Still growing after more than a century, here’s how a small Brown County Bank has stayed local since 1911.
When the owners of the newest coffee shop in Allouez went looking for a loan to start the business, they found help in an unexpected place. Larger regional banks were ready to lend, but GreenLeaf Bank, a small, family-owned bank in far southern Brown County not only jumped at the chance to do business with the shop, but also went above and beyond in helping them grow. "We met with a really, really large bank where we had an account prior to GreenLeaf, but they were more focused on numbers," said Chris Christen, co-owner of Coffee Wizardz, 535 Green Ave., in Allouez. “They weren't sending us leads for new clients, checking in on us or coming to our café. That was the big difference," he added.
Customers say that personal touch has been a hallmark of GreenLeaf Bank and its predecessors since the early 1900s, and it's a key to how the bank has managed to not just survive, but to grow over the last century.
Ray VandeVoort is the owner of one of the dozen farms near the GreenLeaf Bank branch at 1608 Day St., in the village of Greenleaf. He has been a farm owner and a client of the GreenLeaf Bank for all his life. Now 72 and retired, he says the bank has always been there to help him, even as farming became harder. “I do less now, but we are still farming, and they are still there for us,” he said. If the bank were to close tomorrow, he knows he could find another bank, but he “would sure miss them.” “You go there, and they know everybody, they call you by your first name,” he said.
GreenLeaf Bank traces its roots to Wayside State Bank and State Bank of Greenleaf, created in 1911 and 1913 respectively. The banks were united in 1970, when Dave Krutz became the primary shareholder and president of both banks and changed the name to GreenLeaf Wayside Bank. In 2020, the name was changed to the GreenLeaf Bank.
As of March 31, the small bank had 116,435 total deposits and $128.2 million in assets. By comparison, Associated Bank as the region's largest had 28.5 million deposits and $31.2 billion in assets, as reported by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
David Krutz, son of the original owner and now president of the entity, says GreenLeaf Bank has always been a community-oriented financial institution, with a personal approach and very loyal and competent employees. Most of the bank's staff have been there for 10 years or more — and some for more than 40. "We have been lucky, they have been so loyal to us; and for those that are retiring, we are thinking promotions (to fill those positions)," said Krutz.
For much of the bank's history, its main customers were local farmers. “Historically (the portfolio) was a little more agricultural, but that’s been trending down over the years,” he said. As family farms have closed and the dairy industry increasingly became dominated by large farms, that business began to dwindle.
Wrightstown is a fast growing residential area and today the biggest portion of the bank's business is in residential and commercial real estate, both in the village and in other parts of the region. Wrightstown's population was 3,688 in 2020 according to the U.S. Census Bureau — up 30.46% since 2010. Greenleaf grew in that same period from 607 people to 918.
Tim Trudell, owner of Complete Auto Body, said the bank has always been there to support him and his business, a vehicle repair shop just two miles from the Greenleaf branch. He thinks the institution has a strong relationship with the community, something that a big bank might not have. “I’ve grown (the business) quite a few times and every time they were there to help me,” he said.
The bank's owners have been approached several times about their willingness to sell to a bigger bank, but Krutz feels a commitment to support the community, something he doesn't believe a bigger bank would have. If an offer were to be presented, he said, they wouldn’t sell. "There have been studies that when a community bank gets bought out or closes, it really affects the local community because we are willing to take more chances than big banks with people we have a relationship with," said Krutz. He pointed to a study done by the FDIC that underscored the importance and resiliency of community banks. About 30% off community banks closed in the decade following the 2009 recession, compared to 36% of the 555 biggest institutions that closed over the same period. Even as many closed, the 4,720 that remained not only survived, but also experienced continued growth while filling a crucial role in lending for commercial real estate, small businesses and agriculture, according to the report.
But besides financial aid to their customers, GreenLeaf also helps with food drives in churches, donations and student programs like "Stingcancer" at Wrightstown High School. Mark Walters, pastor at Alleluia Lutheran Church in Greenleaf, said the bank helped with the church's mortgage and the documentation to access government grants like the PPP loans during the pandemic. The bank also selected their house of worship for a $2,000 grant last year. "I think they are very important for the community, and they do a great job, everyone there," he said.
Chris Christen said he and his business partner, Sam Brown, know very little about laws and rules, but at GreenLeaf they found all the support and knowledge needed. "We actually got wholesale clients from them, different leads on grants to help us get through COVID-19. They really went above and beyond," said Christen. He feels like the people at the bank want his business to be successful and build a stronger and longer partnership. “We are just two guys who love coffee, we are not necessarily business people, so having people like them is just wonderful," he said.
Source: Ariel Perez is a business reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. You can reach him at APerez1@gannett.com or view his Twitter profile at @Ariel_Perez85
Teaching Children to Save – 7 Tips to Build Good Financial Habits
The Social Security Administration and Office of the Inspector General continue to receive reports of scammers impersonating SSA employees over the phone, to request personal information or money. Imposters may threaten you and demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or legal action. Do not fall for it!
If you receive a suspicious call:
Thank you to everyone who has donated to our November Food Drive to benefit the Wrightstown Area Food Pantry. We have collected over 350 food items to stock the pantry shelves. And because of YOU, GreenLeaf Bank has donated an additional $500.00 to the food pantry for future purchases.
With pandemic scares still buzzing around and so many of us pressed for time, more Americans than ever will be doing most or all of their holiday shopping online this year. And with nearly a third of all retail sales happening between now and Christmas, scammers are already stepping up their game. Last year, they took $250 million from US consumers. You may have noticed an increase in marketing calls and illegal robocalls, extra spam in your inbox, an avalanche of junk mail. But they’re just the tip of an iceberg. Fraudsters will be operating new scams as well as the familiar tried and tested tricks.
Here are the 10 most common shopping scams for Black Friday (the big sales day after Thanksgiving) and Christmas 2021:
More Actions You Can Take
If you discover or suspect you’ve been scammed, report it immediately to law enforcement, your bank, your card company, and the credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each of the agencies has info on how to freeze your credit.
GreenLeaf Bank is partnering with the Wrightstown Area Food Pantry as a collection site for the month of November. Drop off your donations at either of our office locations.
Thank you for your consideration and generosity!
List of items needed:
Pancake Mix and Syrup
Canned Tuna or Chicken
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Receive a text with a surprise offer? Don't click that link!
Better Business Bureau Scam Alert
Everyone loves a deal – including scammers. Con artists often offer too good to be true discounts in the hope that price-conscious consumers will jump on these “deals” without doing their research. Recently, BBB Scam Tracker has seen numerous reports of scammers impersonating well-known companies and offering discounts, some of which are COVID-19 themed.
How the Scam Works
You receive a text message from a large, reputable company. The message claims that, due to the pandemic, the company would like to help people out by offering them an amazing deal. These range from free or discounted services to gift cards and cash.
For example, consumers reported receiving the following text messages using this ploy:
Other texts claim to be Walmart, Amazon, Costco, USPS and others. Of course, these messages don’t really originate with that company. They come from impersonators who hope to steal your personal information. If you click the link, you may be prompted to log into a lookalike website that scammers use to get hold of your login ID and password. With that information, scammers can access your accounts and even make purchases using your saved payment methods.
While the latest BBB Scam Tracker reports mention Hulu, Netflix, and Verizon, watch out for scammers impersonating other companies too. If one name stops being effective, they’ll quickly switch to another company.
How to avoid Text Message Scams
Treat messages from unknown senders with caution. If you receive a message from a number you don’t recognize, be careful. Many companies engage in SMS marketing, but keep in mind that consumers must opt in to receive messages. If you haven’t given a company permission to text you, it’s probably a scam.
Don’t click on links from strangers. Scammers often send shortened links that don’t let you see where they really lead in the body of their text message. If you click the link, you could be directed to a dangerous website, or you could download malware onto your device.
Confirm deals directly with the company before you accept. If you are really hoping the deal is legitimate, go to the company’s official website and send them an email, or call to inquire. The company can let you know if the deal is real or not.
Install antivirus software on your computer and mobile devices. This kind of scam can come from text messages or emails, so make sure all your electronics are protected. Antivirus software can scan for malware and alert you before you open a malicious website link.
Alert the company. It will help them fight the problem. AT&T and Verizon are asking consumers to forward suspicious messages to 7726 (SPAM).
Source: Better Business Bureau
GreenLeaf Bank finished their summer School Supply Drive to benefit area children in need. On the left, marketing assistant Ashley Rahn displays donations at our Greenleaf office and right, Marketing Director Joel Prunty with donations from our Wrightstown office.
Wrightstown donations were delivered to Wrightstown School District office and Greenleaf office donations went to the Wrightstown Area Food Pantry.
Thank you to everyone who donated!
GreenLeaf Bank is partnering with local schools to collect supplies to benefit area children in need. School supply items can be dropped off at either GreenLeaf Bank location now through August 16th.
Thank you for your consideration and generosity!
Here is a list of needed items:
• Wide-Ruled Notebooks
• Pencil Box/Pouch
• Washable Markers
• Crayola Crayons
• Colored Pencils
• Index Cards
• Dry Erase Markers
• Glue Sticks
• Glue Bottles
• 3 Ring Binders
• Post-It Notes
• Loose Leaf Paper
• Pencil Sharpener
• Lysol/Clorox Wipes
GreenLeaf Bank is no longer a property tax collection site for Brown County. The county has changed how they collect property tax payments. All payments are now made directly to the county via mail, online payment, or at their office located at 305 E Walnut St, Room #160 Green Bay WI 54301.
This change also affects how local tax payments are collected for area townships and villages. Contact your local municipal government for details on how their tax payments are collected. We’ve enjoyed serving you for many years as a property tax collection site.
GreenLeaf Bank recently awarded four – $500 scholarships to 2021 high school graduates. The scholarships were accepted at Wrightstown High School’s award ceremony May 26th. The awards can be used for higher education at a college, university, or technical school. Mary Fritsch, GreenLeaf Bank VP-Retail Lending presented the scholarship to this year’s winners:
Olivia Hanaway (pictured)
Congratulations and good luck as you pursue higher education!
Greenleaf WI, May 24, 2021 – GreenLeaf Bank has officially funded 147 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans, totaling over $4.5 million to assist local businesses. The PPP program provides forgivable Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to businesses adversely affected by the covid19 pandemic meeting specific guidelines.
"Our existing partnership with the SBA provided us the ability to quickly make significant contributions to the local business community at a time of great need,” says GreenLeaf Bank President/CEO David Krutz. "Bank staff put forth an amazing effort to make these loans happen. So, it’s extra gratifying to see the positive impact on local businesses and their employees.”
On May 4th, the Small Business Administration announced Paycheck Protection Program funding had been exhausted and the application portal is no longer accepting new requests.
America Saves Week is a widely recognized national campaign where thousands of organizations join together to collectively encourage their communities to focus on their individual financial wellness. Over the course of a week we cover money-related topics from a relatable, down-to-earth, positive perspective. Savers end the week with tools, resources, and clarity on their current financial situation, new savings goals, and a realistic plan to achieve them.
The America Saves pledge is the central tool that allows savers to set a goal, and make a plan to achieve better financial stability.Each day of America Saves Week has its own theme: Save Automatically, Save for the Unexpected, Save to Retire, Save by Reducing Debt, and Save as a Family.