If you’re involved in the Beaver Dam business community, you may recognize a few names associated with Horicon Bank. Names like Al Schwab, Terry O’Connor, Paul Huebner and others – often recognized for their community involvement ranging from the YMCA, to the school district, or to the hospital. Or you may recognize Horicon Bank’s reputation as a bank for local businesses through lending and payment solutions. It wouldn’t be surprising since Horicon Bank has invested more than $700 million of business loans into communities in Dodge, Fond du Lac and neighboring counties. But there are a few names you might not know. Names of the critical behind-the-scenes people who analyze and process those business loans in an efficient and timely manner.
This Commercial Loan Processing team is led by Brenda Nelson and consists of two long-tenured commercial loan-processing professionals, Jenny Krug and Sherry Daley, as well as two credit analysts, Tony Kneepkens and Cody Wand. When speaking to Horicon Bank’s team of a dozen commercial lenders, Brenda’s team are some of the most highly praised people in the organization.
Serving the business customer efficiently is the mindset that Brenda Nelson’s Commercial Loan Processing team has. “We are very good at prioritizing tasks to serve the customer,” says Nelson. “Everyone communicates and no one is afraid to do things that are ‘beneath us’ – whatever it takes to provide what the customer needs.” Brenda herself spent time in her career as a lender, but prefers the role of credit analyst and manager because of the variety those jobs bring.
Jenny Krug said of Brenda, “She deserves a lot of kudos. This is a well-oiled machine and nothing goes unmissed here. Brenda knows her stuff.” Krug is a Milwaukee native and used to work in a customer-facing role at a Milwaukee bank as a branch manager, but now enjoys serving internal customers, Horicon Bank’s team of business bankers. “We drop things to make it happen for them. They give us a lot of thanks and appreciation.”
Sherry Daley has been with Horicon Bank for almost twenty years. “It doesn’t feel like it,” says Daley. “It has been special how we have grown. I am very proud to be in this department. Everyone here thinks, ‘How do we get this to the customer?’ It is not about me. I try to put myself in the customer’s shoes and think if I needed loan documents quickly after a loan has been approved, how I would feel.” When Sherry thinks of those customers, she has in mind businesses like Benvenuto’s, WDS Construction, and Sam’s Well Drilling, and others.
Brenda Nelson’s team has been growing, especially as Horicon Bank acquires Markesan State Bank, with its three new communities. With that comes two new team members, while others have used their experience analyzing and processing commercial loans to grow into lenders. “We have nice variety in this department. No loan write-up is the same,” said Nelson. Part of that variety has allowed many younger employees to spend time in Nelson’s department to go on to other areas of the bank, as lenders and financial analysts.
Horicon Bank also has a strong and growing sense of sophistication with business technology products, like internet banking and treasury management services. In support of those services is another highly skilled, long-tenured, hidden gem, Lisa Zarling. “It’s a great place to work,” said Zarling. “my over thirty years here says that.”
Zarling says that part of her enjoyment at work is to get to know the customers and learn about the types of businesses they operate and see them grow, improve and prosper. “Besides working with anything from a small business to various larger industrial businesses, recently we started helping larger dairy farms. We are offering them technology and payment solutions that a lot of businesses might not know about, which can dramatically streamline and improve efficiencies in the operation of their business.” Some of those products Zarling mentions include fraud control products like Positive Pay and ACH Fraud Control, which helps monitor unauthorized transactions, especially with fraud continuing to be on the rise.
As Nelson states, “We work well as a team to meet and exceed customer’s expectations. My customer is the loan officer and we work together well to help each other.” This a fitting statement to exemplify Horicon Bank’s Vision statement: “We enjoy working together to make lives better and more secure.” These women are some of the people at Horicon Bank who help the bank invest dollars into businesses in Dodge and surrounding counties.
This article first appeared in the October 2019 edition of Inspire Magazine.