Bubbler Executive Appointments

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:01 am

Maritime Savings Bank names new CEO

Under pressure from federal regulators to quickly repair its balance sheet, West Allis-based Maritime Savings Bank has hired Peter Bildsten to be its next chief executive officer.

Bildsten was selected by Maritime’s board of directors to take over the top role from Matthew Olsen. Olsen, who has been chief executive since April, will continue to act as president of the bank. Both Bildsten and Olsen also will serve on the company’s board.

A 30-year veteran of the banking industry, Bildsten served as chairman and chief executive of First National Bank and Trust Co. of Baraboo for six years before leading a successful merger with Wells Fargo Bank in 2002. He then served as Wells Fargo’s market president for the greater Madison area.

Earlier in his career, he spent eight years in Milwaukee in senior lending positions with two thrift institutions and another 10 years in the private mortgage insurance industry.

“These are challenging times in the banking industry, and I look forward to working with everyone at Maritime to meet these challenges head on,” Bildsten said.

The move comes as Maritime works to bolster its capital position and improve lending practices following an order from the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision, which gave Maritime until Jan. 31 to raise its capital ratios to acceptable levels.

The chairman of Maritime’s board, Joseph Rudolph, called the addition of Bildsten “yet another promising step in the right direction” for the bank.

“Pete has proven himself to be one of the best community bankers in the state of Wisconsin,” Rudolph said. “We are certain that his experience and credentials will be invaluable as we work to restore vitality to the bank.”

Maritime Savings Bank was founded in 1912 in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood. The financial institution was originally known as Kinnickinnic Federal Savings and Loan before the Maritime name was adopted in 1993.

Louie Gentine is new president of Sargento Foods

Sargento Foods Inc. announced that Louie Gentine has been appointed president and chief customer officer of the Plymouth-based company.

Lou Gentine, Sargento chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement that his son will succeed Bob Clouston, who is retiring.

"Bob has made many significant and lasting contributions to our success since he was hired in 2000, and we wish him the best in his retirement," Lou Gentine said. "With Bob’s transitional counsel and mentoring, Louie is well-prepared to build upon our recent successes."

Louie Gentine earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in finance from the University of Notre Dame and his master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University.

After spending three years in commercial banking, Louie Gentine returned to Sargento and has had many cross-functional training and leadership experiences in marketing, production, procurement and, most recently, as president of the consumer products division.

In his new role, Louie Gentine will have responsibility for the company’s four sales divisions, new product development and corporate-wide customer and consumer research.

The company also announced that Michael Pellegrino has joined Sargento as president of its consumer products division. Pellegrino most recently worked at Kraft Foods as senior vice president for global strategic planning.

Sargento is a family–owned manufacturer and marketer of natural shredded, sliced and snack cheeses, appetizers, cheese ingredients, sauces and meal solutions servicing the retail, deli, foodservice and industrial segments of the food industry.

Strattec names Krejci as new president

Strattec Security Corp. announced today that the company’s board of directors has elected Frank Krejci as its president and chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Krejci will report to Harold Stratton II, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, who has also acted as president since October, 2004.

Krejci will continue on the Strattec board of directors. He has been a member of the board for more than 14 years.

Stratton said, "Frank brings to his new role with Strattec a wealth of experience and expertise, including strategic planning, merger and acquisition activity, venture capital investments, and a significant role as a vice president of Briggs & Stratton Technologies, our predecessor company. He has been president of The Custom Shoppe, a privately held custom furniture manufacturer in Watertown, Wis., for the past 13 years. As a result of his participation on the Strattec board and the role he played at Briggs & Stratton Technologies, Frank has a solid understanding of our company, the industry we serve, our customers and challenges. With that understanding and his high level of expertise, he will be a great enhancement to our management team."

Strattec designs, develops, manufactures and markets automotive security products, including mechanical locks and keys, electronically enhanced locks and keys, steering column and instrument panel ignition lock housings; and Access Control Products including latches, power sliding side door systems, power lift gate systems, power deck lid systems, door handles and related products.

Schmidt is new CFO at Potawatomi Bingo Casino

Potawatomi Bingo Casino has named Kurt Schmidt as chief financial officer.

As CFO, Schmidt will oversee all financial activities on the Milwaukee casino’s property, ensuring that all applicable laws, rules, regulations, controls and policies are enforced. He will also monitor operating results, profitability and performance of the casino.

“We are pleased to have Kurt join our leadership team.” said Potawatomi Bingo Casino general manager Mike Goodrich. “We look forward to utilizing his diversified skill set to support the long-term business plans of the casino.”

Schmidt, a certified public accountant with a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has more than 30 years of experience in a variety of financial oversight roles, including his recent position as CFO with the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, where he helped to build and manage six new casino properties.

His tenure in areas related to finance also has included positions at Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprises, where he helped oversee three casinos, a hotel and convenience store; Ho-Chunk Casino in the Wisconsin Dells; and Dental Associates.

Stritch names Bergemann as interim president

The Cardinal Stritch University board of trustees has chosen Kent Bergemann to be the interim president of the school, following the resignation of president Helen Sobehart.

Sobehart will be leaving her post as president on Dec. 31. She announced her decision Dec. 7, citing family and health concerns. Bergemann will assume his role as interim president on Jan. 1, 2010.

Bergemann is a retired executive with a 30-year career at Wells Fargo. He has been a trustee at Stritch for four years and has served on the academic and student affairs committee, the committee on trustees, the compensation committee and executive committee.

Bergemann will serve as interim president until a new president is selected. The school’s search process will begin immediately with the formation of a presidential search committee. Provost Dan Blankenship will continue to handle the academic affairs of the university and Tom VanHimbergen will continue as the executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“I am pleased to announce that Kent has been selected interim president,” said board of trustees chairman David Hawke. “His extensive leadership experience, financial acumen and deep personal faith are but a few of the reasons that give me every confidence that he will work very effectively with our entire leadership team as we continue our mission to transform lives through value centered education.”

“I am honored to be associated with the Stritch community and to now participate more closely with our talented and dedicated faculty and administrative team,” Bergemann said. “I am fully committed to the mission of this university to make a real difference in the lives of our students.”

Bergemann retired at the end of 2007 as district president of Wells Fargo’s southeastern Wisconsin retail and business banking operations. Upon his retirement, Wells Fargo regional president Lanny Little said, “Kent has been an outstanding leader and a valuable member of our team. He has modeled the client-centered and needs-based approach that we want to be known for. His team and his peers know him to be an intelligent, caring and highly effective coach.”

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