Tom Maxwell, Sr.

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

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Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Employees Honored for Financial Literacy Achievements
Press release by Marguerite Lozier

October 11, 2013 (MADISON)  Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust was one of the 36 banks recognized by the WBA at the association’s Consumer Education Conference on September 26th in Stevens Point.

“Educating consumers from an early age about personal finance benefits the individuals, but also our communities as a whole,” said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “These bankers are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to improving financial literacy among their customers and community members.”

In addition three bank employees were among the 21 individual bankers specifically recognized for their achievements.   Certificates of Excellence were presented to; Lloyd Cook for presenting 50 programs in schools; Kay Carlson for presenting 33 programs; and Tammy Billock for making 31 presentations.

For volunteering their time and talents to teach financial education skills the following Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust employees received Certificates of Participation: Debbie Atwood, Alane Barstow, Phil Binversie, Jenni England, Yvonne Erickson, Laura Figas, Nicole Johnson, Raeanne Klatt, Mary Kornusky, Marguerite Lozier, Thomas K. Maxwell, Laura McMahon, Shannon Parrett, Kathy Phillips, Michael Piasecki, Lorraine Porte, Sue, Porter, Kate Saylor, Mary Thielen, Julie VanDeWalle, Steve Votis, Pat Wagner and Mary Wilde.

Bank President, Tom Maxwell, said “We’re grateful that the WBA recognized our employees for their continuing commitment to financial education.” 

Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust participated in the nationwide Teach Children to Save campaign last April.  Employees went into local grade and middle school classrooms in Marinette, Menominee, Peshtigo and Crivitz, and taught personal finance lessons to more than 1300 students.

Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust is a 110-year old, locally owned, community bank with locations at 1644 Ludington Street, Marinette; 2811 Roosevelt Road, Marinette, and 114 S Highway 141 in Crivitz


Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Maintains 5 Star Rating
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

Bauer 5 Star

March 13, 2013 - Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust was again recognized this December as a 5-Star Superior Bank by BAUER FINANCIAL, Inc., 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 December 31, 2012. The bank has been recommended by Bauer Financial for 93 consecutive quarter or more than 23 years.


Thomas K. Maxwell II Promoted To Senior Vice President  
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

Tom "Max" Maxwell II
Thomas K. "Max" Maxwell II, Senior Vice President.
Photo by Gregory's Photography
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March 1, 2013 - The board of directors of Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust has promoted Thomas K. "Max" Maxwell II to Senior Vice President at the bank.

His promotion is in recognition of his performance and contributions to the success of the loan department. In this position Max will continue to direct and promote all areas of lending and supervise the bank's loan staff. His office is located in Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust's downtown Marinette headquarters at 1644 Ludington Street.

"I could not have achieved this promotion without the hard work and dedication of our lenders and loan support staff," Maxwell II said. "Their focus on understanding and fulfilling our client's financial needs is paramount to our bank's success."

Maxwell II has worked in the financial services industry for more than 18 years. He joined Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust in 2010 as Vice President of Commercial Banking. Prior to coming to Marinette, Maxwell II was Vice President of Commercial Banking at First Midwest Bank in Chicago.

Maxwell II is a native of Marinette. After graduating from Marinette High School, he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Maxwell II is active in the community serving as a member of the Marinette Kiwanis Club, a member of the Peshtigo Urban Development Action Grant Revolving Loan Committee and is a member of the Marinette Menominee Area Chamber of Commerce 2013 Leadership Academy. He is also a member of the UW-Madison Alumni Association.

Maxwell II, his wife Lisa and their three daughters live in Peshtigo.


Thielen Promoted to Head Teller
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

Mary Thielen
Mary Thielen, Head Teller. Photo by Donn Williams, Marketing

January  23, 2013 - Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust President has announced that Mary Thielen has been promoted to Head Teller.

"Mary has been a dedicated employee for many years," Maxwell said. "She will still have customer contact as well as additional duties that will utilize her talents."

In her new position, Thielen will supervise the teller line and be in charge of the vault in the bank's downtown Marinette location. "Our goal will be to provide excellent service to our customers," she said.

Thielen began working at Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust as a Teller on October 15, 1985. She and her husband Peter reside in Marinette. They have five children and 10 grandchildren.


Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Maintains 5 Star Rating
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

Bauer 5 Star


January  4, 2013 - Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust was again recognized this December as a 5-Star Superior Bank by BAUER FINANCIAL, Inc., 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 September 30, 2012. The bank has been recommended by Bauer Financial for 92 consecutive quarter or 23 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. Many people don't realize community banks actually have better balance sheets than their larger counterparts. Their capital rations and non-performing asset ratios are typically much more impressive than larger institutions."

On December 10th, Jay Thomas was appointed to the Boards of Directors of F & M Bankshares, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary the Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust.
Press release by Marguerite Lozier

Jay Thomas

On December 10th, Jay Thomas was appointed to the Boards of Directors of F & M Bankshares, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary the Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust.

Thomas is General Manager, Research and Specialty Chemicals for Tyco Fire Protection Products.  He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Michigan Technological University, and a Masters in Business Administration from Lake Superior State University.  Thomas has been employed by Tyco since 1985.

He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Menominee Area Public Schools.

“Jay has an outstanding business background, and we are delighted to have him join our board.  We know he will bring value to our board and our shareholders,” said the bank’s President, Tom Maxwell.

He and his wife, Louise, reside in Wallace.  Their two sons Ryan and Erik are both students at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Earns 4 Star Rating
Article by Tricia Konyn-Hurley, Director of Marketing

Bauer 4-Star Logo

June 27, 2013 - Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust was recognized this month as a 4-Star Superior Bank by BAUER FINANCIAL, Inc., the nation's bank rating firm.

To earn Bauer's 5-Star Excellent rating, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust must excel in areas of capital adequacy, delinquent loan levels and profitability during the quarter that ended March 31, 2013. The bank has been recommended by Bauer Financial for 94 consecutive quarter or more than 23 years.


Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Participates in the National Teach Children To Save Program
Article by Tricia Hurley, Sales & Marketing Director

Teach Children
Kay Carlson reads to a captivated audience in Karla Rastall's kindergarten at Merryman Elementary in Marinette.

May 2, 2013 - Employees of Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust volunteered their time to visit classrooms in our area as part of the National Teach Children To Save program, sponsored by the Wisconsin Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association Education Foundation. April 23 was National Teach Children To Save Day.

"We participate in this program because we hope to make a difference in the lives of children," said Kay Carlson, coordinator of Bankers Promoting Financial Literacy at FMBT. "Hopefully, we are planting a seed that kids will continue to sow throughout the years. We hope they take a portion of what they learn from our program and apply it to different aspects of their daily lives."

This year, FMBT expanded their reach to schools in the Crivitz and Peshtigo area. The Teach Children To Save campaign kicked off on Monday, April 15 when Carlson, Tammy Billock, Deb Atwood and Kate Saylor gave presentations to kindergarten and first grade students at Crivitz Elementary School and Central Elementary School in Menominee.

They and fellow bank employees Jenny England, Yvonne Erickson, Laura Figas, Tricia Hurley, Nicole Johnson, Mary Kornusky, Laura McMahon, Kathy Phillips, Mike Piasecki, Lorraine Porte, Julie VandeWalle and Mary Wilde gave 72 presentations to over 1,380 area children during the past two weeks...more than any other local financial institution

In addition to Crivitz Elementary and Central Elementary, they also visited Garfield, Merryman and Park elementary schools in Marinette, Blesch Intermediate School, Menominee High School and Menominee Catholic Central in Menominee and the Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center in Peshtigo.

The bankers use their experience to inspire students to become life-long savers. They teach children how to spend money wisely and discuss the differences between needs and wants.

Since its inception 17 years ago, the Teach Children to Save program has reached more than 5 million students nationwide with the help of over 123,000 bankers.


Maxwell Tells Stockholders Bank Had Successful Year  
Article by Donn Williams, Marketing

Stockholders Meeting
Tom Maxwell, President and CEO, addresses stockholders at the annual meeting on February 12, 2013. Photo by Donn Williams, Marketing

February 20, 2013 - Now in its 111th year, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust remains strong and the bank continues to be committed to meeting the financial needs of all people in this area, President Tom Maxwell told the bank's stockholders on Feb. 12.

"We are truly the people's bank," Maxwell said during the annual stockholder's meeting. "We have more checking accounts and more savings accounts than any other financial institution."

Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust has received BauerFinancial's 5-Star Superior rating for 92 consecutive quarters, a period of 23 years. The bank was also recognized in 2012 for 75 years as a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America, a national trade organization that serves more than 7,000 community banks.

Maxwell told stockholders he is proud of the bank's efforts to be a good corporate citizen. The bank sponsors numerous sports teams, and contributes to improvement projects including those at Stephenson Public Library, Blesch Field and Pedersen Park. It also donated money to construct a new electronic message sign for UW-Marinette. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, employees conducted a raffle that raised $500 for the Oncology Fund at Bay Area Medical Center. They also donate thousands of hours of work in the community each year.

"Our primary emphasis has been and will continue to be education as long as I'm involved," Maxwell told stockholders. Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust is the primary sponsor of Hi-Q, the academic quiz competition that involves 18 area high schools. The bank also provides scholarships for graduating seniors each year and recently co-sponsored the Career Opportunity Expo at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

In addition, 16 bank employees were recognized last year by the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) for their extensive work in the Teach Children to Save program. Lloyd Cook, Credit Analyst, was named the Financial Literacy Banker of the Year by the WBA for giving 148 finanical presentations in local classrooms. Cook and Kay Carlson, Bank Teller, both received Certificates of Excellence from the WBA. Carlson gave 30 presentations in schools

Speaking on the subject of the local economy, Maxwell told stockholders unemployment rates have declined. A survey conducted by the Marinette Menominee Chamber of Commerce at Maxwell's request determined the number of people employed at the major employers in the area is holding steady with the exception of Marinette Marine where there has been an increase. Maxwell expects unemployment will continue to decline slowly. Marinette County ended 2012 with an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent at the start of the year. Menominee County was at 6.2 percent, down from 8.1 percent. And the housing market is showing signs of recovering locally. The number of homes for sale in the listing area that includes Marinette, Menominee and Oconto counties is now at 620, down from 727 a year ago. "Mortgage rates are also at historic lows, so it's still a buyer's market," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said he talked to a representative of Wisconsin's new senator, Tammy Baldwin, to request her support in the effort to name one of the Navy's Littoral Combat ships being constructed by Marinette Marine, USS Marinette. "It would inspire an awful lot of pride among people from this area if one of these ships could be named the USS Marinette," he told stockholders. "If you have a chance, email or contact your congressman or either one of your senators and ask them to get on board this program."

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