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Photo by Richard Hurd

WPS Health Solutions: Sgt. Maj. Jim Cook saluted for Operation Fan Mail

DeAnne Boegli
Vice President of Communications

Sgt. Maj. Jim Cook saluted for Operation Fan Mail
Program is sponsored by WPS Health Solutions and the Green Bay Packers

MADISON, Wis.—Oct. 6, 2022—The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute this week to Army Sgt. Maj. Jim Cook and his family in conjunction with the Oct. 2 game against the New England Patriots. Operation Fan Mail, the program that recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game, marks its 16th season in 2022.

Cook grew up in Arizona and Washington, entering the Army in 2000 at age 18 with the goal of becoming a police officer. He put in three years in the Army and then went into the Reserves so he could attend college. While in college, he was activated to train new recruits as a drill sergeant. He served in the Reserves from 2003–2008 but was activated for four of those years. In 2008, he signed up for active duty and was sent to join the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. He was deployed to Afghanistan in May 2009 and returned in July 2010. He then joined the intelligence section at Fort Bragg, where he served until 2015. He was deployed to Djibouti, Africa, and then again to Afghanistan. Cook was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., from 2015–2017, returned to Fort Bragg from 2017–2019, then moved to Fort Huachuca, Ariz. He moved to Fort Shafter, Hawaii, in 2021 and is still stationed there. He has served 22 years in the Army and is looking forward to retiring next year.

Cook attended the game with his sister, Jessica Basile, dad, Mike, and mom, Mary. Cook and his family live in Hawaii.

As the honorees for Operation Fan Mail this week, the Cook family also received four tickets to the game and a $150 Packers Pro Shop gift card, courtesy of WPS.

The program, which debuted in 2007, is designed to honor families with a member who is on active duty or a member who is a veteran. The Packers and WPS Health Solutions will host a family at each 2022 season home game and recognize the members on the video boards during pregame activities. A total of 151 individuals, families, or groups have been recognized through the program since it began.

The Packers and WPS Health Solutions invite interested families, or friends of eligible families, to submit an essay, 500 words or less, on why a particular family should be saluted this year. Families intended for recognition are those that have a member serving on active duty, or a member who is a veteran. The family member can be a spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, or sibling.

Essays can be sent to Operation Fan Mail, P.O. Box 10628, Green Bay, WI, 54307-0628 or online at

About WPS Health Solutions

Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS Health Solutions), founded in 1946, is a nationally regarded benefits administrator for a variety of U.S. government programs and a leading not-for-profit health insurer in Wisconsin. WPS Health Solutions serves active-duty and retired military personnel, seniors, individuals, and families in Wisconsin, across the U.S., and around the world. WPS Health Solutions, headquartered in Madison, Wis., has more than 3,100 employees. Within the enterprise, there are three divisions: WPS Government Health Administrators, WPS Military and Veterans Health, and WPS Health Insurance/WPS Health Plan/EPIC Specialty Benefits. For more information, please visit


Photo by Richard Hurd

NCG Hospitality: The Trade Milwaukee, An Autograph Collection Hotel Coming to Deer District, Welcomes New Team Members

Highly-anticipated hotel continues to build team ahead of 2023 opening

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (October 2022) — The Trade Milwaukee, a premiere hotel under construction in Deer District, continues to build its staff with new hires joining the sales team in preparation of its expected Spring 2023 opening.

Rich Lundt, General Manager for The Trade Milwaukee, is excited to welcome Samantha Sullivan to the team as Director of Sales. An alumna of Iowa State University, Sullivan jumped into the hospitality industry as part of Marriott’s Voyage Global Leadership Development program before holding various positions with Marriott International in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, San Antonio and Portland.

In 2019, Sullivan moved to Milwaukee to be closer to family and held a position where she worked with East Coast Association Companies for the Marcus Hotel & Resorts Area Sales Team, selling luxury and convention hotels in Milwaukee, WI.

“My passion for hospitality lies in the memories that each and every person develops by walking into the hotels I work for and serve,” Sullivan said. “Every impact our customers receive will inevitably change their experience at our hotel, so as the Director of Sales for The Trade Milwaukee, I’m eager to make everyone’s time at our hotel — whether they stop by for a signature cocktail during happy hour before heading to Deer District, or choose to host their event in our indoor and outdoor meeting spaces — the best it can be.”

Working in conjunction with Sullivan, Emily Rauber joins the team as a Senior Sales Manager. In her role with The Trade Milwaukee, Rauber will be responsible for fostering customer relationships, generating business and managing key accounts.

Rauber brings with her more than 16 years of extensive experience in the hospitality industry. With a career start at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel, a move back to Wisconsin brought her to The Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor’s Club for a twelve-year tenure. Most recently, she served as the Director of Sales for The Brewhouse Inn & Suites in Milwaukee.

“As a Wisconsin native, and an avid fan of the Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette Golden Eagles, I couldn’t be more excited to bring my knowledge and expertise to The Trade Milwaukee’s on-site team,” said Rauber. “I’m eager to work alongside the Director of Sales and achieve the hotel’s goals while we build key relationships within the community.”

The Trade Hotel, slated to open in early 2023, will boast 207 luxury guest rooms and suites, featuring California King beds, heightened ceilings and state-of-the-art finishing. A destination rooftop restaurant and lounge will offer breathtaking views of the city, while the ground-floor signature restaurant will honor Milwaukee’s rich history and local fare through an innovative yet approachable culinary experience. The Trade Hotel will also feature more than 9,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor gathering space, as well as meeting packages that can accommodate up to 300 guests.

“When I was named as the general manager of The Trade Milwaukee, I was keen to build a team of people who are ready to bring this hotel to life pre-opening,” said Rich Lundt, General Manager. “Samantha and Emily will help us achieve our goal of being the best hotel in Milwaukee, in the state of Wisconsin and beyond.”

“Samantha and Emily’s shared dedication and commitment to excellence will be a perfect complement to NCG’s mission and core values of delivering meaningful experiences,” said Jeff Lenz, President and Chief Asset Offer of NCG Hospitality. “We are thrilled to have them on board the on-site team as we all look forward to the highly-anticipated Spring 2023 opening of The Trade Hotel, one of NCG Hospitality’s premiere properties.”

To learn more about The Trade, visit


About The Trade Milwaukee

Inspired by the city’s pioneering past and a local culture that is forever moving forward, The Trade an Autograph Collection Hotel pays homage to the hardworking history and modern spirit of today’s Milwaukee. As the official hotel of Deer District, it is located in the bustling heart of downtown, adjacent to Fiserv Forum. Situated court-side in Cream City’s dynamic hub of sports, culture, and entertainment, the hotel offers 207 luxurious rooms and suites plus destination dining with a rooftop restaurant and lounge boasting stunning city views. Highlights include a 2-story VIP suite with private access and over 9,000 square feet of sophisticated indoor/outdoor meeting and event spaces for groups up to 300. Merging modern convenience with timeless luxe, it is an experience unlike anything else in the city. The Trade. Where craft meets commerce.

About Autograph Collection Hotels

A member of Marriott’s industry-leading portfolio, the Autograph Collection debuted in 2010 and includes nearly 200 independently branded hotels and resorts that reflect the distinct attributes of their market. Each is unique in terms of product offering and target customers. The Autograph Collection is a remarkable group of upper upscale and luxury independent hotels with iconic properties located in gateway and emerging cities in preferred destinations around the world. Each is exceptional, one-of-a-kind and has its own distinct perspective. The result is an array of properties that is nothing less than unique and nothing short of collectively exceptional Autograph Hotels are proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy®. To learn more about Autograph Collection Hotels, visit Follow Autograph on Instagram. Watch Autograph on YouTube. Engage #ExactlyLikeNothingElse.

About NCG Hospitality     

NCG Hospitality is a leader in the ownership, development, and operation of premier hospitality properties. Established in 1981 by Founder and Chairman David Lenz, NCG Hospitality is a family-owned business with over 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry. We own and operate more than 25 properties across multiple states and national brands. We leverage our unparalleled expertise to provide hotel management services, hotel development expertise, and real estate-focused services to property owners and investors throughout the U.S.

Jake Leskovar
(608) 556-7470

Photo by Richard Hurd

Introducing Lake Ridge Bancorp, Inc.

October 3, 2022

Introducing Lake Ridge Bancorp, Inc.
S.B.C.P. Bancorp, Inc., and Monona Bankshares, Inc. Complete Merger of Equals Transaction

(MADISON, Wis.) – S.B.C.P. Bancorp, Inc. (“SBCP”), the parent bank holding company for State Bank of Cross Plains, and Monona Bankshares, Inc. (“Monona”), the parent bank holding company for Monona Bank, jointly announced today the successful completion of the all-stock merger of equals transaction between SBCP and Monona. The merged bank holding company has been renamed Lake Ridge Bancorp, Inc. (“Lake Ridge”).

Monona Bank and State Bank of Cross Plains will continue to operate as separate banks until the core processing systems are converted in February 2023. After the conversions, the combined bank will be named Lake Ridge Bank and will be the largest community bank headquartered in Dane County, and the eighth largest bank headquartered in the State of Wisconsin, with almost $3 billion in combined assets. The combined bank will have an expanded footprint of 22 branch locations and employ more than 400 associates across 16 communities throughout South Central Wisconsin. With more than 90% of our approximately 1,400 shareholders living in Wisconsin, Lake Ridge is proud to be both widely held and locally owned.

“Lake Ridge brings together two community banks with combined strengths and capabilities that make us uniquely equipped to support our clients in Wisconsin,” said Jim Tubbs, Chief Executive Officer of Lake Ridge. “As we move forward together, Lake Ridge will continue our shared focus on providing quality service, supporting our associates, investing in our communities, and maximizing our financial and operational strength to create long-term value for our customers and shareholders.”

Paul Hoffmann, President of Lake Ridge shared, “This strategic merger of equals made sense for many reasons, especially since both banks are locally owned and share a similar set of core values and leadership philosophies. Our new bank demonstrates a continued dedication to promoting opportunity and prosperity within our communities throughout South Central Wisconsin.”  Paul added, “When we invest in our neighbors, we help our communities to be stronger, more stable, and truly vibrant places to live and work.”

Lake Ridge’s board of directors consists of 14 members with seven directors from SBCP and seven directors from Monona, as well as a joint executive management team.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP acted as legal advisor and The Bank Advisory Group acted as financial advisor to SBCP.  Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C. acted as legal advisor and Piper Sandler & Co. acted as financial advisor to Monona.

About State Bank of Cross Plains and Monona Bank

Founded in 1908, State Bank of Cross Plains, SBCP’s banking subsidiary, operates from 13 locations in Dane, Green and Rock counties in Wisconsin. As of June 30, 2022, State Bank of Cross Plains had approximately $1.6 billion in total assets, $1.44 billion in total liabilities, and $158 million in total shareholders’ equity.

Founded in 1991, Monona Bank, Monona’s banking subsidiary, operates from nine locations in Dane and Sauk counties in Wisconsin. As of June 30, 2022, Monona Bank had approximately $1.2 billion in total assets, $1.1 billion in total liabilities, and $121 million in total shareholders’ equity.

About Lake Ridge Bancorp, Inc.

Lake Ridge Bancorp, Inc., through its banking subsidiaries, State Bank of Cross Plains and Monona Bank (and after the bank merger, through its banking subsidiary, Lake Ridge Bank), offers a full range of business and personal financial services, including business, real estate, agricultural, and consumer lending; crop insurance; wealth management; and financial advisory services. For more information visit:


Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the business of Lake Ridge Bancorp, Inc., and other matters. Any statements about our expectations, beliefs, plans, predictions, protections, forecasts, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not historical facts and may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are typically, but not exclusively, identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “could,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “seeks,” “likely,” “intends” “plans,” “pro forma,” “projects,” “estimates” or “anticipates” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases that are predictions of or indicate future events or trends and that do not relate solely to historical matters. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or contemplated by the particular forward-looking statement, and, therefore, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. Further, any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances, except as required by applicable law.


Jim L. Tubbs
CEO, Lake Ridge Bancorp, Inc.

Paul Hoffmann
President, Lake Ridge Bancorp, Inc.

Photo by Richard Hurd

511 Volunteer Hours Donated in WI and Quad Cities by Old National Bank Staff in Service Event

Madison, WI. (October 3, 2022) — Old National Bank celebrated its first Better Together Volunteer Days of service on September 28th and 29th. The two-day event provided staff across Old National’s seven-state footprint the opportunity to volunteer together in the communities where they live and work. 

Team members throughout our markets partnered with community organizations to serve food security organizations, seniors, community centers and more.

There were virtual volunteer opportunities for those who could not participate in person. During the two days, 52% of employees from Wisconsin and the Quad Cities volunteered 511 hours with 10 non-profit organizations. Company-wide, 1,572 Old National team members were able to help 110 organizations, by volunteering 5,311 hours in seven states. 

“As Old National grows geographically, serving in our communities really keeps us grounded in terms of our mission as a community bank,” said Kathy Schoettlin, Chief Brand & Culture Officer. “We’re excited for this opportunity to help strengthen our communities through volunteerism, and we’re proud of our team members for making service a real part of our company culture.”

Click here to access professional-quality, high resolution (300 dpi) photos, sorted by community. You may use any photo without attribution. If you would like more information/context about a specific photo, please contact Kate Miller at


Old National Bancorp (NASDAQ: ONB), the holding company of Old National Bank, is the sixth largest commercial bank headquartered in the Midwest. With approximately $46 billion of assets and $28 billion of assets under management, Old National ranks among the top 35 banking companies based in the U.S. and has been recognized as a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for eleven consecutive years.  Since its founding in 1834, Old National Bank has focused on community banking by building long-term, highly valued partnerships with clients and in the communities it serves. In addition to providing extensive services in retail and commercial banking, Old National offers comprehensive wealth management, investment, and capital market services. For more information and financial data, please visit Investor Relations at


Photo by Richard Hurd

One City Schools Named a Quarterfinalist for $1 Million Yass Prize

Awarded to Organizations Focused on Transforming Education

We are very excited to share that today One City Schools was named a quarterfinalist for the $1 million Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless Education (STOP).

The award highlights education providers that strive to offer education that is Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless (STOP). In conjunction with the $1 million Yass Prize, the STOP Awards initiative will distribute over $10 million to honor the remaining education innovators, providers, and entrepreneurs through the course of the competition.

Today’s announcement took place at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit, Michigan, and was broadcast live on Twitter. As a quarterfinalist, One City will receive a $100,000 grant investment to support the advancement of innovations we are implementing in our public charter schools. Semi-finalists will be announced in New York City on October 13, 2022.

To review the national press release about The Yass Prize, click here.

To learn more about The Yass Prize, click here.

For more information, please contact Gail Wiseman, One City’s VP of External Relations, at or (608) 531-2128.