Financial institution named Business of the Year, award event set for Sept. 24
For 116 years, Port Washington State Bank has left its fingerprints on the development of Ozaukee County.
In recognition of the bank’s ongoing role in promoting and financing local growth, Ozaukee Economic Development named it the 2015 Large Business of the Year.
Joining the bank in the annual recognition are two Mequon businesses. The Feed Bag Pet Supply has been named Small Business of the Year, and TechTeriors has been picked Medium Business of the Year.
Port State Bank, which has its corporate offices on Franklin Street in Port Washington, was founded in 1899 and is now under the fifth generation of family management.
Bank President and CEO Steven Schowalter said the award affirms the key position the business has in the community.
“While we have received recognition in our branch office communities over the years, the OED recognition is particularly rewarding as it is countywide,” Schowalter said.
“PWSB is the only locally headquartered bank to exclusively serve all of Ozaukee County through its six offices, all located in our home market. Besides our significant consumer and commercial lines of businesses, we are the largest residential home lender in the market, and it is for that reason we refer to ourselves as Ozaukee County’s community bank.”
Schowalter noted the bank has served customers through two world wars, the Great Depression and several recessions.
“As a community bank that prides itself on a very strong local deposit base, we also feel a great responsibility to share our success with worthwhile projects, events and endeavors that help maintain the wonderful quality of life we all enjoy in Ozaukee County,” he said.
That corporate philanthropy adds up to more than $200,000 a year, supporting an array of community organizations and events.
In addition, Schowalter said the bank’s staff provides hundreds of hours of volunteer time each year to churches and community groups.
The bank also initiated a business improvement loan program, offering money through local municipalities at low interest rates to businesses making building repairs or improvements.
To date, 25 loans worth more than $2 million have been made through the program.
The bank employs 107 people and anticipates continued growth at a pace of between 3% and 5% a year.
TechTeriors, 12308 Corporate Pkwy., was founded in 2001 by John and Alex DeToro. The company specializes in supplying and installing audio/visual networks.
According to the award nomination, the company has grown from 25 to 52 full-time employees over the past five years.
During the recent recession, rather than cutting back on expenses because the housing market had stalled, the company increased advertising and retooled its business to target home retrofits and commercial lines.
TechTeriors is a strong community supporter, working with the Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce, Mequon-Thiensville School District and Port Exploreum.
The Feed Bag was started by Mark Haslam in Grafton in 2003, relocating to Mequon in 2010 to gain greater visibility. It has become one of the leading nutrition-oriented pet-supply companies in the county.
The company has seen significant sales growth over the past five years by expanding its product offerings and reaching into the Sheboygan and Chicago markets.
Its workforce has grown from five to 21 employees.
Like the other award winners, the Feed Bag focuses on matters beyond the bottom line.
In 2013, it started the Fairy Dog-Mother Project which offers healthy nourishment to pets of families facing financial struggles.
The store is also a sponsor of Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in the Town of Fredonia.
The three businesses will be presented their awards at the OED Economic Forecast Breakfast Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Ozaukee Pavilion on the county fairgrounds in Cedarburg.
For more information, contact OED Executive Director Kathleen Cady Schilling at 238-7730 or
Image information: OZAUKEE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT has named the recipients of its 2015 Businesses of the Year awards. Port Washington State Bank has been named Large Business of the Year. The Schowalter
family is in its fifth generation managing the bank, which was founded in 1899. Above, the banking lineage includes President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Schowalter, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Mark Schowalter, Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer James Schowalter and Chairman of the Board Ronald Schowalter. The company has 107 employees and six branch offices.