2021 Leaders in Banking Excellence honored

Pictured from left: John Godfrey Thomson, The Bank of New Glarus; Robert Gorsuch, Oak Bank, Fitchburg; Mary L. Staudenmaier, The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT), Marinette; Merlin E. Zitzner, Baraboo State Bank; and Jon Bernander, Bank of Wisconsin Dells were celebrated Oct. 29 at an event held at the Wisconsin Bankers Association headquarters in Madison.

MADISON, Wis.—Mary L. Staudenmaier, of The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT), Marinette, was one of five individuals honored by the Wisconsin Bankers Association for their excellence in banking, community service and civic involvement.

A celebration was held Oct. 29 at the WBA headquarters in Madison, where a Leaders in Banking Excellence Wall installation displays a tribute to outstanding current and former bankers. The wall was established in 2020, and the five Class of 2021 honorees join the 12 inaugural honorees.

“These leaders have made significant contributions to Wisconsin’s banking industry and to the economic wellbeing of our state,” said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “Part of what makes them exceptional leaders is that they have inspired others to succeed in their professions and in service to their communities.”

Mary L. Staudenmaier, former Chairman of the Board at The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT) in Marinette, has been a lifelong community leader and an avid proponent of the banking industry. In 1973, she founded the Trust Department at SNBT, shortly after earning her law degree from Marquette University in 1971. Within six years (in 1979) she was appointed the bank’s first female president and named Chairman of the Board, carrying out this role until her retirement in 2013. The bank grew from $27 million to $300 million in assets under her leadership.

Staudenmaier has served as M&M Area Community Foundation founding board member and past president, Twin Counties’ Free Clinic founder and past treasurer, Marinette Medical Care Foundation founder, and Clothes Vault founder. Her other past service includes: Holy Family Parish and Catholic Diocese of Green Bay finance committees, Marinette County Bar Association, Board of Trustees at Mount Mary College, Dean’s Advisory Board of Marquette University Law School, and the WBA Board.

In 1997, Mary was appointed by the Wisconsin State Supreme Court to the Wisconsin State Board of Bar Examiners and became its chair in 2002. In 2002 and 2003, she was named the Person of the Year by two different area chambers of commerce.

Staudenmaier encouraged SNBT staff to share their abilities with area community organizations, and the Mary L. Staudenmaier WINGS (Worthy Individual Noted for Generous Service) Award is presented annually by SNBT to an employee who embodies the altruistic values Mary has epitomized.

The other honorees in the 2021 Leaders in Banking Excellence Class are: Jon Bernander, Bank of Wisconsin Dells; Robert Gorsuch, Oak Bank, Fitchburg; John Godfrey Thomson, The Bank of New Glarus; and Merlin E. Zitzner, Baraboo State Bank.

To read the bios of each of the 2021 Leaders in Banking Excellence honorees, people may visit www.wisbank.com/excellence2021.