2010 President's Messages - "From the Desk of The President"

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Thomas K. “Max” Maxwell II

Thomas K (Max) Maxwell II joins bank as Commercial Loan Officer

has joined Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust as Vice President of Commercial Banking. His office will be located in the bank’s downtown Marinette location at 1644 Ludington St.

Maxwell II will be responsible for commercial lending. He will utilize the Small Business Administration and other government programs to assist and develop business loans.

Maxwell II is the son of Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust President Tom Maxwell and his wife Cheryl. “We’re pleased to have Max return to Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust,” Maxwell said. “His 12 years as a commercial lender in the Chicago market makes him well qualified to provide expertise to small businesses in this area. Our focus is to help businesses grow and prosper. He will strengthen our lending team.”

Maxwell II has 15 year of banking experience. The past 12-years he was employed by First Midwest Bank in Chicago, most recently as vice president of commercial banking.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A native of Marinette, he graduated from Marinette High School.

His community service activities include serving on the Ways to Work Loan Committee administered by ChildServ of Illinois.

Maxwell II, his wife Lisa and their two daughters, Lorelei and Elizabeth, live in Peshtigo.

Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust is a 108-year-old community bank with locations in downtown  Marinette at 1644 Ludington St., near the mall in Marinette at 2811 Roosevelt Road, and in Crivitz at 114 S. Hwy 141.


Tom Maxwell, president of Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust, spoke to the Marinette Rotary Club, Aug. 16, at the Best Western Riverfront Inn on the state of the local, state and national economy.

He told the group the large number of people working now at Waupaca Foundry, Karl Schmidt Unisia, and Marinette Marine is a positive sign for the local economy. Construction of the new Ansul research center is also providing an economic boost.

Vitally important to the community’s economic future is Lockheed Martin and Marinette Marine’s bid to secure a Navy contract to build 10 more Littoral Combat Ships, Maxwell told the group.

Lockheed Martin is competing with General Dynamics for the multi-billion dollar deal.

The contract would mean the addition of as many as 1,000 jobs at the local shipyard and another 7,000 jobs in the region for various suppliers and vendors. It would take five-years to complete the work.

“This contract would be the largest defense industry project in Wisconsin since World War II,” Maxwell said. “It would eclipse work performed by Oshkosh Truck where more than 4,000 people are making U.S. military trucks for the war in Afghanistan.”

The determining factors in awarding the contract are design and price. The Navy is expected to announce its decision in the near future.

Despite the bright spots, the biggest economic problem locally and nationwide continues to be unemployment and the lack of job creation, Maxwell said.

Marinette County’s unemployment rate is 10.6 percent, the sixth highest among Wisconsin counties. It’s also well above the statewide 7.9 percent unemployment rate.

Menominee County’s unemployment rate is 10.6 percent. That’s well below Michigan’s unemployment rate of 13.2 percent, which is the second highest in the nation.

The poor job market is preventing people from making their mortgage payments and keeping the number of foreclosures high, Maxwell said.

He believes the housing market hasn’t hit bottom. “Banks repossessed the second highest monthly number of homes ever last month while working through distressed loans already on their books,” Maxwell said. “Banks are now taking over homes on a monthly basis, the same number of homes they took over annually just 5-years ago.”

Locally, more than 600 homes are for sale, he noted. 

Tom Maxwell Addresses Stockholders

President Tom Maxwell addresses Stockholders 020910

MARINETTE – Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust President Tom Maxwell sees encouraging signs that the local economy is improving on the heels of the most serious recession since World War II.

Maxwell told stockholders at the annual meeting of F&M Bankshares Inc. Tuesday (Feb. 9), that two Marinette industries have increased production.

“(Karl Schmidt Unisia), which is one of our largest employers, has seen orders increase. If people start buying new cars that will benefit them,” Maxwell said. “Waupaca Foundry, another major employer, has recently seen production increase with workers getting overtime.”

Maxwell noted, Ansul’s planned construction this year of an Engineering Center for Excellence at its test field in Marinette will create 70 new, high paying, engineer’s jobs.

“The best opportunity for job creation is Marinette Marine’s bid for building Littoral Combat Ships for the Navy,” he added. “According to their president, this would create about 1,500 jobs for at least three years. The decision is going to be made before August and it’s going to determine the economic health of this area.”

Despite these signs of improvement, Maxwell said unemployment locally continues to exceed the national average of 10 percent. Menominee County’s unemployment rate is currently 11.6 percent, while Marinette County stands at 11.5 percent. “Many are predicting that this will be a jobless recovery,” he added.

Maxwell offered his economic predictions for the year ahead: Interest rates should remain low throughout most of the year, due to the Fed’s reluctance to raise rates until unemployment figures improve; Gross Domestic Product will increase about 3 percent; inflation will remain low at about 3 percent; and the unemployment rate will stay high and possibly increase, as workers who have stopped looking for work and aren’t counted as unemployed resume looking for work.

Votis Attends Graduate School of Banking

Steve Votis 092810

Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Assistant Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer Steve Votis attended the Graduate School of Banking (GSB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Aug. 9-20.

GSB provides a comprehensive course of study of general banking and management subjects especially designed to meet the needs of bankers whose responsibilities and scope of activities are expanding.

The curriculum includes two-week resident sessions over three consecutive summers, along with comprehensive study between summer resident sessions.

“In my first year at GSB, I was instructed on a variety of banking related topics which will help me become a more well-rounded banker,” Votis said.

GSB is widely recognized as the nation's leading and most progressive banking school. It counts nearly 20,000 bankers, bank regulatory officials and industry consultants as alumni.

Votis joined Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust earlier this year. His office is located at the Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust branch at 2811 Roosevelt Road. There he is responsible for lending and advisory services to area businesses, and consumer mortgage and commercial loans.

Votis has 18 years of banking experience in all aspects of lending including consumer, residential real estate and commercial lending.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management from Ripon College.

Votis currently serves as the president of the Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce and is on the board of directors of the Peshtigo Area Economic Development Corp.

New Branch Manager Named

Shannon Parrett named Branch Manager

Shannon Parrett has been promoted to assistant vice president and branch manager of the Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust location at 2811 Roosevelt Road in Marinette. She assumed her new duties on Jan. 1.

As branch manager, Parrett will be responsible for the daily operation of the bank, new account and business development, lending, and overseeing employees.

Parrett started with Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust as a teller in 1984. She later moved into the operations area. In 1989, Parrett was named the bank’s internal auditor and in 1995 she was promoted to assistant vice president. She held the positions of assistant vice president and internal auditor at the time of her promotion.

Parrett is a graduate of the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s compliance and operations schools, and the Bank Administration Institute’s internal auditing school.

She attended Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College and specialized in accounting, after graduating from Stephenson High School.

Parrett is a volunteer member of the Wisconsin Bankers Association Operations School Board, Menominee Catholic Endowment Fund Board, Resurrection Parish Finance Council, Diocesan School Board for the Diocese of Marquette, and Stephenson High School Business Department Advisory Committee.

Parrett, her husband Ronnie, and sons Zach and Braeden live in Menominee.

New Accounts Representative Named

Brenda Gertz new accounts rep 051210

Thomas Maxwell, president of Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust, has announced the hiring of Brenda Gertz as new accounts representative.

Gertz will be responsible for opening new accounts at the bank’s downtown Marinette location at 1644 Ludington St.
“I’m very glad to be working for a hometown bank like Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust and be part of the bank’s friendly staff that cares about its customers,” Gertz said.

Gertz has nine years of banking experience as a teller and supervisor. She has been trained in opening various types of new accounts including: Savings, checking, certificates of deposit, children’s accounts, IRAs and the purchase of Savings Bonds.

“Brenda will strengthen our staff and with her years of experience. We’re happy to have her as part of our team,” Maxwell said.

Gertz serves on the endowment fund board at Zion Lutheran Church in Peshtigo.

She and her husband, Les, have resided in the Town of Peshtigo for the past 20 years. They have a daughter Nicki and grandson Tranden.

Steve Votis to Lead Peshtigo Chamber

Steve Votis Joins Bank

"Steve Votis has been elected President of the Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce by the Chamber's Board of Directors.

He began a one-year term in office on Monday. Votis served on the Chamber's Board of Directors the past five years.  Last year he was the 2nd Vice President. He's excited about becoming the Chamber's new President.  'I will serve as the chief volunteer of the organization as well as provide leadership to the Board' Votis said.  Some challenges that we are dealing with as a Chamber are the highway bypass of Peshtigo, the scheduled river drawdown and bridge removal project, and the impact that the economy has on our local businesses." Eagle-Herald Press release 04/16/10

Commercial Loan Officer Named
Steve Votis has joined Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust as assistant vice president and commercial loan officer at the bank’s branch at 2811 Roosevelt Road, near Pine Tree Mall.

Votis has 18 years of banking experience in all aspects of lending including: Consumer, residential real-estate and commercial lending.

“We’re please to have Steve join us because he has years of local banking experience and he strengthens our lending team,” said Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Preside
nt Tom Maxwell.

Votis will be available at the bank’s Roosevelt Road branch during business hours, Monday through Friday. He will offer lending and advisory services to area businesses, and will be responsible for consumer, mortgage and commercial loans.

“I’m very happy to be working for Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust,” Votis said. “The people here have a genuine concern for their customer’s needs and because this is a community bank, they make decisions locally and service customers faster and more efficiently.”

Votis graduated from Ripon College in 1992 with a degree in Business Management.

He currently serves on the board of directors of the Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce and Peshtigo Area Economic Development Corp. He is a former member of the board of directors of MDDA and Habitat for Humanity.

Votis has lived in the Peshtigo area since 1993

Articles by
Donn Williams - Director of Marketing unless otherwise noted

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