FNBT Announces Promotions

Beloit, WI, January 20, 2022 – First National Bank and Trust (FNBT) is pleased to announce the following promotions in the commercial lending and credit departments.

Kyle Lamb has been promoted to Senior Vice President (SVP) Director of Credit Services. With experience in both commercial and retail banking at various levels throughout his 20 year-career in banking, Lamb has proven himself to be an advocate for the bank’s customer family and a leader at the bank since he joined FNBT in 2012. In his new position, Lamb will be responsible for providing support and direction for commercial credit underwriting as well as oversee the bank’s loan policies and procedures to ensure the overall quality of the lending portfolio.  A native of Rockford, Illinois, Lamb serves the community by volunteering his time to multiple organizations, including Northwest Community Center where he currently serves as board president. Lamb has an extensive background working with companies in a variety of industries, and specializes in commercial mortgages, equipment financing, working capital lines of credit, SBA loan programs, and strategic planning.

Stephanie Lawton has been promoted to First Vice President, Credit Administration. With more than 10 years of banking experience, much of which has been focused on small business and commercial portfolio management, Lawton worked closely with the retail and commercial banking teams during the pandemic to lead the bank’s implementation and management of the Paycheck Protection Program in 2020. Now as First Vice President of Credit Administration, she is responsible for helping direct loan policy, enhancing credit department reporting, and working with bankers to ensure credit quality is maintained. Lawton graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English as well as a Bachelor of Liberal Studies with a minor in criminology and law studies. An avid learner, Lawton is working on her Master’s degree in Business Administration through University of Wisconsin. Lawton is currently a member of Rock County’s Leadership Development Academy which focuses on serving the community through leadership development. In addition, she has partnered with the YWCA Northwestern Illinois to teach several sessions for women entrepreneurs.

Dan Mowers has been promoted to Vice President, Commercial Banking, working with business clients throughout FNBT’s footprint, primarily in the Beloit, Wisconsin market as well as the Rockton and Roscoe, Illinois bank locations. In this role, he is responsible for providing Sound Advice, managing an existing portfolio of clients, and developing new banking and lending relationships. Mowers has 15 years of banking and finance experience and joined FNBT in 2010 as a residential underwriter. Prior to FNBT, Mowers worked at HSBC in the consumer finance division. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Mowers holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He volunteers his time as the President of the Beloit Area Crime Stoppers Board and delivers meals for Meals on Wheels in Beloit.

Kelsey Hartz is being promoted to Assistant Vice President (AVP) Credit Manager. Hartz joined the bank in 2012 as a loan operations representative, later moving into the credit department as an assistant. Shortly thereafter, she was promoted to Credit Analyst and has held increasing responsibilities in her nearly 10 years with FNBT. In her new role, she will manage the bank’s credit analyst team. She is responsible for assessing the credit worthiness of commercial banking clients, reviewing commercial loan approval documents completed by credit analysts to ensure credit underwriting consistency, as well as consistent application of the bank’s loan policy. Hartz graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, Hartz majoring in International Business, Finance and Spanish.

Lamb, Lawton, Mowers and Hartz are all based at FNBT’s Beloit-Grand Ave branch location.

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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FOREST CITY GEAR PRESIDENT & CEO, WENDY YOUNG, NAMED INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS CATALYST OF THE YEAR BY ROCKFORD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

ROSCOE, IL (January 13, 2022) – Forest City Gear, an industry-leading manufacturer of fine and medium pitch custom gears, is proud to congratulate Wendy Young, President & CEO, for being named the 2021 Individual Business Catalyst of the Year by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Young began her career at Forest City Gear in 1983 as a Delivery Driver, Machine Operator & Expediter. Young has been part of Forest City Gear’s leadership team for over 20 years, during which time she has helped drive significant growth and expansion. Young currently serves as President (since 2002) and CEO (since 2015).

According to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Young’s nominator had this to say, Wendy’s energy and dedication to her family, business, and community are second to none. Wendy is in constant pursuit to help those in need and less fortunate. Over the years I have personally observed Wendy’s business acumen at work as she has led a world class, precision Gear Manufacturing Company through many difficult periods. Wendy often is found mentoring and assisting associates through hardships they were experiencing that was totally unrelated to work and business. Wendy’s spirit, drive and compassion for excellence has been instilled in her family and is felt and noticed by those who know her.” 

About Forest City Gear

Since 1955, Roscoe, IL based, family-owned Forest City Gear has been one of the gear industry’s leading sources for the development, manufacture and inspection of the highest quality gears, for use in applications that range from medical devices to motorcycles, airplanes to automation, even including the Mars Perseverance Rover.

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BELOIT HEALTH SYSTEM – FIRST BABY OF 2022 BORN IN PACKARD FAMILY CARE CENTER

BELOIT, WI. (January 3, 2022) – The first baby of 2022 was born in the Packard Family Care Center at 8:43 a.m., January 1, 2022. Lia, a baby girl, was born 8lbs, 10oz and 20-1⁄2 inches to Maria and Jesus San Juan. Lia is the San Juan’s second child.

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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BELOIT HEALTH SYSTEM ANNOUNCES FREESTANDING BIRTH CENTER AT NORTHHPOINTE HEALTH AND WELLNESS CAMPUS

BELOIT, WI. (December 16, 2021) — Beloit Health System (BHS) is excited to announce a new venture of a Freestanding Birth Center scheduled to break ground next August and be open by early 2023. The Freestanding Birth Center is a healthcare facility that will use an alternative care model to provide services during pregnancy, labor/delivery and postpartum care. The center will offer the comforts of home, fully equipped with bedrooms, bathrooms, a family waiting room, kitchen, and other amenities, located in close proximity to medical access if necessary.

This service will provide a safe, alternative model of patient care that focuses on a natural birth center where low risk patients can give birth in a natural setting. Wellness is the primary focus and is in alignment and complementary to the NorthPointe Health and Wellness Campus. Additionally, the center will provide another avenue for meeting needs of underserved clientele. “We are proud to bring this higher level of care to the NorthPointe campus to serve our patients in the region. This is a unique service that is not currently provided in Southern Wisconsin or Northern Illinois. The center will focus on the entire family experience. The center will improve access and quality for low risk pregnancies,” stated Tim McKevett, President and CEO.

“BHS continuously looks for ways to help improve access and care in our community. This center will offer licensed, qualified obstetric/pediatric consultants, and as a freestanding facility, it will be fully equipped to provide care and located in a serene environment. In following the mission of BHS, we are proud to be a leader in regional health and wellness services, delivering high quality, value and satisfaction to our patients and the communities we serve,” commented Sharon Cox, Vice President, RN, Chief Nursing Officer.

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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Bonnie Gundry Announces Retirement from First National Bank and Trust

Beloit, WI, December 2, 2021 – After an impressive 46 year career at First National Bank and Trust (FNBT), Bonnie Gundry, Vice President and Branch Manager of the Rockton Branch has announced plans to retire at the end of the year.

Bonnie began her career in 1975 at Macktown State Bank which was acquired by FNBT in 2001. During her time at the bank, she has held many positions including bookkeeping, teller, drive up location manager, and teller operations. “Working in all the different areas of the bank, helped me gain a lot of knowledge about banking and the experience was priceless,” said Bonnie who was promoted to her current role of Branch Manager 20 years ago.

Her passion has always been the people side of banking. Getting to know her staff and customers over the years has been a highlight for her personally. “Banking is about relationships and I’m grateful to have met so many wonderful people over the years,” Bonnie reflected. “I’ve been fortunate to know and work with extended family members of my customers, including their children, grandchildren, and in some cases their great-grandchildren!”

Bonnie’s legacy has been the family atmosphere she and her team created at the branch. Her advice to her employees and Amanda McMahon, who will replace Bonnie as Branch Manager of the Rockton office, is to take time to get to know your customers and community members as you continue to make a difference.

In retirement, Bonnie will continue to live in the Rockton community and plans to travel and spend time watching her grandchildren and nephews play sports and show cattle.

An open house reception honoring Bonnie is scheduled at FNBT’s Rockton bank branch located at 300 E Main Street in Rockton, Illinois on Friday, December 10, 2021 from 10am to 2pm. Her customers and community members are invited to stop by to wish her well in her retirement.

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’s Chief Investment Officer Authors Guide to Alternative Investments

“The Allocator’s Edge” Provides Detailed Coverage Across the Spectrum of Alternative Assets”

ROCKFORD, Ill. (November 30, 2021) — Savant Wealth Management, a nationally recognized, fee-only registered investment adviser (RIA) with more than $12 billion in assets under management (AUM), congratulates its chief investment officer, Phil Huber, CFP®, CFA, on the launch of his book, “The Allocator’s Edge,” a modern guide to alternative investments and the future of diversification. The book, which went on sale Nov. 30, explores alternative asset classes and their potential to help build durable and resilient investment portfolios.

Huber, who also authors the “bps and pieces” blog, joined Savant in 2020, following Savant’s acquisition of Huber Financial Advisors, where he also served as chief investment officer. Widely regarded as a thought leader in the RIA industry, Huber is regularly featured in the media on topics related to investing. “The Allocator’s Edge” is the product of Huber’s lengthy research into modern approaches to asset allocation and leading-edge portfolio construction.

“Historically, most investors have been limited in the types of portfolio diversification tools they can access,” said Huber. “I believe that’s changing, and I wrote the book to reach forward-thinking financial advisors and investment professionals who believe alternative investments can complement stocks and bonds within investment portfolios.”

“Phil Huber challenges conventional thinking about the foundations of investing, and that’s important to do,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant. “At Savant, we value lifelong learning, and welcome Phil’s perspectives and thought leadership as we continue to pursue the best investment experiences for our clients based on their goals and financial situations.”

“The Allocator’s Edge” is published by Harriman House and is available in hardback, audio and ebook formats.

About Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management is a leading independent, nationally recognized, fee-only firm serving clients for over 30 years with more than $12 billion in assets under management (as of 11/30/21). As a trusted advisor, Savant Wealth Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan 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.

Headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, Savant has offices 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 is a Registered Investment Advisor. 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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FOREST CITY GEAR’S KIKA YOUNG RECEIVES OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD FROM ROCKFORD UNIVERSITY

ROSCOE, IL – Forest City Gear, an industry-leading manufacturer of fine and medium pitch custom gears, is proud to congratulate Kika Young for receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Rockford University for 2021.

According to Rockford University, the Outstanding Young Alumni Award is “given to an alumna/us who has finished her/his Rockford University tenure within the last 15 years. This alumna/us will have fulfilled the ideals of Rockford University by vision, dedication, and initiative in a purposeful endeavor, or through responsible and sustained efforts in the improvements of a community, or a notable achievement in a profession, thus having brought honor and esteem to Rockford University.”

Young received a BA in Business Management & English Literature from Rockford University in 2008 and an MBA in 2009 and is currently Director of Corporate Management at Forest City Gear. 

About Forest City Gear

Since 1955, Roscoe, IL based, family-owned Forest City Gear has been one of the gear industry’s leading sources for the development, manufacture and inspection of the highest quality gears, for use in applications that range from medical devices to motorcycles, airplanes to automation, even including the Mars Perseverance Rover.

For more information, visit:  www.forestcitygear.com.

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7th Annual WREX Freeport Food Drive a Huge Success

Cornerstone Credit Union hosted the 7th annual WREX Freeport Food Drive at their Freeport facility on Friday, November 5, 2021. WREX-TV Channel 13 did live broadcasts throughout the event which ran from 6am to 7pm. This local effort began in 2014 when the Freeport Area Church Cooperative (FACC) made WREX aware that some food pantries were at risk of closing their doors due to lack of food. WREX held the first Freeport food drive and allowed those to keep their doors open because of the community’s response; now the food drive is an annual event.

This was the fourth year the drive was held at Cornerstone, and the donations have increased year after year. 2021 brought the most donations ever received, with well over two tons of food valued at over $9,000 and over $3,000 in monetary contributions, including a corporate donation of $1,500 presented by Cornerstone Credit Union. FACC received the donations and is working with other local pantries to share the donations. “We were overwhelmed by the greater Freeport community’s generosity. Thanks to everyone who gave to this year’s successful effort,” commented Amy Korte, FACC Executive Director. Lorna Cote, Cornerstone Credit Union Marketing Director, shared “People helping people is the credit union motto, and the WREX Food Drive is the epitome of that mission. We are proud to partner with WREX to fight hunger in the local community.”

Martin Exteriors Named Best Roofing Contractor and Best Siding Contractor in Northern Illinois

Company Received Best Roofing Contractor Award For Second Year in a Row

Roscoe, Illinois based Martin Exteriors is excited to announce it received two What Rocks Awards, sponsored by the Rockford Register Star, in the categories of Best Roofing Contractor and Best Siding Contractor. This is the second year in a row the company has been named Best Roofing Contractor in northern Illinois.

Now in its 23rd year, the What Rocks competition takes place annually to celebrate the best businesses and services in the Rock Valley region, as nominated by and voted on by Rockford Register Star readers. There were more than 150 categories in arts and entertainment, food and drinks, goods and services, health, recreation and fitness, and more. From the more than 20,000 businesses in Rockford-area, the top three nominees were selected in each category.

“We’ve worked so hard to get to where we are right now and we are extremely thrilled to be named Best Siding Contractor and Best Roofing Contractor in northern Illinois,” said Martin Exteriors President Justin Martin. “We appreciate the community’s support, and we are honored that our residents know we do good work and that we are extremely trustworthy. Winning What Rocks validates the hard work and quality job we put in for our customers, day in and day out.”

A virtual award ceremony was held on November 17 to recognize the winners. Martin Exteriors is a family-owned and operated business formed in 2006 to ensure local residents receive high-quality roofing and siding at a reasonable price. In addition to What Rocks, the company was recently named on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in American, reporting 662% revenue growth and ranking at 745. Only three companies from the Rockford region made the list.

To view all 2021 What Rocks winners, visit rrstar.gannettcontests.com/What-Rocks-2021/. 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.

Savant Wealth Management to Acquire WI-based Filbrandt Wealth Management

Partnership Introduces Savant to Niche Market of University Professionals

ROCKFORD, Ill. (November 12, 2021) — Savant Wealth Management, a nationally recognized, fee-only registered investment adviser (RIA) with nearly $12 billion in assets under management (AUM), announced plans to acquire Filbrandt Wealth Management, a Madison, Wisconsin-based RIA firm that works exclusively with university leaders and their families to achieve financial independence in retirement. Filbrandt, with approximately $1.8 billion in assets under advisement, represents Savant’s largest acquisition to date and is the firm’s third acquisition this year. The deal is scheduled to close Nov. 30, 2021.

Filbrandt offers comprehensive financial planning services to university professionals across the U.S., using a three-step process — The Filbrandt Total Solution©— that integrates investment, retirement, and estate planning services to help clients meet their financial planning goals. Founded by Michael Filbrandt, CLU®, ChFC®, who serves as CEO and chairman of the board, and Patricia Filbrandt, CFP®, CLU®, and ChFC®, who serves as the company’s president, Filbrandt specializes in holding deep knowledge of the specific benefits plans at each of the universities where it serves clients.

“Our partnership with Filbrandt  is the first since our most recent recapitalization, and demonstrates Savant’s commitment to expand our comprehensive platform of integrated service offerings,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant. “With its unique value proposition, Filbrandt will help Savant propel our growth and further enhance the outstanding value and service we provide clients.”

“In searching for a partner to continue our legacy of service to the university community, we were impressed by Savant’s growth strategy and approach to M&A activity,” said Patricia Filbrandt. “But as we got to know the team, we also felt an immediate alignment with Savant’s culture. We look forward to working with Savant, and are pleased that our clients will have access to the firm’s deep bench and extended resources in the future.”

Savant’s previous acquisitions in 2021 included Michigan-based AMDG Financial, and Indiana-based Treybourne Wealth Planners. Savant’s recent strategic minority investment from Kelso & Company helped position the firm to continue its expansion of integrated service offerings and accelerate its growth trajectory.

About Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management is a leading independent, nationally recognized, fee-only firm serving clients for over 30 years with nearly $12 billion in assets under management. As a trusted advisor, Savant Wealth Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan 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.

Headquartered in Rockford, IL, Savant’s office locations include 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.

About Filbrandt Wealth Management

Based in the Madison, Wisconsin, Filbrandt Wealth Management (“Filbrandt”) is a fee-based, SEC registered investment adviser (RIA) firm offering comprehensive financial planning services to university leaders and professionals, and serving as our clients’ advocate with banks, attorneys, accountants, retirement plan vendors, investment brokers, university retirement offices, and insurance agents.

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