West Bend-based Commerce State Bank is opening an office and a new branch to keep up with demand for its services.
The bank opened a 1,500-square-foot loan production office in Saukville in mid-September, when it hired mortgage originator Linda Chesak. She previously worked in the same market for Associated Bank.
“There was an available space that was cost effective and we decided that made sense,” said Joe Fazio III, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer. “Because she was so well known out of Saukville for so many years, we said ‘Why don’t we put you in the market that you’re most familiar.’”
Chesak will serve Commerce’s existing commercial and individual clients in the Saukville area, and has brought her client base to the bank.
This is the first loan production office for Commerce, which was founded in 2005. It has branches in West Bend and Cedarburg. Fazio said the bank has hired nine new employees this year, with its growth driven by strong loan demand.
“The growth of the bank is fueling the need for additional employees, and that growth is a result of our strategy to be actively pursuing new clients, to have a sales culture if you will,” Fazio said. “Where it makes sense, we would open other offices, based on the people we hire and the markets we serve.”
Commerce State Bank is also in the process of building a new Cedarburg branch, which will open in early November. The branch, at the corner of Washington and Lincoln, is about 5,500 square feet and also includes a drive-through. It will be double the size of the previous building across the street, at W61 N297 Washington Ave.
“We had opened a branch there five-and-a-half years ago and have seen tremendous growth there,” Fazio said. “We purchased that property probably four years ago, always with the intention of building a location on that corner large enough to support our growth there. We don’t have a specific plan to dot the countryside with branches, but where we see opportunity, which usually comes in the form of hiring great employees, we would open a location, whether it be a loan production office or a branch.”