Bullish on the South Side

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Community Bank & Trust, a Sheboygan-based bank, which will soon have 11 branches in southeastern Wisconsin, will open a Greenfield branch on Feb. 15 in a new three-story office building under construction at 4125 W. Loomis Road. The Greenfield bank will lease about 10,000 square feet of space in the new building, and will have 11 or 12 employees.
John Nowicki, a senior vice president of commercial lending, and Patricio Iligaray, vice president of commercial lending, will oversee commercial lending operations at the branch. Currently Nowicki and Iligaray both work in the bank’s Glendale location, and they will move to the new branch when it opens.
The Greenfield location, which will be Community Bank & Trust’s southernmost branch, will give the bank access to several different markets it wants to reach, Iligaray and Nowicki said. The new branch will be near the busy intersection of West Loomis Road and West Layton Avenue, and is just blocks away from Interstate 894. It is also close to the South 76th Street commercial district and Southridge Mall.
"It’s on a major thoroughfare and gives us nice access," Nowicki said. "(Loomis) doesn’t have the allure of 76th Street or Layton Avenue or Highway 100, but there is a lot of capacity (on this site)."
There are several developments, both residential and commercial under construction near the bank’s building, which Nowicki and Iligaray said would help support the bank, although it will likely draw customers from a wider area.
Having the new branch in Greenfield was key because of the different markets it will give the bank access to, Iligaray said.
"We will be able to go after the south side of Milwaukee, Greenfield, Oak Creek, Franklin and even Racine," he said. "The south side of Milwaukee has a huge Hispanic population. That is a huge opportunity for us."
Iligaray speaks fluent Spanish, and worked extensively with the Hispanic community while he was with Tri City National Bank. He joined Community Bank & Trust several months ago, and said some of his contacts had already followed him to the new bank. Because Loomis Road provides an easy access point from Milwaukee’s south side, which has a large concentration of the city’s Hispanic population, Iligaray said it will be easy for that population to access the Greenfield bank.
The new branch will feature a citizen advisory board, comprised of six to eight community and business leaders. An advisory board made of citizens helps the bank tune into local issues, Nowicki said, and it also provides easy access to referrals.
The advisory board will also help the bank gain insight to the community, and fine-tune its products and pitches to the local market, Iligaray said. As a community bank, Community Bank & Trust is committed to representing the local market, he said.
"We want (the branch) to reflect who the community is," Iligaray said. "We want to feel that the bank still feels right to the community. We want to listen to them, help them to achieve their goals, whether that is to buy a house, a business or send their kids to school."
Having an advisory board of citizens could help the bank achieve great success in the Hispanic community, where word-of-mouth endorsements and referrals have been highly successful in the past, Iligaray said.
Aside from Iligaray’s fluent Spanish skills, the new branch will also have a bilingual financial officer and mortgage lender, to ensure it can work with the Hispanic community.
The banking team that Community Bank & Trust has put together to work in the new branch should make the new office highly successful and should help boost the communities it serves, Nowicki said.
"We have a team of bankers with a variety of experience who are also sales people," he said. "They like to do deals. They’re all people with a natural curiosity who know how businesses make money and who want to be part of that process."
Community Bank & Trust’s preferred lender designation with the Small Business Administration will also give the new branch an edge, Nowicki said. For 2005, Community Bank & Trust was the sixth largest SBA lender in the state in terms of transactions, and did the fourth largest volume in total SBA dollars.
"The SBA (loans) will allow me to work with a more broad pool of clients," Nowicki said.

Community Bank & Trust New branch location: 4125 W. Loomis Road, Greenfield
Total assets: $451 million
Branches: 11
Employees in new location: 11 to 12
Web site: www.communitybankandtrust.com

Small Business Times, December 9, 2005, Milwaukee, WI

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