2nd FNBT Customer Wins Priceless Surprise

Beloit, WI, October 14, 2021 – First National Bank and Trust Company (FNBT) is excited to announce that another bank customer has been surprised with a $1,000 prepaid card from Mastercard®. Belinda S. was the second lucky winner from FNBT of Mastercard’s Priceless Surprises sweepstakes in August.

FNBT is participating in Mastercard’s 2021 Priceless Surprises campaign. Customers automatically receive an entry into the sweepstakes each time they use their FNBT debit Mastercard to make signature-based purchases through December 31, 2021. Whether shopping in stores or online, each purchase of groceries, gas, TV streaming, and more is an opportunity to be surprised with a $1,000 Mastercard Prepaid® card.

FNBT is one of 177 Mastercard issuers participating in the nationwide promotion providing their debit card customer family a chance to win Priceless Surprises. For full sweepstakes details, visit https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/personal/offers-and-promotions/community-surprises.html.

About First National Bank and Trust:

First National Bank and Trust Company is a family-focused, community bank headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin. Chartered in 1882, First National Bank and Trust has grown to be a leading financial services institution offering products and services for consumers and businesses, as well as trust, retirement services, investment management, brokerage and insurance. We now serve nearly 30,000 households in 13 communities and 16 locations in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois with assets of approximately $1.4 billion. We treat our customers, employees, shareholders and communities like family, with a goal of helping all our families succeed. Providing Sound Advice and delivering an exceptional experience has positioned First National Bank and Trust as a Stateline leader in the industry. For additional information, visit www.bankatfirstnational.com.

First National Bank and Trust: “Give us a try. We’ll treat you like family.”

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Savant Employees Recognized for Earning Professional Certifications

ROCKFORD, Ill. (Oct. 14, 2021) — Savant Wealth Management, a nationally recognized, fee-only wealth management firm, announced that several of its employees have earned some of the highest and most-respected financial industry designations. Lifelong learning through these and other programs is one of Savant’s core values to help build trust and provide peace of mind in helping clients pursue their ideal futures.

Drake Grindle, a financial advisor in Rockford, earned the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) credential from the Exit Planning Institute. As a CEPA, Grindle can further engage with business owners by offering value-added conversations around growth and helping with successful business succession planning. Grindle has been involved in the financial services industry since 2015. He also is a Certified Public Accountant, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Stacy Roggensack, a compliance specialist and document imaging supervisor in Rockford, earned the Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) certification.  The designation is given to those who have completed the IACCP® program, which includes a certifying exam, certain work experience, ethics, and continuing education requirements. Roggensack has been involved in the financial services industry since 2006.

Casey Christianson, a financial advisor in Rockford, earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) distinction. The CRPC® program is available to professionals who specialize in creating, implementing, and mainstreaming retirement plans for businesses. To receive the designation, individuals must pass an exam that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations. Christianson is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a Chartered Financial Consultant®.

Martin Perdoux, a financial advisor in Wilmette, and Paulina Ksiazek, a financial advisor in Lincolnshire, earned their CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional certifications. The process, administered by the CFP Board, identifies to the public that those authorized to use the CFP® certification marks in the U.S. have met rigorous professional standards and have agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism, and diligence when working with clients. Perdoux has been involved in the financial services industry since 2013 and Ksiazek since 2015.

Dan Crowley, an investment research analyst in Chicago, earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation, one of the highest distinctions in the investment management profession. A CFA® is given to those who have completed the CFA® Program, a three-part exam that tests the fundamentals of investment tools, valuing assets, portfolio management, and wealth planning, and to those who meet acceptable work experience criteria. Crowley has been involved in the financial services industry since 2016. He also is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Laura Daly, a client services supervisor in Lincolnshire, and Missy Howard, a client services representative also in Lincolnshire, received the Financial Paraplanner Qualified ProfessionalTM designation. The designation is an industry benchmark for entry-level financial planning credentials that provides individuals with practical financial knowledge and can be used to assist planners and advisors. Daly has been involved in the financial services industry since 2000 and Howard since 1988.

About Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management is a leading independent, fee-only firm serving clients for over 30 years with more than $11 billion in assets under management and assets under advisement. Savant Wealth Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement planning, and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

Savant is headquartered in Rockford, IL, with locations in Bloomington, Chicago, Downers Grove, Freeport, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Peoria, St. Charles, Sterling, and Wilmette, IL; Phoenix, AZ; Greenwood, IN; Plymouth, MI; Santa Fe, NM; Madison and Park Falls, WI; and McLean, VA.

Savant Wealth Management (“Savant”) is an SEC registered investment adviser headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Please see Important Disclosures at savantwealth.com.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S., which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The achievement of any professional designation, certification, degree, or license, or any amount of prior experience or success, should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Savant is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services.

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FITCH RATINGS AFFIRMS BELOIT HEALTH SYSTEM BONDS AT ‘A’, OUTLOOK STABLE

BELOIT, WI. (October 13, 2021) Beloit Health System’s financial rating agency, Fitch, has affirmed the historically high ‘A’ rating to the System’s outstanding series 2020 and series 2016 revenue bonds issued by the Wisconsin Health & Educational Facilities Authority on behalf of Beloit. The Rating Outlook continues to remain Stable.

The ‘A’ rating reflects Beloit Health System’s strong and consistent operating performance supported by its leading local market position in a stable service area. Operating performance is supported by key service line growth, a large and growing outpatient footprint, and a highly aligned medical staff.

“I am proud of what the Team does every day to ensure the financial stability of the Health System while taking care of our Community. Achieving a high financial credit rating, along with a high Patient Quality/Safety rating, is a direct result of the Team’s commitment to our patients and Community,” commented Tim McKevett, President and CEO.

The affirmation of the ‘A’ rating reflects Fitch’s expectation that Beloit’s operating cash flows will return to historically strong levels. Expectations are supported by key service line growth, a significant outpatient footprint and a highly aligned and largely employed medical staff. It is Fitch’s opinion that the ‘A’ rating reflects the risk associated with Beloit’s narrow market and vulnerability to competition stemming from larger systems located in the secondary service area.

Beloit Health System opened at its current location in 1970. Since then, the hospital has expanded by partnering with Beloit Clinic, the Cancer Center providing comprehensive care affiliated with the University of Wisconsin, improved access to holistic care by opening NorthPointe Health and Wellness Campus, and enhanced its Cardiology services through the Hendricks Family Heart Hospital. The Packard Family Care Center is open after undergoing state of the art renovations. The main hospital has a new front entrance and doors, providing closer handicap parking and accessibility for patients.

About Beloit Health System

Beloit Health System is an independent community health system serving northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. We offer world-class facilities and services to improve the overall health of the communities we serve with cornerstones for quality, engagement, integrity and patient satisfaction.

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FNBT Joins ABA and Banks across the US for Anti-Phishing Campaign

Beloit, WI, October 1, 2021 – Today First National Bank and Trust (FNBT) joined the American Bankers Association and banks across the nation to promote an industry-wide campaign educating consumers about the persistent threat of phishing scams. The FTC estimates that consumers lost $3.3 billion to phishing schemes and other fraud in 2020, nearly double the losses in 2019. To combat phishing, the #BanksNeverAskThat campaign uses attention-grabbing humor and other engaging content to empower consumers to identify bogus bank communications asking for sensitive information like their passwords and social security numbers.

“Fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated,” said Lisa Zeimetz, senior vice president, risk and compliance officer at FNBT. “Our goal is to help our customer family become aware of the tricks hackers use to try to access your information. Working together with the ABA, we can educate consumers and empower them to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.”

“Phishing attempts have become even more prevalent during the pandemic making it more important than ever that consumers learn how to spot a scam,” said Paul Benda, senior vice president, operational risk and cybersecurity at ABA. “With help from participating banks like First National Bank and Trust, we’re teaching consumers how to spot phishing red flags so they can stay one step ahead of the scammers.”

FNBT, along with banks across the country and ABA, are kicking off the campaign on Oct. 1 to mark the beginning of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Throughout the month FNBT will consumer tips on social media and in to highlight common phishing schemes.

The campaign’s short videos offer questions that banks would never ask and direct consumers to BanksNeverAskThat.com where they will find a short quiz, videos, phishing red flags, tips and FAQs. For more information about phishing scams and how to stop fraudsters in their tracks, visit www.BanksNeverAskThat.com.

About First National Bank and Trust:

First National Bank and Trust Company is a family-focused, community bank headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin. Chartered in 1882, First National Bank and Trust has grown to be a leading financial services institution offering products and services for consumers and businesses, as well as trust, retirement services, investment management, brokerage and insurance. We now serve nearly 30,000 households in 13 communities and 16 locations in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois with assets of approximately $1.4 billion. We treat our customers, employees, shareholders and communities like family, with a goal of helping all our families succeed. Providing Sound Advice and delivering an exceptional experience has positioned First National Bank and Trust as a Stateline leader in the industry. For additional information, visit www.bankatfirstnational.com.

First National Bank and Trust: “Give us a try. We’ll treat you like family.”

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RAMP Receives Grant from the Farmers Insurance for Youth Education Advocacy (YEA) Services

(Tuesday, October 5, 2021) RAMP received a grant in the amount of $1,000 from Farmers Insurance as part of their corporate citizen strategy focus. The grant will be used for RAMP’s Youth Education Advocacy (YEA) services in Stephenson County. These services include educational rights training, self-advocacy skills training, information & referral, peer support, independent living skills training, transition planning guidance, educational workshops, assistance with letter writing and attendance at IEP, 504 or other related meetings.

For more information about RAMP’s Services visit our website, rampcil.org or contact Renea Noordhoff, Stephenson County RAMP Manager, 779-774-1013 or rnoordhoff@rampcil.org

About Freeport Community Foundation

Established in 1975, Freeport Community Foundation Freeport Community Foundation has a 45-year history as a community-based charitable organization guided by community leaders who are dedicated to providing financial solutions for current and future community needs. During that time, the FCF has awarded almost $3 million in grant funding to non-profit organizations and projects throughout northwest Illinois. For additional information or to schedule a media opportunity, please contact the FCF at either (815) 801-3035 or via email at fcfdirector@freeportcommunityfoundation.org.

About RAMP

RAMP’s mission is to build an inclusive community that encourages individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. RAMP takes a creative approach to find resources and opportunities available to team up with individuals with disabilities to access the community where we live, work and play. We have this knowledge because the majority of our staff and board of directors have disabilities. RAMP staff meets individuals with disabilities where they are at and together as a team we take them where they want to go. We advocate for the implementation of current laws, promotion of needed legislation and improvement of existing systems for people with disabilities while working to diminish negative attitudes that threaten to impede equal access. To learn more about RAMP, visit our website www.rampcil.org. RAMP is a United Way Member Agency.

RAMP Receives Grant from the Freeport Community Foundation for Access of Services

(Monday, October 4, 2021) Freeport, IL – Freeport Community Foundation in the amount of $3640 for greater access to services for individuals with disabilities.

RAMP received a grant in the amount of $3,640 from the Freeport Community Foundation to provide greater access to services for people with disabilities. The funds will help fund an electronic door opener with a push plate for even greater accessibility for RAMP consumers and visitors to access RAMP’s building, located at 2155 West Galena Avenue, Freeport.  The grant will also help fund some repairs and maintenance needed for the building, owned by RAMP.

For more information about RAMP’s Services visit our website, rampcil.org or contact Renea Noordhoff, Stephenson County RAMP Manager, 779-774-1013 or rnoordhoff@rampcil.org

About Freeport Community Foundation

Established in 1975, Freeport Community Foundation Freeport Community Foundation has a 45-year history as a community-based charitable organization guided by community leaders who are dedicated to providing financial solutions for current and future community needs. During that time, the FCF has awarded almost $3 million in grant funding to non-profit organizations and projects throughout northwest Illinois. For additional information or to schedule a media opportunity, please contact the FCF at either (815) 801-3035 or via email at fcfdirector@freeportcommunityfoundation.org.

About RAMP

RAMP’s mission is to build an inclusive community that encourages individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. RAMP takes a creative approach to find resources and opportunities available to team up with individuals with disabilities to access the community where we live, work and play. We have this knowledge because the majority of our staff and board of directors have disabilities. RAMP staff meets individuals with disabilities where they are at and together as a team we take them where they want to go. We advocate for the implementation of current laws, promotion of needed legislation and improvement of existing systems for people with disabilities while working to diminish negative attitudes that threaten to impede equal access. To learn more about RAMP, visit our website www.rampcil.org. RAMP is a United Way Member Agency.

Savant Wealth Management, Advisor Jakob Loescher Receive Industry Honors

ROCKFORD, Ill. (Sept. 30, 2021) – Savant Wealth Management, a nationally recognized, fee-only wealth management firm, and Financial Advisor/Team Lead Jakob C. Loescher, CFP®, ChFC®, AIF®, CRPC®, CRPS® have been recognized as leaders by Barron’s and Forbes, respectively. Barron’s named Savant to its list of 2021 Top 100 RIA firms, and Forbes named Loescher to its list of Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors.

Barron’s, a weekly financial newspaper, measures quantitative data, such as the growth of advisors’ practices and client retention, as well as qualitative factors, including the advisors’ experience, advanced degrees and industry designations, the size, shape and diversity of their teams, their charitable and philanthropic work, and their compliance records. Barron’s has consistently included Savant on its list of top registered investment advisors, and this year, Savant ranked number 36 among the top 100 firms. (See the Barron’s Top Advisors Methodology here.)

Forbes ranked Jakob Loescher 38th on its list of the top 500 Next-Gen Wealth Advisors nationally, and third among 26 Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors in Illinois (up from a ranking of 43 among 118 Illinois advisors in 2020). The Forbes Next-Gen Wealth Advisors rankings, developed by SHOOK Research, uses an algorithm that includes qualitative and quantitative data, such as revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records and industry experience, gained through telephone and in-person interviews to determine its rankings. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK received a fee in exchange for the rankings. (See the Forbes Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors methodology here.)

About Savant Wealth Management

Founded more than 30 years ago, Savant Wealth Management is a leading independent, fee-only firm with more than $11 billion in assets under management and assets under advisement. Savant offers investment management, financial planning, retirement planning, and family office services to individuals and institutions, and offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

Savant is headquartered in Rockford, IL, with locations in Bloomington, Chicago, Downers Grove, Freeport, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Peoria, St. Charles, Sterling, and Wilmette, IL; Phoenix, AZ; Greenwood, IN; Plymouth, MI; Santa Fe, NM; Madison and Park Falls, WI; and McLean, VA.

Rankings and/or recognitions by Barron’s and Forbes should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Savant is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Savant did not pay a fee to participate. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Please see Important Disclosures at savantwealth.com.

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AdvisoryHQ Names Savant Wealth Management to List of Top Chicago Advisors

ROCKFORD, Ill. (Sept. 24, 2021) – Savant Wealth Management, a nationally recognized, fee-only wealth management firm with eight Chicagoland locations, announced it has been named one of the “Top 12 Financial Advisors and Wealth Management Firms” in Chicago for 2020-2021 by AdvisoryHQ.

AdvisoryHQ conducted the selection process independently based on a wide range of filters, including fiduciary duty, independence, transparency, level of customized service, history of innovation, fee structure, quality of services provided, team excellence, and wealth of experience. Firms did not pay a fee to be recognized by AdvisoryHQ.

Savant received praise for its comprehensive estate planning and wealth transfer process; its personalized, team-oriented approach; its Women’s Wealth Initiative; the individualized attention it gives to clients; and its low costs and transparent fee-only structure. Savant also received recognition for its wide range of holistic financial services and strong commitment to trust.

“We are honored to be recognized by AdvisoryHQ as one of Chicago’s best financial advisors and to be positioned among such an elite group of wealth management firms,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant. “Recognitions like this reflect our commitment to excellence, including serving our clients now and anticipating their needs for the future.”

Launched in 2015, AdvisoryHQ is one of the fastest-growing review and ranking media for the financial advisory, investment, mortgage, banking, wealth management, and accounting sectors. To view the complete list of 2020-2021 rankings, click here.

About Savant Wealth Management

Founded more than 30 years ago, Savant Wealth Management is a leading independent, fee-only firm with more than $11 billion in assets under management and assets under advisement. Savant offers investment management, financial planning, retirement planning, and family office services to individuals and institutions, and offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

Savant is headquartered in Rockford, IL, with locations in Bloomington, Chicago, Downers Grove, Freeport, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Peoria, St. Charles, Sterling, and Wilmette, IL; Phoenix, AZ; Greenwood, IN; Plymouth, MI; Santa Fe, NM; Madison and Park Falls, WI; and McLean, VA.

Rankings and/or recognitions by AdvisoryHQ should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Savant is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Savant did not pay a fee to participate. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Please see Important Disclosures at savantwealth.com.

Savant Wealth Management (“Savant”) is an SEC registered investment adviser headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. SEC registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. This material is for general educational purposes only and is not intended as personalized investment, legal, or tax advice. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Please Note: “Ideal” is not intended to give assurance as to achieving successful results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Please see Important Disclosures at savantwealth.com.

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Roscoe-Based Martin Exteriors Named on Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies in America

Martin Exteriors, a leading roofing and siding company based in Roscoe, Illinois, has been recognized on Inc. 5000’s annual list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies. This is Martin Exterior’s first time placing on the list, ranking at 745 with a remarkable 662% revenue growth and 25th in Industry Rank (Construction). Martin Exteriors is just one of three companies who was featured on the list from the Rockford Region.

Family-owned and operated, Martin Exteriors formed in 2006 to ensure local residents received high-quality work at a reasonable price. Founder and Roscoe resident Justin Martin and his family have been in the roofing business for years installing siding and roofs on homes and businesses in Rockford, Roscoe, South Beloit, Loves Park and beyond. The company has seen incredible growth throughout the years and today it employs 8 full time support staff, 11 sales consultants and over 50 installers.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this recognition, particularly in a very interesting and turbulent period in our world’s history,” said Justin. “Our team continues to transform our industry and raise the bar while providing the best quality roofing and siding. We’re constantly educating ourselves and working hard to provide high-quality work without cutting corners to ensure our local residents receive the best product. I’m incredibly proud of our team and humbled to receive this recognition.”

Martin Exteriors is not planning to slow down anytime soon. The company will continue to innovate and do things differently from the rest. Always putting their customers first and maintaining a family company culture is key to ensure it stays the number one trusted roofing contractor in the Rockford region.

“The 2021 Inc. 5000 list feels like one of the most important rosters of companies ever compiled,” says Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. “Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in any year is a remarkable achievement. Building one in the crisis we’ve lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people.”

Companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2017 to 2020. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2017. Complete results of the Inc. 5000 list can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

To learn more about Martin Exteriors, visit www.martinexteriors.com.

Martin Exteriors
Martin Exteriors is a family-owned and operated local roofing company that is dedicated to providing unmatched roofing and siding services in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.

Stateline Mass Transit District Announces New Location in Roscoe, IL

Roscoe, IL – We’ve moved!! Sharon Hecox, Executive Director, announces SMTD has moved to a new office at 11722 Main St., Roscoe IL 61073. “The new office allows even better service to our SMTD community of riders and patrons, and is in the heart of the service area,” stated Hecox.

For more information about the new SMTD location, visit www.smtd.biz or call 779-771-6778.

ABOUT STATELINE MASS TRANSIT DISTRICT

Stateline Mass Transit has been servicing the greater Rockton, Roscoe and South Beloit area since 2008. SMTD offers safe, reliable and affordable transportation, providing independence and a better quality of life for many area residents. SMTD offers a unique ‘curb-to-curb’ service where buses pick up and drop off at the client’s desired destination. This unique program delivers unparalleled transit service that link people and communities with the highest standards of quality and safety for its customers. For more information, contact our friendly transportation schedulers at 877-561-3330. For additional information on SMTD, call 779-771-6778 or visit our website at www.smtd.biz.