Steve Schowalter takes on chairman’s position, following his father Ron
At Port Washington State Bank, there is continuity even in change.
That was the message last week when Steven Schowalter was introduced as the bank’s new chairman of the board.
Schowalter was actually elected to the position during the bank’s November board of directors meeting.
He follows his father, Ronald Schowalter, who retired after 60 years in the banking industry, holding the position of director and later chairman of Port State Bank.
The elder Schowalter will keep connected with bank operations in his new capacity as chairman emeritus.
“Our bank remains in wonderful hands and I look forward to enjoying the continuing success of our institution under Steve’s continued leadership,” he said.
The leadership move reflects the bank’s goal of allowing long-tenured members to step back from active service.
Steve Schowalter grew up in the banking world and has spent 49 years with Port State Bank.
He was first elected to the board in 1974 and became its president and CEO, succeeding his father, in 1991.
Schowalter’s involvement in the financial scene has extended well beyond Port Washington, as evidenced by his being named the Wisconsin Bankers Association Community Banker of the Year earlier this year.
Locally, Schowalter is a longtime member and past president of the Port Washington/Saukville Rotary Club, former member of the board of Portal Inc. in Grafton, longtime member of the Port Washington Economic Development Committee and a member of the advisory board of Ozaukee Economic Development.
Continuing the family theme, Schowalter’s brother, Mark Schowalter, assumes the duties of the board’s vice-chairman.
He has a 47-year career with Port State Bank and has been its executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The bank also announced the appointment of three new directors, in recognition of continued growth that has pushed assets to more than one half billion dollars.
Andrew Petzold is a Mequon resident and principal owner of the high-end commercial real-estate company Concord Development,
John Armbruster is an active civic leader and a fourth-generation owner of Armbruster Jewelers in Cedarburg.
Gary Maples is a retired M&I Bank president who managed offices in Sheboygan and Superior.
He is currently active with the Wisconsin Bankers Association, the American Bankers Association and a graduate banking program.
Maples operates River Edge Consulting, which serves a wide range of clientele.
“These three individuals bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience along with a diversity of backgrounds so valuable to an organization such as ours as we continue to grow,” Steve Schowalter said of the board appointments.
James Schowalter also continues on the board.
Stepping down along with Ron Schowalter were Frank Metz and Thomas Greisch, who collectively served 150 years as bank directors.
“Their stewardship of this institution is without question an outstanding achievement for which we are ever grateful,” Steve Schowalter said.
Port State Bank is a 117-year-old, fifth-generation, family-owned business.
Clarence Hill and George Henry opened the doors to the bank at 206 N. Franklin St. on Sept. 11, 1899, less than a year after the Wisconsin Chair Factory fire destroyed much of the town’s business district.
It is the largest independently owned and operated community bank headquartered in Ozaukee County.
In addition to its main office in Port Washington, it has banks in Belgium, Fredonia, Saukville, Grafton and Cedarburg, with a new branch opening next year in Thiensville.
MEMBERS OF THE Port Washington State Bank board of directors include (from left) Andrew Petzold, CEO of Concord Development; James Schowalter, bank senior vice president and chief credit officer; Steven Schowalter, president, CEO and chairman of the board; Gary Maples, president of River Edge Consulting; Mark Schowalter, executive vice president, chief operations officer and vice-chairman of the board; and John Armbruster of Armbruster Jewelers in Cedarburg.