Tom Maxwell

From the President...
News, Updates & Staff Additions from the desk of Tom Maxwell, I President of Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust

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Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Celebrates 110 Years of Community Pride
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

December  4, 2012 - Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust celebrated its milestone 110th Anniversary on Monday, December 3rd by giving away gift cards and serving its famous homemade cookies and treats, punch and coffee at all three locations. The theme of the celebration was "110 Years of Community Pride."

"We are grateful to our customers for their loyal support and are excited about our future," Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust President Tom Maxwell said. "We're confident that our customer-based approach, internal growth and innovative products and services will continue to make us a leader in our community and in the financial services industry."

"We're committed to our customers, our stockholders and to this community," he continued. "With your continued support, we look forward to serving this community for another 110 years!"

The bank gave away hundreds of dollars in gift cards during its anniversary celebration. To commemorate the bank's 110th year in business there was a drawing for a $110 gift card and each of the three FMBT locations gave a $50 gift card to the person making the 110th transaction on Monday. Employees also competed for a gift card by taking a quiz about the bank's history. "It was a fun way to test employee knowledge of our bank," said Sales & Marketing Director Tricia Hurley.

Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust was established in Marinette on December 2, 1902 by a group of local businessmen who thought there was a need for a "people's bank" that would serve the financial needs of hard-working, ordinary citizens. Today, more than a century after its founding, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust continues to be a locally-owned community bank with two convenient locations in Marinette and one in Crivitz, that is dedicated to serving the financial needs of the people of Marinette, Menominee and the surrounding areas.

110 Years!

Marinette Youth Inc. Grant Jumpstarts Skate Park Fundraising Project
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

November 6, 2012 - Thanks to a grant from Marinette Youth, Inc. the Marinette Recreation Department can take the first big step toward renovating the Marinette Area Recreational Skate Park.

The organization that funds youth-related projects and activities in the community is donating $6,200 to fund a portion of the cost of adding a new steel bank ramp with kicker at the skate park located south of the Civic Center, 2000 Alice Lane.

Marinette Youth, Inc., headed by President Janice Anderson, Vice President Chuck Severson and Secretary-Treasurer Tom Maxwell, approved the grant during a meeting on Oct. 22. The group took the action after listening to a presentation made by board member Judy Alwin on behalf of Recreation Director Kent Kostelecky and Jennifer Malyska, a concerned parent who is the driving force behind a new fund drive to renovate the skate park.

"We're pleased to be able to provide funding for the skate park," Maxwell said. "This continues the tradition of supporting youth activities in the City of Marinette. Marinette Youth Inc.'s founders recognized the importance of providing recreational facilities for our youngsters. We're happy to continue that tradition."

Marinette Youth, Inc., a tax-exempt non-profit organization has been financially supporting youth activities and projects since 1944 when it was founded by five prominent Marinette citizens: H.V. "Doc" Higley, Les Thielen, Fred Sappington, Virginia Rose and Walter Kirmse. This is the second major grant Marinette Youth, Inc. has given to the skate park. In 2009 the organization donated $4,728 for a new steel half-pipe.

Kostelecky said the youths who use the skate park were excited when they learned of the grants. Funds were not expected to be available to add a new feature until spring.

"I am very excited to receive this funding from Marinette Youth, Inc. This is a very large project the community will be undertaking and help will be needed by all," Kostelecky said. "This begins the very first step in the long journey of rebuilding the Marinette Area Recreational Skate Park one feature at a time. We welcome all that can help."

Kostelecky is in the process of obtaining bids for the purchase of the new steel bank ramp with kicker. It will replace the original wooden structure with Skatelite ramp that was built 15 years ago. It had to be torn down a few years ago when the structure's wood began to rot. The new bank ramp with kicker will likely be installed and ready for use in the spring. Kostelecky said it's the first step in a long term project that aims to replace the skate park's wooden features one at a time with new features made of steel or concrete. The total cost is expected to reach $100,000.

Funding for the features will come from monetary donations and the Cans for Kids project. Marinette Youth, Inc. is acting as the collection agency for the monetary donations. Contributions can be mailed or brought to Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust, 1644 Ludington Street, Marinette, Wisconsin 54143.

The Cans for Kids project seeks donations of aluminum cans from the public to raise money for the skate park renovation. Cans may be brought to the Civic Center and deposited inside a new fenced kennel that was constructed this fall. A similar project in Peshtigo has raised thousands of dollars for that city's skate park

New ramp
The new bank ramp with kicker for the
Marinette Area Recreational Skate Park.

FMBT Employees Conduct Breast Cancer Awareness Month Fundraiser
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

October 30, 2012 - Marinette, Wis. – Employees at Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust recently donated $500 to Bay Area Medical Center's Oncology Fund.

The local bank's staff conducted a raffle during October to raise money. Employees donated such things as gift cards, gift baskets and sports tickets for the raffle.

"The generosity of our employees is truly inspiring," said Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Sales & Marketing Director Tricia Hurley. "We are proud to have been able to raise so much money for such a worthwhile cause."

In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, bank employees also wore pink ribbon pins in support of Breast Cancer patients. Each of the bank's three branches had Breast Cancer Awareness tables in their lobbies that offered customers informational pamphlets detailing Breast Cancer treatment options available in the area.

BCA Ribbon
Hope, Faith, Courage

FMBT Reaches Milestone
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

September 10, 2012 - Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust has been recognized by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) for its 75 years as a member of the organization.

ICBA is the only national trade organization dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of the nation's more than 7,000 community banks. "ICBA is fortunate to have Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust as a member of the association for 75 years," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. "Community Banks such as Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust are relationship bankers that are passionately committed to serving the needs of their local customers and communities. It's community banks like Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust that drive economic stability and prosperity on Main Street and make their communities better places to live and work."

Community banks are an integral part of the economic, financial and civic fabric of thousands of towns and cities across America. They are common sense lenders that do right by their customers and exist solely to serve the needs of their local customers and communities.

"As an ICBA member, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust is proud to be part of a nationwide network of community banks that advocate on behalf of this great industry and its valued customers," said bank President Tom Maxwell. "Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust looks forward to continuing its role with ICBA to help strengthen and preserve the community banking industry so that consumers across the nation can experience the  difference of working with a local community bank for years to come."

ICBA Logo

FMBT Maintains 5 Star Rating
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

September 10, 2012 - Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust was again recognized this September as a 5-Star Superior Bank by BauerFinancial, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation's bank rating firm.

To earn Bauer's 5-Star Superior rating, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust must excel in areas of capital adequacy, delinquent loan levels and profitability during the quarter that ended January 31, 2011. The bank has been recognized by BauerFinancial for 91 consecutive quarters, more than 22 years.

According to Karen L. Dorway, president of the research firm, "Community banks like Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust tend to know their customers, the local business community, when to grant a loan...and when not to grant one. What many people don't realize is that community banks actually have better balance sheets than their larger counterparts. Their capital ratios and nonperforming asset ratios are typically much more impressive than larger institutions. These are not the banks that threaten our economic well-being. On the contrary, they are the lifeblood of it."

Bauer 5 Star

Votis Graduates from Graduate School of Banking at UW-Madison
Article by Tricia Konyn-Hurley, Sales & Marketing Director

September 7, 2012 - Stephen P. Votis, Vice President & Commercial Officer at Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust was awarded a diploma on August 24, 2012, at commencement exercises during the 68th annual session of the prestigious Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The School, sponsored by the 18 state bankers associations comprising the Central States Conference of Bankers Associations and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was established in 1945 to provide bankers with an opportunity for advanced study and research in banking, economics and leadership. Instruction at the Graduate School of Banking takes place during two-week resident sessions for three consecutive summers, along with comprehensive study between summer resident sessions. The curriculum focuses on the management of strategic issues faced by banking executives and financial services industry professionals.

The Graduate School of Banking enrolls approximately 550 US and international professionals each year. Over 85 esteemed academicians, economists, government officials, and industry professionals comprise the School’s faculty. S. Joe DeHaven, president and CEO, Indiana Bankers Association, Indianapolis, was the featured speaker at commencement; Mr. DeHaven is a 1987 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking and serves as secretary on the GSB Board of Trustees.

“The staff at Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust congratulates Steve on this accomplishment. By obtaining this advanced training, he will further enhance the outstanding services provided by our bank,” said Tom Maxwell, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust President.

Steve Votis
Steve Votis, Vice President &
Commercial Loan Officer.

FMBT Welcomes Philip Binversie
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

July 16, 2012 - Philip Binversie has joined the staff of Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust as a credit analyst in the bank's downtown Marinette location at 1644 Ludington St.

As a Credit Analyst, he will review financial statements of current and potential new customers who apply for loans.

"We're pleased that Phil has joined our team," said Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust President Tom Maxwell. "His expertise will allow us to serve the needs of our growing commercial loan portfolio."

Binversie is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Finance. He is a native of Whitelaw, Wisconsin and a graduate of Valders High School.

Phil Binversie
Phil Binversie, Credit Analyst.
Photo by Donn Williams, Marketing

Tricia Konyn-Hurley Joins Bank
Article by Tricia Konyn-Hurley, Sales & Marketing Director

April 20, 2012 - Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust welcomes Tricia Konyn-Hurley to the position of Sales & Marketing Director. Ms. Hurley is a graduate of Menominee High School and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising and Public Relations and has been actively working in the local Marketing field for the past 14 years, first with EagleHerald Publishing, then with the Aerial Company where she spent nearly 10 years working in various capacities including graphic design, media coordinating, database management and social media marketing. Before accepting the position at Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust, she was employed in the International Customer Service department with Tyco International.

In her new role, Ms. Hurley will be responsible for creating and executing the marketing and public relations strategy for Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust.

She resides in Peshtigo with her husband, Jim and daughter Nathalie and is the daughter of Allan Konyn and the late Sharon Konyn of Menominee.

Tricia Hurley
 Tricia Konyn-Hurley, Sales &
Marketing Director.
Photo by Donn Williams, Marketing

President Address Stockholders
Article by Donn Williams, Marketin

February 14, 2012 - The nation has been slow to recover from the recession, but in Marinette-Menominee businesses and industries are hiring and expanding, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust President Tom Maxwell told the bank’s stockholders Tuesday, Feb. 14.

“The best economic news affecting this area is the Navy’s contract with Marinette Marine to build Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). Marinette Marine is partnering with Lockheed Martin to build these ships,” Maxwell said during the annual meeting of F&M Bankshares Inc. “Congress approved the Navy’s plans to build 10 ships from these partners. If all options are exercised this contract could be worth about $4 billion.”

Maxwell cautioned even though Congress has authorized the contract, funding must be approved annually. The Obama administration’s budget cuts military spending over the next several years, but includes funding for four more Littoral combat ships in fiscal year 2013. Two will be built by Marinette Marine. The company is currently hiring about 35 new workers a month as it ramps up to build these ships, Maxwell said.

The local economy is also benefiting from a $73 million upgrade and expansion of the Marinette Marine shipyard by its parent company, Fincantieri Marine Group. The improvements will enable two LCS vessels to be built at the same time.

The spending on these upgrades is going right back into the local economy,” Maxwell said. He told stockholders about the letter signing campaign underway to rally community support to name an LCS built by Marinette Marine USS Marinette. The name would recognize the craftsmanship of the hard working individuals who build the ships and be a source of pride for everyone living in Marinette County.

“This effort has drawn support from union workers, management and residents from throughout this area,” Maxwell said. ”Your letters and thousands more will be delivered to the Pentagon by the end of the month.”

Maxwell noted other major local employers have been adding jobs and expanding: Waupaca Foundry has hired additional workers and employees are working overtime. Anchor Coupling, a subsidiary of Caterpillar, is running at full capacity with 360 employees. It added about 30 new jobs in the past year.


Tom Maxwell
 Tom Maxwell addresses the stockholders of Farmers
 & Merchants Bank & Trust.
Photo and article by Donn Williams, Marketing

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