Thomas K. “Max” Maxwell II
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
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
Tom Maxwell Addresses Stockholders
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
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
The curriculum includes two-week resident sessions over three
consecutive summers, along with comprehensive study between summer
“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
He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management from
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 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
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
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
New Accounts Representative Named
Thomas Maxwell, president of Farmers & Merchants
Bank & Trust, has announced the hiring of Brenda Gertz as new
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
She and her husband, Les, have resided in the Town of Peshtigo
for the past 20 years. They have a daughter Nicki and grandson
Steve Votis to Lead Peshtigo Chamber
"Steve Votis has been elected President
of the Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce by the Chamber's Board of
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
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
Votis has 18 years of banking experience in all aspects of lending
including: Consumer, residential real-estate and commercial
“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 President 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
Votis graduated from Ripon College in 1992 with a degree in Business
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