Profile of the Week

Joe Fazio, chairman, CEO and co-founder, Commerce State Bank

Name: Joe Fazio

Title: Chairman & CEO, Co-founder

Company: Commerce State Bank

City of Residence: Cedarburg

Family: Wife, Lisa; children, Megan, Joey and Becca

What’s new at your company this year? “Eight new employees, a new building, a new information technology partner (Metavante), hundreds of new clients, and perhaps you’ve heard, there’s an unbelievable change in the economy particularly as it relates to the financial services industry and banking. Years of easy credit and leverage are ‘unwinding.’ Thankfully, we’ve avoided the major problem areas – sub-prime mortgages, Fannie & Freddie stock, Lehman Brothers bonds, out-of-state real estate, etc. I’m sure there is more, but these have kept us quite busy.”

What was the best investment/client/project you’ve been involved with? “The best investment I’ve been involved in is this bank. I have never worked so hard, but never had so much fun. We’ve been very blessed with great clients, shareholders, employees and partners.”

What was the funniest or most interesting moment of your career? “There are several funny and interesting moments, most from when I’ve done or said something embarrassing. It is difficult to come up with one acceptable for print. I’m glad you are not asking my partners to provide an answer. I recall one time when we were signing documents asking our attorney, Bob Henkle of Reinhart what the “Its” means where you write in your title under your signature, thinking it was some legal acronym or Latin word. He replied, “It simply means ‘its’ CEO, CFO, President, or whatever title you write in, nothing more or less.” So I guess ‘its’ means ‘its’.”

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