Robert Cera Joins Management Team at Greenwoods Financial Group and Greenwoods State Bank
Lake Mills, Wisconsin, January 25, 2017 -Greenwoods Financial Group, Inc. announced today that Wisconsin banking veteran Robert Cera has been named its Vice Chairman and will also serve as Executive Vice President of its wholly owned banking subsidiary, the Greenwoods State Bank. Mr. Cera has a thirty year tenure in the Wisconsin banking community and was most recently the Chief Executive Officer and President of the $1.1 billion in assets Baylake Corp. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, which merged with Nicolet Bancshares Inc. in 2016.
Bill McDonald, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Greenwoods Financial Group said, “We are extremely pleased that Rob has chosen to join our organization given the large number of career choices he had available to him. We are going to use Rob’s unique talents to continue building Greenwoods’ franchise and geographic reach beyond its current market and into Milwaukee and surrounding communities.”
Mr. Cera served as President of State Financial Bank in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, from 2002 to 2005. He became a Regional President for Associated Bank in 2005, and joined Baylake Corp. in 2006. Mr. Cera served as chairman of the Wisconsin Bankers Association from 2014 to 2015, and is also a ce1tified public accountant.
Mr. McDonald continued, “When current management took over this bank in 2010, it was in extremely troubled condition and had an uncertain future ahead of it. Since that time, we’ve have continually increased earnings and tripled the Bank’s size with a whole bank acquisition followed by an in-market branch purchase. Along the way, we also acquired an insurance agency and a wealth management business allowing us to offer a full complement of financial services to our customers and clients. We’ve been led in this effort by Warren Laube, President of Greenwoods State Bank, and the experienced management team he built. We’ve been further aided by a board of directors with extensive bank knowledge and experience and a sophisticated shareholder base with deep financial resources. With Rob and Warren beside me, we’re poised to do great things and maybe even surprise the market. As we’ve often said, we are a bank that consistently punches above our weight. That’s never been truer than right now.”
When asked about his new position, Mr. Cera said, “I’m very excited to join Bill and Warren at Greenwoods. When Bill left RSM (formerly McGladrey & Pullen) to join Greenwoods, he was running the firm’s accounting practice for the entire Great Lakes Region. At Greenwoods, he’s used his financial and analytical skills to chart the organization’s strategic course and future growth curve. Warren is a twenty year banking veteran whose managerial and operational skills have been put to great use in building an officer and employee corps who have developed a highly attractive and successful banking franchise with substantially increased and diverse earnings power. My task is to increase scale by expanding Greenwoods’ footprint toward attractive markets closer to Milwaukee. I have a number of great contacts in these areas which I hope to foster and develop into new business for Greenwoods.”
He added, “I’m also going to be working with Bill at the holding company level to refine the organization’s overall strategy for acquisitions and transformational change. I love a challenge, and working with the incredible team that Bill and Warren have put together gives me great confidence that we can achieve tremendous success with our game plan.”
Mr. Laube commented, “What I saw when I joined Greenwoods was an opportunity to build a team of incredibly talented banking professionals who would have the challenge of completely rebuilding a bank to grow it into a first class financial services company. We’ve taken the first steps, but with Rob now on the team, we’re ready to take our next big leap. The group and infrastructure that we’ve built is scaled up to run a much larger organization than we currently have, and with Rob’s addition, our team is going to get their chance.”
Greenwoods Financial Group, Inc. had total assets of $173 million, net loans of $136 million and total deposits of $ 144 million as of December 31, 2016. It also offers insurance products through Mosher & Associates Insurance Services, and wealth management through Greenwoods Wealth Management. The Greenwoods State Bank is a Wisconsin chartered commercial bank headquartered in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, with four bank branches located in southeastern Wisconsin.