Summer 2017                         Edition 5, Volume 1
RMA Wisconsin Chapter Newsletter
 Board Member Spotlight
Each newsletter, we will highlight a member of the Wisconsin Chapter Board to give our members a chance to get to know who is serving you.  Feel free to contact any of our board members with any questions or suggestions you have about RMA and the local Wisconsin chapter.  

This month we will highlight  Cyrene Wilke.
Cyrene Wilke is Senior Vice President of Operations at Investors Community Bank, where she also serves as the CRA Officer and oversees all operations functions. Investors Community Bank is headquartered in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and is the largest agriculture bank chartered in Wisconsin. The bank recently expanded to four branch locations and services a loan portfolio of more than $1.5 billion (primarily commercial and agricultural loans).
Cyrene began her banking career as a general loan secretary in 1994. Over the course of the following two decades, she worked in various departments within the financial institution including purchasing, accounting, loan and deposit operations, human resources, credit administration, card services and compliance. Cyrene relocated from Upper Michigan to Wisconsin in 2001 and joined Associated Bank in retail banking before moving to Irwin Union Bank for an opportunity to gain more experience in commercial credit administration. In 2004, she joined the commercial lending team at Citizens Bank (FirstMerit) until 2011 when she brought her commercial loan documentation and servicing skills to Investors Community Bank as the manager of lending operations. In 2017, she was promoted to SVP and now serves on the executive team. She is passionate about education, process improvement, risk management and maximizing the use of technology and software applications.
Cyrene joined the RMA board in March 2016. She was first introduced to RMA over a decade ago by a chief credit officer and mentor who also was an active RMA board member. Attending RMA events earlier in her career proved to be valuable as her role expanded into areas that involved risk management. She has found RMA to be a great resource for training, education and networking with other banking professionals and encourages her team to take advantage of membership benefits as well.
Get Involved!
The RMA Wisconsin Chapter presents opportunities for individuals to get involved. Chapters rely on the talents of volunteers to stage many of their programs, conduct membership development efforts, and promote the ideals of the Association. To find out more about how you can get involved in our chapter, contact Sandy Gruber at or any of our chapter board members.  Our current Chapter Board Members include:  

- Melissa Torres, President
  State Bank of Cross Plains
- Kevin Graff, Vice President
  Enlighten Financial
- Sandy Gruber, Secretary
  RMA Wisconsin Chapter
- Nick Inman, Treasurer
  River Cities Bank

Madison Region
- Pete Brethouwer
  Independent Consultant
- Robert Brothers
 Associated Bank
- Derek Moehring
 Capitol Bank

Milwaukee/SE Region
- Stacey Balistreri
  First Bank Financial Centre
- Josh Frazier
  Johnson Bank
- Jeff Justin
  The Equitable Bank
- David Wilbik
  Johnson Bank

Northeast Region
- Gary Maples
  River Edge Consulting
- Cyrene Wilke
  Investors Community Bank

Northwest Region
- Sylvan Erickson
  First Bank of Baldwin
- Harlan McLain
  State Financial Bank

Member-Get-a-Member Program


Who better than you, an RMA member, to share the benefits of membership with your peers?
RMA's Member-Get-a-Member Program is an opportunity for Associate and Professional members to encourage colleagues to join RMA and earn reward points for doing so. Not only will you receive rewards like discounts on RMA events and products, but your networking opportunities will grow as new members join.  Example of award - 
  • Free individual RMA membership for a year, valid from 9/1/17 to 8/31/18
Enroll today to become a program liaison. Please visit this page for more information and an application form.

Stay Connected with Us
LinkedIn -
Join the RMA Wisconsin Chapter  LinkedIn Group  to stay informed about our upcoming events.

Join Our Mailing List - Contact

The RMA Wisconsin Chapter Website -  

Contact Us -
Phone - 608-588-3100 

President's Corner

RMA Members:

Welcome to our summer newsletter. I hope you take the time to read through it and give us your comments. It is designed for our chapter members.

If you have suggestions for future topics, or if you would like to write an article for the newsletter, please let us know. The goal of this newsletter is to provide you with information you can use within your area.


Melissa Torres, President, RMA Wisconsin Chapter
Vice President - Credit Risk Management
State Bank of Cross Plains

Benefits of a Strong Credit Analyst Program
by Pete Brethouwer, Consultant

As commercial lending has evolved in banking, the benefits of an effective process for obtaining and evaluating financial information along with presenting it in a consistent, meaningful format has assumed increased importance.  Generally referred to as the credit analyst function, this activity can significantly strengthen risk management and evaluation, and lead to enhanced efficiency in commercial lending. 
To carry out this process of evaluating and spreading borrower financial information into a readable and consistent format, it is essential to use one of various software programs available in the marketplace.  Some of these systems enable comparison of a specific borrower's financial performance with its peers by use of industry data from RMA (Annual Statement Studies) and other sources.  The cost and functionality of the systems vary greatly, so it is prudent to consider alternatives carefully before a major expenditure for software.   A well trained credit analyst can maximize the effectiveness of credit analysis software applications.
In summary, a strong, well trained credit analyst function provides the following benefits:
  1. Establishes a job position primarily responsible for obtaining and spreading financial statements for existing borrowers (and new prospects) on a timely and consistent basis.
  2. Relieves lenders thereby enabling them to concentrate on evaluating and developing borrowing opportunities.
  3. Serves as a training ground for individuals who may be interested in moving into lending by acquainting them with a solid analytical framework to effectively evaluate loan requests.
  4. Enables the development of a partnership between analyst and lender that can both expedite the completion of loan requests and facilitate a long term learning experience for the analyst. 
  5. Credit analysts can serve as an early warning system on issues that could indicate a deteriorating lending relationship (e.g. frequent overdrafts, high credit card outstandings, etc.) along with notifying the lender and key management.
  6. With proper training, credit analysts can also maintain various loan administration reports including tracking of concentrations of credit, maintenance of loan documentation exceptions list, etc.
The RMA Wisconsin Chapter has made a strong effort over the past three years, and once again for the 2017-2018 fical year, to offer targeted training designed to strengthen the credit analyst skills set.  Since beginning our program in the Fall of 2014, the following numbers of individuals have completed the Basic course and the Advanced course.
                      Basic Credit Analyst Series                         Advanced Series
2014-15                        11 attendees                                          Not Offered
2015-16                        12 attendees                                           3 attendees
2016-17                          7 attendees                                           7 attendees
One final positive factor of the RMA Wisconsin Chapter Credit Analyst Series is the use of highly experienced Wisconsin bankers to teach many of the Credit Analyst courses.

Upcoming Events

Following is the Fall 2017 Educational Calendar:

09/08/17 - Basic Financial Statements - Madison
09/12/17 - Asset Based Lending for Community Bankers - Appleton
09/12/17 - Construction Loan Manaement - Wausau
09/22/17 - Understandign and Interpreting R.E. Appraisals - Appleton
9/26/17 - New Essentials of Credit Presentations - Appleton

10/04/17 - Lending to Wealthy Individuals - Racine
10/12/17 - Analyzing Personal Financial Stmts and Tax Rtns - Madison
10/23-24/17 - Cash Flow Analysis II:  Applied Concepts - Appleton
10/27/17 - Loan Documentation, Collateral, Structure - Appleton

110/3/17 - Detecting Problem Loans - Appleton
11/03/17 - Fundamentals of Ag Finance - Appleton
11/09/17 - Relationship Manaement Skills:  Using Credit as a Sales Tool  - Waukesha
11/16/17 - So, You've Calculated 55 Different Ratios.. Now What? 
      - Wausau
11/17/17 - Analyzing Business Tax Returns - Madison

The RMA Wisconsin Chapter has a nice line-up of classes scheduled for the Fall 2017 calendar.   Please visit our website regularly for our educational line-up and local programming events including roundtables, lunch-n-learns and other networking events.     

For more information or to register for any of these programs visit our website at .

Upcoming Programming Events
Following are programming events we have scheduled or are working on:

Madison -
10/TBD/17 - Credit Analyst Roundtable
10/TBD/17 - Senior Credit Officers Roundtable
10/31/17 - Scary Stories

Appleton - 
10/11/17 - Senior Credit Officers Roundtable

Milwaukee -
10/24/17 - EXPERT SESSIONS - 1st Session
                  Cyber Security & Loan Document Mistakes  - Waukesha

More information will be sent out once we get closer to each event. Also, visit our website to sign up for these events or to get more information.

Thank you New RMA Members
Following is a list of new RMA members since April 2017.  
Thank you for your membership.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you understand all your benefits!

Angela Stoehr - Associated Bank NA
Pamela Braddock - BMO Haris Bank NA
Craig Coleman - Capitol Bank
John Rehn - Denmark State Bank
Dustin Green - First Bank of Baldwin
Travis Frazier - First Business Bank
Richard Dean Straka - GE Capital Corp.
Richard Schabo - Horicon Bank
Lisa Keller - Johnson Bank
Timothy Wartinbee - Johnson Bank
Christine Wodicka - Johnson Bank
Brian Gottschalk - Johnson Financial Group
Dominic Landretti - Landretti & Company LLC
Jon Clark - Markesan State Bank
Timothy Dillie - Markesan State Bank
Coleman Doucette - Markesan State Bank
Dixie Gaastra - Markesan State Bank
Daniel Carey - McFarland State Bank
Maddie Laufenberg - McFarland State Bank
Ami Myrland - McFarland State Bank
Lukas Trow - McFarland State Bank
Jennifer Dettman - Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.
John Schroeder - Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.
Taylor Hauge - Settlers Bank

Student Memberships
Cody William Chellstorp - UW - Parkside
Henry Desmond - UW - Parkside
Elizabeth Mavis - UW - Parkside
Jacquelin Meremable - UW - Parkside
Henry Raymonds - UW - Parkside
Kembria Stokes - UW - Parkside
Haley Willis - UW - Parkside
National RMA Position Opening
Ilese Hoyniak is retiring from RMA as the Central Region Large Bank Manager on August 31st. On behalf of RMA, we would like to share this opening with you. The Central Region Large Bank Manager covers the following states; Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
For additional information on the position, refer to the link below.

Annual Risk Management Conference - 11/5-7/2017
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, MD

Prepare for tomorrow at RMA's premier event of the year - our Annual Risk Management Conference, November 5-7, 2017.
This year's conference is shaping up to be a robust event in light of current political, regulatory, and economic changes. Your attendance gives you the unique opportunity to stay up to date on those changes and learn best practices on today's hot topics. The agenda will again feature specific session tracks dedicated to credit risk, operational risk, and enterprise risk management topics, as well as retail/community bank issues.
Plus, you can reserve your seat for our pre- and post-conference events:
Pre-conference events: Sunday, November 5 Operational Risk Forum: Community Bank Vendor Risk Management Credit Risk Policy Round Table Enterprise Risk Management Round Table
Post-conference events: November 7-8
Enterprise Risk Management Seminar for Community Banks ALLL Workshop: Understanding CECL

RMA Credit Risk Certification - Why RMA CRC?

In today's rapidly changing financial services industry, you need practical, day-to-day knowledge that will help you excel in your profession. You need the latest skills-skills that are current and complete. And you need the demonstrated ability to serve a diverse base of clients. Plus, you need all of your knowledge, skills, and abilities to be validated by a respected organization like RMA. 

As a credentialed risk professional through RMA, you demonstrate a commitment to the credit risk industry and a level of industry knowledge that has been recognized by an objective, outside organization.

The application deadline for the Fall 2017 testing window (Oct 9 - November 11, 2017) is August 31, 2017, so be sure to apply today.

Learn more about the exam. Apply for the fall exam period. Prove to your employer that you have the skills necessary to successfully manage the challenges of today's financial environment.
For more information, visit 

Would your business/company be interested in sponsoring an RMA Wisconsin Chapter event?  The Wisconsin Chapter has opened up this opportunity to members of RMA.  Sponsorship gifts start at the $500 level.  If you are interested, please contact Sandy Gruber at