Latest News

Melissa Pharis brings her community banking experience to Kiel

KIEL, WI – June 16, 2017 - Mike Molepske, Chief Executive Officer of Bank First (BFNC), is pleased to announce the addition of Melissa Pharis to the bank’s Kiel office. Pharis joined Bank First in 2016 as a Personal Banker in Plymouth. In her new role, Melissa will be responsible for developing new and enhancing existing retail banking relationships in the Kiel community.

"We are delighted to have Melissa work with members of the Kiel community, where she also resides. Her knowledge and experience in retail banking as well as her warm personality complement our Kiel office well," stated Mike Molepske, Chief Executive Officer at Bank First. "Together, the Kiel team will continue to provide exceptional service and deliver superior financial solutions to our valued customers."

Active in the community, Melissa serves as Secretary for the Professional Business Women of Plymouth and is a member of the Plymouth Arts Center and Kiel Area Association of Commerce. Pharis recently earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lakeland College. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, traveling, golfing, and spending time with family and friends. Melissa resides in Kiel with her fiancé, Chad, and son, Taylor.

 


Bank First Announces Recent Promotions; New Hires

May 30, 2017 - Mike Molepske, Chief Executive Officer of Bank First (BFNC), is pleased to announce the following staffing changes at the bank:

New Hires:

     Betty Bittner recently joined Bank First as Assistant Manager/Retail Lending at the bank’s Two Rivers location. Bittner brings over sixteen years of experience in the banking industry, most recently with Denmark State Bank. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse. Active in her community, she currently serves as board member for the Two Rivers Business Association, board member and member of the Two Rivers Rotary Club, Vice President of the Two Rivers Business Industrial Development, member of the Two Rivers Community Development Authority, Laudete Choir member, middle school religious education instructor, Eucharistic minister, and is a graduate of the Chamber Manitowoc County leadership program. In her spare time, Bittner enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and baking, outdoor activities, long walks, and spending time at her family’s cabin. She resides in Two Rivers with her husband, Mark. They have three grown children and one granddaughter.

     Evelyn Green joined Bank First as a Retail Banker at the bank’s Plymouth location. Prior to her tenure with Bank First, Green was employed at Aurora Credit Union as a Mortgage Loan Representative, where she assisted members with their mortgage, consumer loan, and credit card needs. In her new role, Green will be responsible for developing new and enhancing current retail banking relationships. Dedicated to our community’s future leaders, Evelyn is highly involved in Junior Achievement, an organization focused on inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in their careers. In her spare time, Green enjoys spending time with her children, exercising, roller skating, running, and hiking. She resides in Sheboygan with her husband, Daniel, and their three children.

Promotions:

     Jessica Darmawan has been promoted to Vice President of Treasury Management. Darmawan began her career at Bank First 2004 as a teller. In 2005, she joined the bank’s Treasury Management Department, where she has become an integral member of the team. Darmawan is responsible for the overall Treasury Management function of the bank including sales, product development and implementation, onboarding new customers, and customer service. Focused on community involvement and spending time with her daughters, Jessica volunteers for the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. Jessica earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and French from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. She resides in Green Bay with her husband, James, and their two daughters.

     Rebecca Harrison has been promoted to BSA and Compliance Officer at Bank First. In this role, Harrison is responsible for overseeing the Bank’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance program, and monitors compliance with state and federal USA Patriot Act, anti-money laundering activities (AML), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) laws and regulations. Harrison has been with the Bank since 2001, serving in a variety of capacities. She is a Roncalli High School graduate and earned her Bachelor Degree in Psychology/Sociology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She currently serves as president of the Jefferson Elementary School PTA and resides in Manitowoc with her husband, Lux, and their four children. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys family activities, watching sports, crafts, and enjoying the outdoors. She is also active in her church outreach program.

     Paul Schermetzler has been promoted to Security/BSA Officer. In this role, Schermetzler’s responsibilities will include overseeing the day-to-day functions of the Bank’s security and assist in overseeing the Bank’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance program. Schermetzler joined Bank First in 2014 with extensive experience in crime prevention and law enforcement. He started as a Teller and joined the bank’s Risk Management department last year as its BSA & Compliance Assistant. Schermetzler lives in Manitowoc with his wife, Lisa, and children, Alec and Erin.
 
     Amanda Sitkiewitz has been promoted to Vice President, Retail Banking Manager. Sitkiewitz has over thirteen years of banking experience in the Lakeshore area. She is responsible for managing and developing the bank’s retail and consumer loan portfolio to meet the financial service needs of our customers. Sitkiewitz earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay and is a native to the Manitowoc area. Involved in her community, Sitkiewitz serves as Treasurer for the Chamber of Manitowoc County and is a member of the Young Professionals of Manitowoc County. Additionally, she was recently named “Affiliate of the Year” by the Manitowoc County Board of Realtors. Amanda resides in Manitowoc with her husband, Eric. In her spare time, she enjoys fitness, traveling, cooking, and reading.
 

     Brandon Suemnicht has been promoted to Vice President – Business Banking. Suemnicht began his career at Bank First in 2011 as a Business Analyst. In 2014, he was promoted to Business Banking Officer and most recently, Assistant Vice President – Business Banking.  Brandon received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, and he is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration at Lakeland College.  Brandon is involved in the community by taking an active role in the Howards Grove Athletic Club, Sheboygan Falls Lions Club, Junior Achievement – Eastern WI District Board Member, Committee member for Junior Achievement Business Challenge at Acuity, Sheboygan County YMCA Board of Managers, VP of Sheboygan Falls United Football League, and a youth football coach in Sheboygan Falls. Brandon resides in Sheboygan with his wife, Brittany.

     Aaron Faulkner has been promoted from Vice President to Senior Vice President and Market Manager of our Green Bay territory and Fox Valley Region.  Faulkner joined Bank First in 2014 and has over twelve years of banking experience. Prior to his tenure with Bank First, he held positions of senior relationship manager / business banking, mortgage lender, and senior credit manager with a national financial institution. In his new role, Aaron will be responsible for the growth and development of Bank First’s Green Bay business banking group as well as the bank’s Green Bay and Fox Valley markets. Faulkner earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business from St. Norbert College and a Master of Business Administration degree, with an emphasis in finance, from Lakeland College. Aaron currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer of BNI Tundra Networking and serves on the alumni board at St. Norbert College. Dedicated to volunteering, Faulkner is a Younglife volunteer, Eagles Aloft board member, Habitat for Humanity selection committee member, and Spring Lake church serving team member. Faulkner resides in Green Bay with his wife, Heather, and their four children. In his spare time, he enjoys basketball, physical fitness, and competitive events.

     Bill Bradley has been promoted from Vice President to Senior Vice President and Market Manager of our Appleton territory.  Bradley joined Bank First in 2013 and has over eighteen years of banking experience, providing financial solutions to small and large family owned and closely held companies in and around Fox Valley. Bill will continue to be responsible for the growth and development of Bank First’s Appleton office, while working alongside other Market Managers to support, grow, and further develop the bank. Bradley earned his Bachelor degree in Business from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Active in the community, Bill is a board member of The Fox Cities YMCA, Wisconsin Business Development, and a member of Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries (MBBI). He is also involved in the Fox Cities, serving on committees and coaching youth sports. A native of northeast Wisconsin, Bill resides in Sherwood with his wife, Julie, and their two children. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities, such as golf, skiing, biking, boating, and spending time with his family.
 
     Meghann Kasper has been promoted from Vice President to Senior Vice President and Market Manager of our Oshkosh territory. Kasper joined Bank First in 2010 and has over fourteen years of banking experience. Prior to her tenure with Bank First, Meghann held the position of Vice President, Commercial Banking at Associated Bank. In her new role, Meghann will be responsible for the growth and development of the bank’s future business bankers, business analysts, and commercial administrative assistants. Additionally, she will work alongside other Market Managers as well as the bank’s Senior Lender and Chief Operating Officer on process improvement initiatives for the Commercial Banking function. Kasper earned her Bachelor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Focused on community involvement, Meghann currently serves as Board Treasurer for the Oshkosh Area Humane Society, Treasurer of the Clogging Association of Wisconsin, Chair of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade, Downtown Business Improvement Recruitment Fund Grant Committee Member, Wisconsin Family Business Forum Board and Committee Member, and a Committee Member for the Paine Art Center & Gardens fundraising events. Meghann resides in Oshkosh with her husband and son. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exercising, clog dancing, and spending time with her family.

     Mei Bloechl has been promoted from Vice President to Vice President and Retail Market Manager of the Appleton and Oshkosh territories.  Bloechl joined Bank First in 2010 and has over thirty-five years of banking experience. Prior to her tenure with Bank First, she held the position of Vice President - Private Banking at Associated Wealth Management, where she was employed for thirteen years. Prior to that, Bloechl was employed at U.S. Bank for a number of years. In her new role, Mei will work alongside the Market Managers in the Fox Valley to facilitate the continued growth and development of the Personal Bankers, Branch Coordinators, Customer Service Representatives, and Tellers. Involved in her community, Bloechl is a board member of Oshkosh Family, Inc. and is a member of the Martin Luther Church Trust Committee and Martin Luther Endowment Committee. Mei resides in Oshkosh with her husband and daughter. She enjoys traveling and exploring Wisconsin, and is also involved in her daughter’s sports, music, and church/school activities.

Bank First breaks ground in the City of Plymouth

JUNE 1, 2017 - Bank First representatives recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new banking facility located off Eastern Avenue in Plymouth. Joining them were Jeremiah Lederer from Edgewater Plumbing, Mike Koenig from Mike Koenig Construction, architect Rich Hepner from Kubala Washatko Architects, Plymouth Mayor Don Pohlman, Kathy Blanke and Stuart Blanke from Land Steward Enhancements/Willow Wood Acres.

Mike Koenig Construction is the general contractor of the project, which is expected to be completed by early 2018. The new building will utilize space for a more efficient layout to better service our customers. The Kubala Washatko Architects will be assisting in the design and planning process, and Miller Engineers & Scientists will be aiding in the geotechnical and site plan engineering.

Currently located at 2323 Eastern Avenue, Bank First established itself in the Plymouth community when it acquired the former Dairy State Bank in 1999. “The support from the Plymouth community over the years has allowed Bank First to grow and develop meaningful relationships with local families and businesses. The construction of a new branch is our way of reinvesting into what Dairy State Bank started and continuing its legacy of providing high-quality community banking,” stated Todd K. Neils, Plymouth Market President.


Bank First National Corporation to Acquire Waupaca Bancorporation, Inc.

Company Release – 05/12/2017

Highlights of the Announced Transaction

  • Strengthens Bank First’s franchise in Wisconsin
  • Adds high quality core deposit franchise
  • Significant efficiency improvement opportunities anticipated

MANITOWOC, Wis. and WAUPACA, Wis., May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank First National Corporation (OTC Pink: BFNC), the parent company of Bank First National, announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which Bank First National Corporation (“Bank First”) will acquire Waupaca Bancorporation, Inc. (“Waupaca”), the parent company of First National Bank (“FNB”). The cash and stock transaction has a total current value of approximately $76.3 million.

This transaction represents a strategic and financially attractive combination for both companies' shareholders and will solidify Bank First's position as one of the top community banks in Wisconsin. Based on the financial results as of March 31, 2017, the combined company will have total assets of $1.8 billion, loans of $1.4 billion and deposits of $1.5 billion.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Waupaca and increasing our footprint in Wisconsin," said Mike Molepske, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank First. "Like Bank First, Waupaca has a long history of service to its customers and its communities. In addition, the merger provides opportunity for operational efficiencies and the opportunity to leverage the strengths of both institutions.”

"We are proud to become part of a long standing organization focused on community banking. The combination provides strong value and potential upside for our shareholders going forward," said Jim Rothenbach, President and Chief Executive Officer of FNB. "The combination also provides valuable additional products and services for our customers, an expanded branch network, and new opportunities for our employees as part of a larger organization."

Transaction Details
Under the terms of the definitive agreement and upon consummation of the transaction, Waupaca shareholders will receive a combination of cash and stock for each share of Waupaca common stock, subject to proration based on achieving consideration mix of 70% cash and 30% stock.

The boards of directors of each company have unanimously approved the merger agreement. The transaction is expected to close later this year and is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval by Waupaca’s shareholders. Upon consummation of the transaction, all Waupaca offices are expected to open as Bank First branches.

Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P. served as financial advisor to Bank First and Alston & Bird LLP served as legal counsel. Hovde Group, LLC served as financial advisor to Waupaca and Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal counsel.

Bank First National Corporation
Bank First National Corporation is a bank holding company headquartered in Manitowoc, Wisconsin with total assets of approximately $1.3 billion. Its principal activity is the ownership and operation of Bank First National, a nationally-chartered community bank that operates 12 branches in Wisconsin. The bank’s history dates back to 1894 when it was founded as the Bank of Manitowoc. For more information on Bank First, please visit www.bankfirstnational.com.

Waupaca Bancorporation, Inc.
Waupaca Bancorporation, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Waupaca, Wisconsin with total assets of approximately $473 million. Its principal activity is the ownership and operation of First National Bank, a community bank that operates 8 branches in Wisconsin. The bank’s history dates back to 1885 when it was organized as the National Bank of Waupaca. For more information on Waupaca, please visit www.fnbwaupaca.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 giving Bank First National Corporation's and Waupaca Bancorporation's expectations or predictions of future financial or business performance or conditions. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as "believe,"  "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "target," "estimate," "continue," "positions," "prospects" or "potential," by future conditional verbs such as  "will," "would," "should," "could" or "may", or by variations of such words or by similar expressions. Such forward- looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the combination of Bank First National Corporation and Waupaca Bancorporation, including future financial and operating results, expected cost savings, expected impact on future earnings, the combined companies’ plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. We assume no duty to update forward-looking statements.

In addition to factors previously disclosed in Bank First’s and Waupaca’s  reports, the  following  factors among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking  statements: ability to obtain regulatory approvals and meet other closing conditions to the merger,  including  approval  by Waupaca Bancorporation's shareholders, on the expected terms and schedule; delay in closing the merger; difficulties and delays in integrating the Bank First and Waupaca businesses or fully realizing cost savings and other benefits; business disruption following the proposed transaction; changes in asset quality and credit risk; the inability to sustain revenue and earnings growth; changes in interest  rates and capital markets; inflation; customer borrowing, repayment, investment and deposit practices; the introduction, withdrawal, success and timing of business initiatives; competitive conditions; the inability to realize cost savings or revenues or to implement integration plans and other consequences associated with mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; economic conditions; the reaction to the transaction of the companies' customers, employees and counterparties; and the impact, extent and timing of technological changes, capital management activities, and other actions of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and legislative and regulatory actions and reforms.

Additional Information
This communication is being made in respect of the merger involving Bank First and Waupaca. This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval.
 
Contacts
For Bank First:
Mike Molepske, President & CEO, at mmolepske@bankfirstnational.com or (920) 652-3202

For Waupaca:
Jim Rothenbach, President & CEO, at jrothenbach@fnbwaupaca.com or (715) 258-5511
Stephen Johnson, Chairman, at stevejohnson@fnbwaupaca.com or (715) 258-5511


Bank First reports quarterly earnings per share of $0.64, declares a per share cash dividend of $0.16

MANITOWOC, WI – April 20, 2017 - Bank First National Corporation (BFNC) reported net income for the first quarter of 2017 of $3.99 million, or $0.64 per share, as compared to $3.85 million, or $0.61 per share, for the first quarter of 2016, representing a 5% year-over-year increase.

Net interest income after provision for loan losses was $9.64 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, compared to $9.20 million for the prior year quarter, also representing a 5% increase year-over-year. The increase in net interest margin was a result of 8% loan growth year-over-year. Demand deposits, a low-cost source of funding, remained a significant portion of core deposits, comprising 27% of total deposits at March 31, 2017.

Noninterest income was $2.73 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, compared to $2.64 million in the prior year quarter. This increase was the result of higher service charge revenue as well as increased income from the sale and servicing of our secondary market loan portfolio. This increase was offset by a slight decline in revenues contributed by the Bank’s investments in UFS, LLC and Ansay & Associates, LLC.

 Noninterest expense was $6.35 million for the first quarter of 2017, up from $6.01 million for the first quarter of 2016. Salary expense increased $0.25 million, or 7%, year-over-year as the Bank continued to add quality bankers to serve our growing customer base. Data processing costs increased $0.08 million, or 15%, year-over-year as we invest in technology to provide our customers with innovative banking alternatives. The Bank’s efficiency ratio, a measure of how well resources are utilized by an institution, remained very strong at 49.3%.

“We are excited to report continued earnings growth fueled by increasing deposits and loans one relationship at a time,” said Mike Molepske, Chief Executive Officer. “We have experienced year-over-year growth in every market we serve. Our Appleton office, in its first year of operation, paced the bank with an increase of nearly $11 million in deposits, 20% of the bank’s overall deposit growth. Our Bellevue office, near Green Bay, grew loans by over $22 million to lead our bank in that area.”

Total assets were $1.29 billion at March 31, 2017, up 6% from $1.22 billion at March 31, 2016.

The Corporation’s Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.16 per common share, equaling the prior quarter and representing an increase of 14.3% from the dividend declared one year earlier. The dividend is payable on July 6, 2017, to shareholders of record as of June 29, 2017.


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Bank First in the News...

October 19, 2016 - Bank First National wins chamber excellence award
April 26, 2016 - Bank First ranked 50th for ROAA in the top 200 publicly traded bank with less than $2 billion in assets
March 11, 2016 - Water skier makes splash as athlete of the year