January 2017

Inside this Issue:

Management Changes: Harrop Steps Down From Daily Operations

On December 31, 2016 Gary Harrop stepped down as president of the bank, a position he has held for nearly 37 years. He remains chief executive officer of the bank and will continue to manage the bank's trust department.  Brian Gorman succeeds him as president.  Harrop commented, "Our board of directors has been planning this management transition for a number of years.  Our focus has been to promote from within to maintain a customer oriented culture centered on making finance as simple and uncluttered as possible for the communities that we serve.  Brian has been an important part of that process and I'm confident that he will continue to build on that philosophy as president of the bank."

Harrop began full-time employment with the bank on January 2, 1976 and has served as president since 1980. Throughout his career he has worked to keep community at the forefront of the bank's mission.   Gary is a past president of the Wisconsin Bankers Association and has held membership on various national, state and local boards and committees within the banking industry.  He was instrumental in the growth of the bank including the 2005 merger of The Peoples State Bank and Community Bank  Spring Green & Plain, the purchase of the bank's Barneveld office from M&I Bank and, most recently, the purchase of the bank's Richland Center office from AnchorBank.

Gorman, formerly an executive vice president, has been with the bank since 2000 as a senior commercial and agricultural lender and began work in the banking industry in 1991.  He holds a bachelor's degree in Management from Edgewood College, Madison and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.  Brian and his family make their home in Spring Green.

Food Drive Results

Each year we are amazed at the level of generosity displayed by our communities during our annual holiday food drive. 2016 was no different. Altogether we were able to deliver checks totaling in excess of $4,000 to our local food pantries to help support families in need. Thank you for your part in helping make a difference!

What's New in 2017

Our goal for 2017 isn't so much a New Year's resolution but a continuation of our focus in delivering an exceptional customer experience. We call that Simply Good Banking. This year we are rolling out some enhancements that will make banking on your terms even easier. Check out what's coming:

  • Mobile-Friendly Website
  • Debit Card Compatibility with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, & Android Pay
  • Online Deposit Account Opening
  • Online Consumer Loan Application

Jackie Gates Retirement

At the end of 2016, Jackie Gates took a step into a much deserved retirement. Jackie was an employee of the bank for over twenty-six years, beginning work with us on March 6, 1990. She assisted many customers over the years in her various roles as a customer service representative, call center representative and coordinator of the bank's credit card program. She truly provided excellent customer service and has built lasting friendships with many customers and co-workers.  Jackie is looking forward to spending more time with her family and 13 grandchildren and we wish her the very best.  We will definitely miss her!

Understanding Your Role as a Financial Caregiver

According to the Caregiver Action Network, more than 90 million Americans care for a loved one living with a disability, disease or experiencing reduced financial capability as a result of aging. Financial caregivers play an important role in ensuring that all finances - from routine to complex - are managed wisely, helping their loved ones maintain the best quality of life possible.

Nine Tips to Help You Understand Your Role as a Financial Caregiver:

Learn the rights and restrictions that apply to your role. Financial caregivers, such as those with a power of attorney, trustees, and federal benefits fiduciaries, are fiduciaries with a duty to act and make decisions on their loved one's behalf. Learn the legal responsibilities of your assigned authority in order to better execute your role.

Manage money and other assets wisely. Financial caregivers may be in charge of daily, unexpected and future expenses their loved one may incur. If the beneficiary has a fixed income or limited finances, it is extremely important that caregivers minimize unnecessary costs and budget accordingly to ensure that all money is properly allocated.

Recognize danger signs. Seniors have become major targets for financial abuse and fraud. Make sure to stay alert to signs of scams or identity theft that may put your loved one's assets in peril.

Keep careful records. When acting as a financial agent, proper documentation is not only encouraged but required. Make sure you keep well-organized financial records, including up-to date lists of assets, debts and financial transactions.

Stay informed. Monitor changes in the financial status of the beneficiary and take appropriate action as needed.  Be sure to stay up to date on changes in the laws affecting seniors.

Seek professional advice. Consult your attorney or us when you're not sure what to do.

Understand your role as a power of attorney.  A power of attorney is designated by your loved one and gives you the authority to act and make decisions on their behalf, including managing and having access to their bank and other financial accounts. Authority continues if your loved one becomes incapacitated and ends when the power is revoked or your loved one dies.

Understand your role as a trustee.  Authority is given once you are named as trustee or co-trustee of a revocable living trust. As a trustee your authority applies only to the property noted in the trust, authorizing you to protect, manage and distribute the trust's assets as directed in the trust document. Authority continues after the death of the trust creator or grantor.

Understand your role as a federal benefits fiduciary.  A federal benefits fiduciary is appointed to accept and delegate federal government benefit payments, such as Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits, in the beneficiary's best interest. Funds for the beneficiary are received through an account set up solely for this purpose. As a representative payee for Social Security benefits or as a VA fiduciary for VA benefits, you are required to keep detailed records of all transactions related to the beneficiary and file annual reports detailing how benefits were used.
The Caregiver Action Network (the National Family Caregivers Association) began promoting national recognition of family caregivers in 1994. President Clinton signed the first NFC Month Presidential Proclamation in 1997 and every president since has followed suit by issuing an annual proclamation recognizing and honoring family caregivers each November.

For more information on the role of financial caregivers, visit www.caregiveraction.org