On the move

Bonnie Arrington of Spectrum Insurance Agency, 5301 E. State St., Rockford, Illinois, attended an ethics class presented by Perfection Cleaning & Restoration on May 24. Arrington received three credits towards her Continuing Education requirements set forth by the Department of Insurance in the State of Illinois.

Karla Rodgers of Spectrum Insurance Agency completed her ‘Agency Operations’ exam leading toward her CISR (Certified Insurance Service Representative) designation. The CISR Program empowers outstanding individuals to provide exceptional customer service.

First National Bank and Trust Company (FNBT) is pleased to announce that Diane Tuttle has been promoted to mortgage loan originator. In her new role, Tuttle will assist clients with the homeownership process, including understanding credit, navigating the pre-qualification stage, and the various types of mortgage loans available.

With nearly 20 years of banking experience, Tuttle joined FNBT in 2009 as a Mortgage Loan Processing Specialist, working previously at other local financial institutions as a mortgage lender. She attended the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and currently resides in Roscoe, Illinois, with her twin daughters. She volunteers with Beloit Meals on Wheels, and will work with FNBT clients in the communities of Clinton and Darien, Wisconsin.

Steph Abel has joined First National Bank and Trust Company as assistant vice president and branch manager of FNBT’s Delavan, Wisconsin office. In this role, he oversees branch sales, service and operational goals as well as provides sound financial advice to individuals, businesses, and organizations in the community. With more than 20 years of banking experience, most recently as a branch manager for BMO Harris Bank in the Brookfield area, Abel has earned a certification in business banking and retail leadership. He received an associates degree in business administration from Wright College and is currently pursuing a bachelors degree.

With eight years of banking experience, Tim Pagel comes to First National Bank and Trust Company as assistant vice president and branch manager of the Williams Bay, Wisconsin office. He received his degree in marketing and Spanish. Along with managing the branch’s daily operations, Pagel will be responsible for creating customer centric sales and service strategies that build relationships with the bank’s clients and developing the branch staff through coaching and training. Active in the community, Pagel volunteers his time with Habitat for Humanity.

Blackhawk Bank President and COO Dave Adkins is pleased to announce that Nicole Koblesky has joined the Senior Management Team as Vice President Human Resources. She is an accomplished human resources professional who possesses more than 15 years of progressive experience in banking, education and healthcare.

Kobelsky’s expertise includes HR management; compensation and benefits planning; employee communications; employee handbook policy and procedure administration; hiring/retaining talent, employee relations; organizational development and training; workers’ compensation, employee safety and regulatory compliance.

Koblesky holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Judson University and two senior level HR certifications; SPHR, Senior Professional in Human Resources and SHRM-SCP, Society of Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional. She is a published author of two professional abstracts; “Employee Opinion Survey Improves Job Satisfaction and Reduces Turnover” and “Workers Compensation – E-Mod Factor Improves Through Actionable Measures,” in AABB Transfusion Magazine.

Her professional and community involvement, past and present, includes the Rockford Area Society of Human Resources Management; National Society of Human Resources Management Member; America’s Blood Center HR Committee and Member; AAIM Employers Association Member, Rockford Chamber, United Way Committee and Member, NMDP Red Shoe Run for Donor Awareness. 

Charla Salathe has joined Blackhawk Bank as a Mortgage Planner serving the Greater Beloit market. 

Salathe has over ten years of mortgage lending experience with area home-buyers. She’s keenly tuned into the local real estate market, has a great track record with area Realtors, and comes highly recommended by her clients.

“We’re proud to offer Blackhawk Bank clients Charla’s proven skills and expertise. As a long time resident of the community, her local connection will be a great benefit to clients looking to buy a home,” said Tammy Zurfluh, Vice President of Blackhawk’s Mortgage Division. 

Charla Salathe, NMLS# 585469, has offices located at Blackhawk Bank, 2200 Cranston Road and 400 Broad Street, Beloit, Wisconsin. She can be reached by calling 608.299.3416 or 608-728-0363.

Dave Adkins, president and COO of Blackhawk Bank recently announced that Jim Pieschel has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Business Banking.

Pieschel joined Blackhawk Bank in February of 2012, adding more than 20 years of progressive Business Banking experience to the team. He has expansive knowledge throughout all banking lines of business, with specific expertise in business development, complex credit needs, credit administration, and regulatory compliance.

“Jim’s a team player who always has the best interest of his clients in mind, adept at solving challenges and following opportunities,” Adkins said. “His proven successes and wealth of experience are of great value to both his clients and the organization. He’s not only a skilled commercial banker; he’s actively involved in the community, serving on multiple boards. We wish him much continued success and are proud to have him on the Blackhawk team.” 

Marie Strombeck, Senior Vice President, Retail Banking, announces an enhancement of the Retail Banking Team in First National Bank and Trust’s Walworth County Market.

Holly Adamson has joined the bank as vice president, retail market manager. In her new role, Adamson is responsible for managing the First National Bank and Trust (FNBT) retail branches in Walworth County, Wisconsin, including Delavan, Elkhorn, Walworth and Williams Bay.

Adamson serves as a retail management team member to develop sales and service plans, coordinate and manage strategic priorities that support bank-wide initiatives, as well as coach and develop branch managers. With eight years of banking experience, Adamson most recently was a branch manager for another local financial institution. Prior to banking, she earned a degree in Criminal Justice and was in the law enforcement field. Adamson will be based at the bank’s Walworth office and her team of Retail Branch Managers includes Christina Dean, Toni Hinds, and Kathy Sanders.

Christina Dean joined the bank in 2002 and is currently assistant vice president and branch manager of FNBT’s Walworth office located at 105 State Road 67 in Walworth, Wisconsin. She oversees branch sales, service and operational goals as well as provides sound financial advice to individuals, businesses, and organizations in the community. Dean was formerly assistant cashier for Walworth State Bank which transitioned to First National Bank earlier this year. She has 20 years of experience in the banking industry and worked as a branch manager in Boynton Beach, Florida prior to coming to Walworth, Wisconsin where she is very active in the community. She is a member of the Walworth County Bankers Association and has volunteered her time and talents with the Open Arms Free Clinic, where she was the treasurer and board member for two years. She is instrumental in planning the bank’s annual Shred Fest event and represents the bank each year at the Elkhorn Area High School Financial Expo.

Toni Hinds serves the community of Elkhorn, Wisconsin as branch manager of FNBT’s office located at 190 East Geneva Street in Elkhorn. She joined the bank in March of 2016 with eight years banking experience and an associates degree in business finance and management. She values relationships and enjoys working with customers to provide Sound Advice as they move from one financial life stage to the next. Always striving for excellence, Hinds set a goal for herself to complete the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s mortgage lending school and received a mortgage lending certificate. Hinds is a native of the Delavan and Elkhorn community and graduated from Elkhorn Area High School. She is a member of the Elkhorn Area Chamber of Commerce.

Born and raised in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, Kathy Sanders joined the team in 2011 as a teller after living in California for a few years. Since that time, she moved into a personal banker role, and now leads FNBT’s Williams Bay office as branch manager. Community involvement is a passion for Sanders and she represents FNBT in several community events throughout the year. She provides Sound Advice to develop her staff through coaching and training to help them achieve their professional goals, and is responsible for the sales, service, and operational goals of the branch as they align with the bank’s strategy. Sanders resides in Williams Bay, and she is based at FNBT’s Williams Bay office located at 121 North Walworth Avenue.

Sarah Berryman has been promoted to the role of branch manager at FNBT’s Darien office located at 218 North Walworth Street. Previously a personal banker at the branch, Sarah started with FNBT in 1997 and has over 25 years of banking experience. Her honest and straightforward personality helps her provide timely Sound Advice to all her customers and employees. She is responsible for creating customer centric sales and service strategies that build relationships with the bank’s clients and developing the branch staff through coaching and training. Berryman replaces Steve Stupec in the Darien office.

Stupec has taken on the position of assistant vice president and branch manager of FNBT’s Beloit-Inman Parkway at 1882 Inman Parkway in Beloit, Wisconsin. He will oversee branch sales, service, and operational goals as well as provide sound financial advice to individuals, businesses, and organizations in the community. Prior to joining FNBT in 2015, Stupec worked as branch manager at a local financial institution and now has 15 years of banking experience. He has taken college-level coursework and has completed several banking industry courses over the past few years. Active in the community, Steve is involved with Junior Achievement and is a former board member of the North East Business Association (NEBA) in Beloit.

First National Bank and Trust is happy to announce several promotions.

Lisa Grover has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Consumer and Residential Mortgage Lending. Grover has more than 30 years of banking experience and joined First National Bank and Trust (FNBT) in 2006 to lead the consumer lending group. She has an extensive background in loan processing, production and mortgage sales management. In her role at FNBT, Grover is responsible for loan origination, underwriting, collections, and pricing, and manages a team of individuals who are focused on providing Sound Advice and assisting clients through the home buying process as well as understanding their credit scores to be able to purchase a home or car in the future. Grover is a member of the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association (WMBA), the Rock Green Realtors Association, and the American Bankers Association. She is an affiliate member of the Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA) and the South Central Wisconsin Builders Association (SCWBA). Active in the community, Grover currently sits on the board for the Beloit YMCA and is a member of the finance committee. She also volunteers for Beloit’s Festival on the Rock each year.

Laura Pomerene started her career in banking in 1998 and has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Marketing Director. Considered a Marketing Customer Information File (MCIF) power user, Pomerene has experience with three different MCIF systems in the banking industry. Pomerene has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and holds the professional designation of Certified Financial Marketing Professional. She is a 2003 graduate of the American Bankers Association (ABA) School of Bank Marketing and Management and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking (GSB) program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2011. She joined the faculty of GSB in 2015. Pomerene is also a faculty member for the ABA Bank Marketing School. She currently sits on the school’s advisory board and served as chair of the board from 2014-2016.

In her personal time, Pomerene volunteers with many non-profit organizations, including board member positions for the Nutrition Health Associates in Janesville, Wisconsin. Most notably, Pomerene serves as vice president of the board of the YWCA of Northern Illinois, where she also chaired the YWCA’s Leader Luncheon event in 2003 and 2004, as well as the Wine Women & Purses event in 2013. In 2005, she received the Volunteer of the Year award from the YWCA, and was nominated in 2010 for the Woman of the Year award by Rockford Woman Magazine. In 2014, Pomerene was honored by NorthWestern Financial Review magazine as a 2014 Rising Star in Banking.

Kyle Lamb has nearly 15 years of banking experience in both consumer and commercial banking and has been promoted to Vice President, Commercial Banking Officer. He joined the bank in 2012. Lamb is a Rockford native and serves the community by volunteering his time to multiple organizations; he currently serves as vice president of the board for the Northwest Community Center, and is a member of Next Rockford.

Lamb has an extensive background working with companies in a variety of industries, and specializes in commercial mortgages, equipment financing, working capital lines of credit, SBA loan programs, and strategic planning. Lamb strives to get a full understanding of his clients and their business with a goal of being a dedicated resource and financial partner to help them meet their objectives.

Tonia Maly joined First National Bank and Trust in 2004 and has been promoted to Vice President, Trust Investment Officer. She is a portfolio manager for the company’s Wealth Management clients and is responsible for account administration, making decisions about the investment mix, matching investments to client objectives and goals, asset allocation for individuals and institutions, and balancing risk against performance. Her passion is financial planning and actively listening to the needs of her clients to provide Sound Advice to help them achieve their goals.

In December 2003, she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Since that time, she has earned the Certified Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, both of which require extensive training and exams in the areas of financial planning, taxes, estate planning and retirement. Through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Maly carries the Series 7, Series 66, and Series 24 licenses. Additionally, Maly completed industry specific training through Cannon Financial Institute, including the Cannon Trust Fundamentals School in 2005 and the Cannon Trust School I in 2008. Tonia is currently the treasurer for the Clinton School District’s Home and School Association, a Parent Teacher Organization committee, a position she has held for the past four years.

Jan Neufeld has been promoted to Trust Officer. She started with FNBT in 1997 as an employee benefits and tax administrator and has since expanded her responsibilities to include investment assistance, account management, estate administration, IRA administration and serves as secretary for the bank’s various trust committees.

Neufeld holds an associate’s degree in accounting and graduated from Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School and has attended various Cannon courses in investment management and retirement planning services. Additionally, she has completed IRA administration training through Wolters Kluwer. Prior to working at FNBT, Neufeld worked at the Stateline Community Foundation, G.G. Grabowski CPA, and Accurate Tax & Accounting. Active in the community, Neufeld has served as treasurer on the boards of the Stateline Pregnancy Clinic and the Angel Museum. She is currently on the board of Turtle Creek Condominiums, and volunteers for Meals on Wheels, as well as serves in various volunteer capacities at her church.

Anne and Jim Wilson were looking for in-home care for Anne’s mother, Ruth, and decided to open their own Comfort Keepers franchise from their Rockford home.  Fifteen years later, the Wilsons have grown to become Comfort Keepers Northwest Illinois, covering Rockford, Freeport, DeKalb, Sycamore, Boone County and surrounding areas.  To celebrate this success, Comfort Keepers will be hosted an open house, offering an opportunity for past and present clients and their families, staff, and interested seniors to stop by and see the Personal Care Training Room, enjoy some refreshments and register to win a gift basket.

Donna Murphy is celebrating five years of service with Rockford Mutual Insurance Company. Murphy is a marketing representative handling the Eastern Wisconsin territory.

Dina Johnson is celebrating 40 years of service with Rockford Mutual Insurance Company. Johnson began her employment at Rockford Mutual Insurance Company as an accounting clerk. She was promoted to director of financial accounting, to staff manager of accounting, then to assistant treasurer and was recently promoted to controller. 

Rockford Mutual’s Kari McCue is celebrating 15 years of service. McCue began her employment as mail clerk.  From there she was promoted to mailroom coordinator then to her current position of mailroom supervisor. 

Kristin Gonzalez recently joined Rockford Insurance Agency as agency assistant. Gonzalez will be working to bring value added services to all Independent Agents representing Rockford Mutual Insurance Company. Gonzalez brings with her approximately 22 years of insurance experience. She has earned her Illinois Producers License for property and casualty and will be applying for her Indiana and Wisconsin non-resident licenses as well. 

Tiffany Herron has been hired as assistant controller at Rockford Mutual Insurance Company. Herron brings with her approximately 16 years of accounting experience with the past 12 years in insurance company accounting. She has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Dakota and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. 

Lisa Postlethwaite, underwriter I, is celebrating five years of service with Rockford Mutual Insurance Company.  Lisa began her employment as commercial lines product analyst.

Rockford Mutual’s Dylan Vaughn has completed the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation from the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. This premier designation takes commitment, dedication, and hard work to complete. It’s an eight part series which covers subjects such as: finance, accounting, personal lines and/or commercial lines, risk management and other insurance topics. Vaugn has been a Product Analyst I in our Research & Development Department at Rockford Mutual since 2014.

The Rock Valley College Foundation Board is pleased to announce that Lana Paris has been selected for the position of Executive Director, RVC Foundation. She will began her duties for the college on September 26.

Paris returns to Rock Valley College after previously holding the position of Director of Annual Giving for the college from 2010 to 2012.

Paris is a native of the Rockford-area, attended Rockford College, and is passionate about the community.

James Brodack, Ph.D. and Rim Milunas Join NorthStar as it Advances Toward FDA Approval of RadioGenix™ Isotope Separation System, Commercialization of New Molybdenum-99 Production Processes.

Milunas has more than 30 years of engineering experience encompassing medical devices, mobile devices and automotive control systems, as well as extensive knowledge in hardware and software engineering.

Brodack has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 26 years, holding multiple management positions with leading global companies. He comes to NorthStar from Guerbet, where he was director of regulatory affairs for the company’s Liebel-Flarsheim Company LLC .

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