Summer/Fall 2018                         Edition 6, Volume 1
RMA Wisconsin Chapter Newsletter
 Board Member Spotlight
Each newsletter, we will highlight a member of the Wisconsin Chapter Board to give our members a chance to get to know who is serving you.  Feel free to contact any of our board members with any questions or suggestions you have about RMA and the local Wisconsin chapter.  

This month we will highlight Harlan McLain.
    I am the Credit Department Manager at State Bank Financial, which is headquartered in downtown La Crosse.  It has served the Coulee Region since 1858. It's assets total about $325 million.
   After graduating from UW-Eau Claire in 1988. I began my career at Western Federal Savings and Loan out of Sparta.   Through two acquisitions, I ended up working for M&I Bank of La Crosse.  After two years, I accepted a position as a Credit Analyst for Associated Bank in downtown La Crosse in 2004.
   I started as a Senior Credit Analyst at State Bank Financial in 2014 and then promoted to an Asst VP and Credit Depart. Manager.  My main role is as Portfolio Manager.  I also help underwrite self-employed borrowers who apply for mortgage or consumer loans and preparing and presenting executive summaries for the monthly Director's Loan Committee Meeting, as well as various other duties.
   I find value in The RMA Journal and the various RMA courses I have taken in my banking career. A co-worker asked me if I would like to join the RMA Board as he was leaving, and that's how I got involved.  I have been a board member for the Wisconsin RMA Chapter since 2014.
   By joining the RMA State Chapter Board, I learned about the Credit Risk Certification (CRC), which I earned in 2016. 
   I have also completed the Dale Carnegie Course and Community Leadership Program offered through the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce.
   Being a RMA member helps me stay in touch with industry developments. Being a Chapter Board member has allowed me to network with my peers. I also received positive experiences such as attending the Chapter Leadership Conference in Indianapolis in 2016, attending the National Conference in Dallas in 2016 and going to the Brewers' game at Miller Park with many of my fellow Board Members in 2017. 
   I am appreciative of the knowledge that I have acquired from being an RMA Member and the networking opportunities from being a Board member of the Wisconsin State Chapter.
    My wife Kathy and I have three grown daughters. I enjoy golfing, bicycling, playing games, reading and watching sports. 
Get Involved!
The RMA Wisconsin Chapter presents opportunities for individuals to get involved. Chapters rely on the talents of volunteers to stage many of their programs, conduct membership development efforts, and promote the ideals of the Association. To find out more about how you can get involved in our chapter, contact Sandy Gruber at or any of our chapter board members.  Our current Chapter Board Members include:  

- Melissa Torres, President
  State Bank of Cross Plains
- Kevin Graff, Vice President
  Enlighten Financial
- Sandy Gruber, Secretary
  RMA Wisconsin Chapter
- Nick Inman, Treasurer
  River Cities Bank

Madison Region
- Robert Brothers
  Associated Bank
- Derek Moehring
  Capitol Bank

Milwaukee/SE Region
- Stacey Balistreri
  First Bank Financial Centre
- Josh Frazier
  Johnson Bank
- Jeff Justin
  The Equitable Bank
- David Wilbik
  Johnson Bank

Northeast Region
- Gary Maples
  River Edge Consulting
- Cyrene Wilke
  Investors Community Bank

Northwest Region
- Sylvan Erickson
  First Bank of Baldwin
- Harlan McLain
  State Financial Bank

Member-Get-a-Member Program


Who better than you, an RMA member, to share the benefits of membership with your peers?
RMA's Member-Get-a-Member Program is an opportunity for Associate and Professional members to encourage colleagues to join RMA and earn reward points for doing so. Not only will you receive rewards like discounts on RMA events and products, but your networking opportunities will grow as new members join.  Example of award - 
  • Free individual RMA membership for a year, valid from 9/1/18 to 8/31/19
Enroll today to become a program liaison. Please visit this page for more information and an application form.

Stay Connected with Us
LinkedIn -
Join the RMA Wisconsin Chapter  LinkedIn Group  to stay informed about our upcoming events.

Join Our Mailing List - Contact

The RMA Wisconsin Chapter Website -  

Contact Us -
Phone - 608-588-3100 

Facebook Page

Coming Soon!  

RMA Wisconsin Chapter Facebook Page  

We'll keep you posted.

Currently in development.


Would your business /company be interested in sponsoring an RMA Wisconsin Chapter event?  The Wisconsin Chapter has opened up this opportunity to members of RMA.  Sponsorship gifts start at the $500 level.  If you are interested, please contact Sandy Gruber at  

RMA Credit Risk Certification - Why RMA CRC?

In today's rapidly changing financial services industry, you need practical, day-to-day knowledge that will help you excel in your profession. You need the latest skills-skills that are current and complete. And you need the demonstrated ability to serve a diverse base of clients. Plus, you need all of your knowledge, skills, and abilities to be validated by a respected organization like RMA. 

As a credentialed risk professional through RMA, you demonstrate a commitment to the credit risk industry and a level of industry knowledge that has been recognized by an objective, outside organization.

Learn more about the exam. Prove to your employer that you have the skills necessary to successfully manage the challenges of today's financial environment.

For more information, visit 
President's Corner
RMA Members:

Welcome to the RMA Wisconsin Chapter's 2018/2019 fall line-up of classes and events. While we hate to see the summer end, kids are getting back in to school and our Chapter is gearing up for another year of educational classes, roundtables, networking and panel events.
With a new year comes changes within our Board roster as well. Long-time Board Member and RMA advocate, Pete Brethouwer, stepped down to pursue other opportunities. We will greatly miss his support and thoughtful ideas that supported our local chapter. We have several Board Member positions open; if you are interested in hearing more about the leadership opportunities of joining the RMA Wisconsin Chapter Board, please reach out to me.

We are excited for the opportunities that this year will bring including continuation of the following events:
  • 2018/2019 Article Writing Competition
  • Academic Scholarships to juniors/seniors
  • Senior Credit Officers roundtable
  • Credit Analst roundtable
  • Expert panel events
  • Brewers' baseball game
Additionally, we are working on bringing you new events such as:
  • Operational roundtables
  • Academic case study competitions
  • Young Professional specific events and networking opportunities
On behalf of our local chapter leadership, thank you for your continued support of RMA and of our local chapter. It is because of this support we can bring events like those listed above right here to Wisconsin. Please check out the list of RMA Wisconsin Chapter Board Members - these individuals and their institutions or firms have made a commitment to RMA and the local board by volunteering their time to bring events locally - for YOU, our members. If you are interested in joining this amazing leadership group, please reach out to me any time.
I look forward to a great 2018/2019 RMA year!


Melissa Torres, President, RMA Wisconsin Chapter
Vice President - Credit Risk Management
State Bank of Cross Plains

Upcoming Events
Following is the Fall 2018 Educational Calendar:
09/07/18 - Basic Financial Statements - Waukesha
09/14/18 - Adv. Loan Structuring, Collateral and Documentation 
- La Crosse
9/27-28/18 - Cash Flow Analysis II - Madison
10/05/18 - Cash Flow - Waukesha
10/11/18 - Problem Real Estate Loans - Madison
10/15/18 - Essential Elements of Credit Presentations - Eau Claire
10/29/18 - Analyzing Personal Financial Statements and Tax Returns
- Waukesha
11/07/18 - Commercial Real Estate Lending Two: Underwriting 
- Madison
11/09/18 - Writing About the Risk - Beloit
11/16/18 - Principles and Practices of Credit Administration - Wausau
11/29/18 - Analyzing Business Tax Returns - Waukesha
The RMA Wisconsin Chapter has a nice line-up of classes scheduled for the Fall 2018 thru Spring 2019 calendar.  Please visit our website regularly for our educational line-up and local programming events including roundtables, lunch-n-learns and other networking events.   
For more information or to register for any of these programs visit our website at . 

Upcoming Programming Events
Following are programming events we have scheduled or are working on:

Appleton -
09/26/18 - CECL Forum
10/16/18 - Senior Credit Officer Roundtable
11/TBD/18 - Operational Risk Roundtable

10/25/18 - Senior Credit Officer Roundtable
10/31/18 - Scary Lending Stories
11/01/18 - Credit Analyst Roundtable

Milwaukee -
01/22/19 - Senior Analyst Roundtable (Oconomowoc)

More information will be sent out once we get closer to each event.  Look for member events near you to refresh you on all of the opportunities RMA membership has to offer you!  Also, visit our website to sign up for these events or to get more information.

RMA Foundation Scholarship Winners
Since its inception in 2014, The RMA Foundation has awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships to four-year college students who are interested in working in the banking industry after graduation.
We are happy to announce that for the 2017-2018 academic year, The RMA Foundation has awarded scholarships to 88 students who have distinguished themselves through their academic work, industry knowledge, and experience. Of that number, 73 students were first-time recipients and an additional 15 students received renewal scholarships. We received over 300 strong applications this year and thank you for your help in spreading the word.  New this year, the William F. Githens Scholarship, named for RMA's former CEO, was awarded to two of this year's most promising scholarship candidates, who demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and commitment to the financial services industry. 
We have three (3) scholarship winners from Wisconsin:
  • Dillon Klahn, University of Wisconsin 
  • Anna Ruedinger, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
  • Tristan Petrauskas, Carroll University

2018/19 Scholarship Window Open
The Scholarship window is about to open!  Full time Juniors and Seniors interested in a banking career will be able to apply for the RMA scholarship beginning September 10 through October 21.  You can access this information at:
Last year the Wisconsin Chapter had three (3) scholarship winners!  We encourage you to sign up for this scholarship to possibly help with your educational finances!

Article Writing Winners
2017 - Ryan Kelley from State Bank of Cross Plains was the National Article Writing Winner!  His article titled: " Leveraging Data to Enhance Returns from the Commercial Appraisal Process", was published in The RMA Journal, RMA's National Monthly Publication.  Here is a link to a podcast with Ryan and his article: 

2018 - The RMA Wisconsin Chapter would like to announce the winners of their 2018 RMA Article Writing Competition.  We had some really great submissions and look forward to what will be presented next year!  The winners are:
1st Place - Jeremy Maricque  - Loan Review Manager, Johnson Bank and RMA Student Member
Article titled:  Practical KRIs for a Community Bank Commercial Loan Portfolio
2nd Place - Frank Demogerontas and Riley Hanson - Marquette Students & RMA Student Members
Article titled:  Resurrection of the Glass Steagall Act
Congratulations to our winners!   We have forwarded their articles to the national RMA Article Writing Competition  where they have the chance to be published in The RMA Journal!  
Best of luck to you both!

2019 - Watch for information on the 2019 contest coming soon.  Monetary rewards are given out!  Plus, you could get your article published in The RMA Journal.
National RMA Minute
  • RMA recently announced appointment of its 9th and first woman CEO, Nancy Foster. Nancy took the title of President and CEO with RMA on 1/1/18.
  • In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, RMA has piloted a new digital participant manual app, The RMA Reader, in several upcoming Open Enrollment (OE) courses. Be on the lookout as it will be coming to an RMA OE course near you!
Celebrating the Leaders at RMA's Chapter Leaders Conference
By Stephen Krasowski for the September 2018 RMA Journal
Over 200 RMA chapter leaders representing 72 chapters from across the country and Canada gathered at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. June 20-22 for the RMA Chapter Leaders Conference (CLC) to learn, network, and make new friends.
In her welcoming address, RMA President and CEO Nancy Foster emphasized that "we continue to be challenged by risks like cybersecurity, by competition both inside and outside of the industry, and with constant regulatory change, and there's no one better positioned to help the industry more than RMA today."
RMA Chair Robert Messer remarked that "we're here because we want things to be better, and you all have the awesome responsibility in what makes RMA such a special organization,  you ' re leading our volunteers. If you don't do the work, it's not going to be done, and if the work's not done, things won't get better."
Messer, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, American National Bank of Texas, noted that, as chapter leaders and volunteers, there are several things that need to be done. He said you need to scan the fringes of the organization and recognize that when good people come forward in the chapter you need to engage them by giving them something meaningful to do. The second thing is to create clear expectations of what needs to happen. The third thing is to give the volunteers candid feedback, both good and bad. He said you have to recognize and reward based on the clear expectations you set. The fourth thing is dealing with volunteers who are not doing their jobs. Finally, he said, one of the most important responsibilities in your role as a volunteer is always recruiting new volunteers.
"The lifeblood of RMA and any organization is dependent upon our ability to attract, retain, motivate, and engage quality people to help us with our effort. If we ever lose the ability to do that, then we've lost," said Messer.
Read the entire article in the upcoming September edition of The RMA Journal.

RMA Annual Risk Management Conference
Don't forget to register for this year's Annual Risk Management Conference on November 4-6, 2018 in National Harbor, MD (just outside of Washington D.C.).
Featured Speakers:
  • Richard A. Clarke, Chairman and CEO, Good Harbor Security Risk Management, LLC
  • Joseph M. Otting, Comptroller of the Currency, OCC
  • Kathy Pearson, Ph.D., President and Founder, Enterprise Learning Solutions, Inc.
  • Mark M. Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody's Analytics.
For more information and to register, please visit our website at .

Enriching Banking Education: A New RMA Initative
By James Kolari for the November 2017 RMA Journal
DRIVE DOWN ANY main street in the United States and what do you see? Shops, restaurants, office buildings, gas stations, neighborhoods-and, yes, commercial banks.

The ubiquitous presence of banks on busy community streets is not by chance. Bankers want to be close to their depositors and closer still to their business customers. Without banks, many businesses would not exist. It is not an overstatement to say that banks are the financial lifeblood of communities across our nation.

Because banks are so deeply involved in all aspects of community affairs, they demand a diverse group of employees with different backgrounds, ethnicities, educational skills, and business talents. Customers want bankers who understand them and live in their neighborhoods. They want to feel welcomed when they call on bankers for assistance and to value bankers as trusted advisors.

With so many people counting on them, bankers have important jobs.

Given that commercial banks are virtually everywhere and offer highly respected professional careers, it is surprising that most high schools and universities in the United States do not offer any classes in banking. There is a widening gap between the growing need in our communities for talented bankers and the increasing lack of formal educational programs in our schools. I have been a banking professor at Texas A&M University for 37 years and am appalled by the steady erosion of banking courses in higher education.

At Texas A&M, we want to reverse that trend. After the financial crisis, we started the Commercial Banking Program in the Department of Finance, Mays Business School. We were motivated by the fact that our finance students lacked business contacts, summer internship opportunities, and job prospects after graduation.

The program started in the spring of 2012 with 15 students and 10 banks. Today, more than 80 students and approximately 40 banks are involved, in addition to regulatory agencies and vendors of banking services. The major reason for the program's tremendous growth is the active support from commercial banks across Texas that are keen to hire  young, talented students.

An important step in initiating the program was putting together a founding group of bankers. For this purpose we reached out to bankers with a history of interaction with our department and students. The founders formed an executive board that reached out to other bankers who might be interested in participating on an advisory board.

To read the rest of the article or to download this article, please visit the RMA National website: