Just a minute – with Dean Fitting, president & CEO, Ozaukee Bank

Company address: N69 W5269 Columbia Road, Cedarburg

Company Web site: www.ozaukeebank.com
Industry: Banking
Number of employees: 220
Company’s assets under management: $1.15 billion
Family: Wife Francine; son Ryan; daughter Angie; dog Chelsea

What’s new at your company?: "Last year, Ozaukee Bank reached the $1 billion mark in total assets under management. That was a milestone that caused me to stop and reflect on changes leading to our growth. One recent change was the opening of the first Ozaukee Bank Business Center in downtown Milwaukee. Our goal was to bring the community bank strengths of Ozaukee Bank to downtown Milwaukee. Another initiative that was recently brought to market is our new wealth management model."

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?: "To be successful, you must train yourself to look beyond what you see. In community banking, many times that requires us to think like entrepreneurs. After the outstanding mortgage refinance boom of the past two years, we will return our focus to balancing growth."

If interest rates rise in late 2004, what kind of impact will that have on your bank? "Should interest rates rise, it would be the result of an improving economy, rising employment levels and increased retail and manufacturing activity. This should be positive for the bank’s clients and result in additional opportunities for Ozaukee Bank. Of course, as a bank, we would always prefer to see rates rise slowly."

Do you have a business mantra?: "Making a difference. For all Ozaukee Bank associates, this phrase has become our business mantra, as we continually look for ways to make a difference in the lives of the people and businesses in the communities
we serve."

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?: "Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines. He was an entrepreneur who took a start-up airline and turned it into the most successful airline in America with a simple formula – engage the hearts and minds of all employees."

What was the best advice you ever received?: "It’s not only advice, but has become my favorite saying: ‘See the world through the eyes of a child.’"

What do you do like to do in your free time? "My interests include reading, youth soccer, volleyball, skiing and travel."

Feb. 6, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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