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Former board chair Wittkopf named director emeritus at Great North Bank

FROM LEFT ARE Rochelle Wittkopf, member of the Great North Bank board of directors; Tom Wittkopf Jr., board chair and president/CEO; and Tom Wittkopf Sr., a new director emeritus at Great North Bank.

FLORENCE, Wis. — The Great North Bank board of directors has designated former board chair Tom Wittkopf Sr. a director emeritus for the bank.

“After 55 years of outstanding commitment to our bank and community, it’s an honor to announce Tom Wittkopf Sr. (Tom Sr.) has received this designation,” said Tom Wittkopf Jr., president and CEO. “His work has had an impact that extends far beyond the bank walls and reached many families, schools, non-profits, and other organizations that make our communities great.”

Tom Sr. officially retired from the bank’s board of directors Jan. 1 but remains president of Florence Bancorporation, Inc., the bank’s one-bank holding company. Tom Wittkopf Jr. has been elected Great North Bank’s board chair.

Tom Sr. received numerous awards throughout his career, including induction into the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s 50 Year Club, president of the Independent Community Bankers Association, director of Independent Community Bankers of America for Wisconsin, ICBAW’s Outstanding Banker of the Year, and various leader in technology awards.

For Tom Sr., however, the most gratifying recognition has been the loyalty of his customers and community. “When I look back over the last 55 years, I believe it all comes down to helping people and doing what is right,” he said.

Tom Sr. began working at State Bank of Florence, now Great North Bank, in 1966 after gaining business experience in the insurance industry. His initial role at the bank was as a teller and loan officer when his father, Allen C. Wittkopf, was president. Tom Sr. eventually assumed the role of president and CEO in 1980. A similar change took place in 2006 when Tom Sr. announced his own retirement and named his son, Tom Wittkopf Jr., president and CEO, the third generation to lead the family-owned bank.

Great North Bank Board of Directors welcomed Tom Sr.’s son, Will Wittkopf, to its board this past fall along with Todd Kinart. Will has been a member of the bank’s Florence Bancorporation Inc. board of directors since its inception in 1980.

Great North Bank is a family-owned, independent community bank established in 1891 that serves Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and beyond.

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