Sarah Oberthaler: BizTimes Media’s Notable Women in Commercial Banking

Chief Administrative Officer / Citizens Bank

  • Category: Notable Women in Commercial Banking
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 15
  • Undergrad degree/university: Bachelors of Business Admin, UW-Madison
  • Graduate degree/university: Juris Doctor, Marquette University Law School

Sarah Oberthaler has worked for 15 years in the banking industry, including 13 with Citizens Bank.

“To say that Sarah Oberthaler wears many hats is an understatement,” said Stefanie Bonesteel, vice president of marketing for Citizens Bank. “She oversees five functional areas of the organization – Human Resources, Organizational Development, Retail Deposits, Compliance, and Security – the last three of which she has taken on in just the last few years as others moved to different roles. Where there have been gaps in leadership, Sarah has risen to a new challenge time and time again. She is the driving force of the bank’s senior management team and a champion for creating efficiencies at every level.

“Furthermore, as the only member of the team with a law degree, she is often relied upon for her legal expertise.

“But with a background in Human Resources, Sarah’s passion remains creating a winning culture for Citizens Bank. She is the mastermind behind the quarterly focus initiatives launched in early 2019 that combine fun contests with activities designed to strengthen key business competencies. She also developed a wellness program that empowers employees to achieve their best physical and mental health.”

Oberthaler is an active member of the Wisconsin Bankers Association and has presented seminars on HR topics at several WBA meetings and conferences. She has also presented seminars about elder financial abuse, and she partners with local schools on career development programs.

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