Discover and use learner-centered training methods
  • Evaluate the results of your training using a proven method
  • Identify key components of face-to-face training
  • Best practices for conducting webinars, phone seminars and video conferencing

Who Should Attend?
Anyone with responsibility for training others. Anyone expected to support trainers.

Heather Legge is a training specialist and certified executive coach, founder of Envision Success Inc, and author of Lead With Moxie. She is a senior training consultant for InterAction Training and is known for her presentation and delivery expertise.

Previously, she earned her master’s in business administration and spent over 15 years in multiple industries transforming organizational performance through business analysis, project management, training, and employee development.

She is passionate about making a positive impact in her local community and far beyond. She is always engaged in several networking, professional, and philanthropic groups.

Registration Options

  • Live Plus Five (days) – $265
  • OnDemand Recording – $295
  • CD-ROM – $345
  • Live Plus Six (months) – $365
  • Premier Package – $395

With A Passion for Women in Leadership — Encouraging the Next Generation of Women Leaders, inspirational keynote, Marci Malzahn, encourages the next generation of women leaders at your organization to take their leadership role boldly and confidently into the future.

We need strong women leaders. Malzahn shares her successes and struggles as she navigated through the financial services world — not only as an immigrant but as a woman leader. She shares why she’s so passionate about helping other women leaders succeed, encourages your attendees to take their leadership role seriously, and inspires them to lead with boldness and confidence.

Covered Topics

  • Traits of successful leaders — including how to be a successful follower.
  • Life balance and success — Ten tips to help you achieve balance in your life.
  • Keys to become a successful woman leader.

Who Should Attend?
Women at all levels of leadership or aspiring to lead any area of the bank.

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, and talent management.

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 Plus Five (days) – $265
  • OnDemand Recording – $295
  • CD-ROM – $345
  • Live Plus Six (months) – $365
  • Premier Package – $395

What is “appropriate” work appearance? Do you have the right to tell employees what to wear? This has become a sometimes volatile issue. Employees wear message in support of “social justice” issues such as “Black Lives Matter” and others wear contrary views. Opposing political message on buttons, hats, shirts, or COVID masks generate arguments, and complaints by customers. States are adopting “hair style discrimination” and “personal appearance rights” laws. The laws are changing, and increasing — FAST! How much can an employer dictate styles of dress, hair, perfume, or jewelry? When do company appearance rules become discriminatory or violate employees’ legal rights? Employers are often shocked to find they have gone over the line. Sometimes that shock costs dearly in legal fees and damages. This program will cover the practical and legal issues of the current trends in workplace appearance, and what you should and shouldn’t do about them.

This serious subject is presented with humor and down-to-earth examples and advice by an attorney who has helped companies throughout the United States effectively address issues of an ever-changing workplace.

Covered Topics

  • What are an employer’s rights to regulate employee appearance?
  • What is the legal foundation on dress codes, health, safety and an employee’s right to determine what is “appropriate” appearance?
  • The legal problems concerning discrimination (sex, race and national origin), religion and privacy rights concerning appearance.
  • Can you allow employees to wear some social issue messaging yet ban other social issues messages?
  • “How to” properly address appearance issues from body odor, clothing and hairstyle to piercings.
  • What is “good appearance?”
  • Creating dress code policies.

Who Should Attend?
Human resource professionals, CEOs, all managers, board members who set or approve policies.

Bob Gregg, Boardman & Clark Law Firm in Madison, Wisconsin, has been involved in employment relations for more than 30 years. He litigates employment cases, representing employers in employment contracts, discrimination cases, FLSA, FMLA, and all other areas of employment law. His main emphasis is helping employers achieve enhanced productivity, creating positive work environments, and resolving employment problems before they generate lawsuits. Gregg has conducted over 3,000 seminars throughout the United States and authored numerous articles on practical employment issues. Gregg is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the National Speakers Association. He is also a National Faculty Member of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity and served on the Board of Directors for the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Foundation.

Registration Options

  • Live Plus Five (days) – $265
  • OnDemand Recording – $295
  • CD-ROM – $345
  • Live Plus Six (months) – $365
  • Premier Package – $395

Every company, regardless of industry, is trying to figure out how to attract and retain the right talent. Organizations are also striving to achieve their goals and fulfill their vision described in their strategic plan. But how do you achieve all — attracting and retaining talent while achieving your objectives and fulfilling your vision? Marci Malzahn shares how succession planning fits into your talent management program. She also gives you strategies and ideas on how to integrate your Talent Management Program with your company’s strategic plan.

In this webinar you will learn strategies to avoid losing your top talent, and how to establish a simple yet successful Talent Management Program, which in turn integrates into your Strategic Plan. You will walk away with strategies and tactics you can implement in your institution immediately.

Learning Objectives

  • 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

Target Audience: Human resources personnel including HR Director, managers, supervisors, and senior leadership of any organization

Marcia Malzahn, Malzahn Strategic

Registration Option
Live presentation $330

Recording available through July 14, 2022

Global cash flow has become a key component of business and commercial underwriting where personal guarantees of the owners are involved, or direct borrowing is by an individual for a sole proprietorship, rental property, or farm. This program reviews most common approaches used by bankers, plus some of the analytical and conceptualize issues encountered. For instance, when comparing global cash flow to the combination of business and personal debt, how does your bank’s approach treat business debt service where the individual is a minority owner of the business? What changes when the minority owner guarantees at a higher percentage than his or her ownership percentage? Why do you need to have personal taxes and living expenses in the model (or adjust the debt-service-coverage target higher if no personal taxes and living expenses are being included)? How do you define the business cash flow? At what point should global cash flow cease being a primary underwriting tool and shift to a secondary role (become more of a global analysis)?

Specific subjects that will be covered during the seminar:

  • Versions of GCF being used by bankers and regulatory comments on global analysis
  • Analytical and conceptual issues:
  • Mixing two approaches to debt coverage
  • Giving credit for business earnings or amount distributed
  • Using averages for debt coverage ratios
  • Selecting a measure of business cash flow
  • Incorporating business debt service
  • When to recognize that the business itself or a real estate project should stand on its own, a global cash flow “can’t make a bad loan good,” and you should shift to more of a global analysis involving an assessment of contingent liabilities of the owner(s)
  • Some tax return basics/issues along the way

Target Audience: Branch managers, consumer lenders, mortgage bankers, private bankers, small business lenders, commercial lenders, credit analysts, loan review specialists, special assets officers, lending managers, and credit officers.

Richard Hamm, Advantage Consulting & Training

Registration Option
Live presentation $330

Recording available through June 1, 2022

RMD rules changed recently resulting from the SECURE Act, the CARES Act, and most recently the new life expectancy tables. RMDs make up a large part of most financial organizations’ IRA services and will continue to increase as baby boomers age. Attend this course to ensure that your organization is handling RMDs.


Registration Option
Live presentation $275

Recording available through June 16, 2022

Retirement plan portability is one of the most popular topics fielded on our consulting lines. Attending this course will help ensure that you are up to date and handling these transactions properly. You will learn the difference between transfers and rollovers and direct and indirect rollovers, as well as acquire an understanding of Roth retirement plan assets and portability with Roth IRAs.


Registration Option
Live presentation $275

Recording available through June 30, 2022

Take your knowledge of HSAs to the next level with a review of difficult HSA issues regarding eligibility requirements, employer contributions, excess contributions, prohibited transactions, mistaken distributions, and reporting. For a refresher on HSAs, see HSA Fundamentals


Registration Option
Live presentation $275

Recording available through June 23, 2022