Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
BizTimes Media

Bob Atwell

Banking and Finance
Executive chairman
Nicolet National Bank | Green Bay

Bob Atwell co-founded Nicolet National Bank in 2000. He led the Green Bay-based bank as chief executive officer until 2021 when he transitioned to executive chairman. Under his leadership, Nicolet grew to 55 branches, with locations in northeast and central Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula, northern Michigan and eastern Minnesota. In 2021, Nicolet made two acquisitions – Mackinac Financial Corp. and County Bancorp Inc. – which were followed by the acquisition of Charter Bankshares Inc. earlier this year. Atwell has served as lead director for the Ariens Company board and on the board of Hospital Sisters Health System, Great Northern Corp., Saris Cycling Group, Promotion Management Inc. and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. He is also past chairman and one of the founders of Relevant Radio, a national Catholic radio network.

Education: Bachelor’s, Beloit College; master’s, Yale University

Favorite destinations: “Our home in Sturgeon Bay. I also really enjoy Spain.”

Toughest business challenge you’ve ever faced:  “The Great Recession devastated the banking industry and many of our customers. We faced our problems honestly, worked with our customers and came out much stronger for the challenges. I lost a lot of sleep and my hair turned white, but it was the greatest period of professional growth I have had.”

Fun fact: “I have 11 children. It’s not as hard as you might think. God provides the strength we lack.”

Biggest recent accomplishment: “We closed three acquisitions in 13 months and added a lot of new talent.”