Kewaunee County – a region including three towns (Algoma, Kewaunee and Luxemburg in Northeast Wisconsin) – is home to a small population of farmers, skilled workers and business professionals. Its sprawling farm fields, industrial backbone and family-oriented appeal make it a great place to live and work. But according to the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation (KCEDC), Kewaunee County’s population has plateaued and is expected to decrease over the next five years. The downward trend can be attributed to a decreasing elderly population, an increasing number of graduates leaving the area for college and lingering effects of a plant closure 10 years ago when 600 jobs were lost.
Though the population may be decreasing, Bank of Luxemburg President/CEO Tim Treml is certain that the future of Kewaunee County is bright. His confidence stems from participation on the board of directors for KCEDC and their collaborative efforts with area businesses and schools to revitalize Kewaunee County’s workforce. “The Kewaunee area has such a strong work ethic,” Treml said. “It’s in our farming roots.”
Workforce development, according to Treml, begins in the schools. “We’re all working together—including all three area school systems—on building awareness of skilled jobs with a strong concentration in agriculture,” he said. “The schools are introducing agricultural and manufacturing opportunities to students through internships and training programs to show that these industries aren’t the dirty work they used to be.” Technology and robotics in dairy farms and manufacturing plants are changing the way new graduates perceive the opportunity for a successful career without a traditional four-year degree. “These careers, among many others in the skilled trades, are roles area employers have expressed a deep need to fill for years,” Treml shared. “We’re trying to build Kewaunee County to be a place that attracts talent and business.”
As a former KCEDC board member and treasurer, Treml has made many contributions to the initiative, and continues to corral Bank of Luxemburg’s support as well. Employees from the bank make regular visits to local schools in support of the workforce development mission and, on a larger scale, the bank serves as what Treml likes to call “the economic engine of Kewaunee County.” Funds invested with a local bank fuel the economy, supporting the lives of residents, businesses and schools within their community. Many Bank of Luxemburg customers have confirmed it’s a great incentive to invest in an institution that’s making their town a better place to live.
In addition, Bank of Luxemburg remains the only reliable source for local financing. Unlike corporate banks whose locations simply “branch” into the area, Bank of Luxemburg has been headquartered in Luxemburg since 1903. Beginning as an agricultural bank helping to fund the needs of local farmers, Bank of Luxemburg—and the community—have grown significantly over the last 115 years, but their mission remains the same: “to have a positive impact on people’s lives and help make their dreams come true,” Treml shares.
Bank of Luxemburg’s mission highlights the difference between smaller banks ($345 million in assets) versus larger banks (with $2 billion in assets, for example). Many large banks prefer to do business with a few corporate entities or big manufacturers. Bank of Luxemburg would much rather focus on spreading funds to a greater number of smaller businesses—such as the ones up and down main street—within their local communities.
“We’ve strived for a ‘helping’ culture, focusing on the culture of our institution—not the bottom line,” Treml shares. “If we take care of our local people and small businesses, the rest will fall into place.”
More ways Bank of Luxemburg is striving to make Kewaunee County a better place…
- BOL Cares – Bank of Luxemburg encourages all employees to give back to the community. Every employee is granted one paid eight-hour day per year to volunteer at the organization of their choice.
- Scholarship Program – Bank of Luxemburg has awarded over $250,000 in scholarship funds to local deserving students since 2002.
- Revitalization Loan Program – Bank of Luxemburg recently allocated $3 million to a special low-interest loan program designed to fund eligible renovations—such as facade improvements, pedestrian covers, historical preservation, structure renovations and accessibility improvements—for businesses in Kewaunee County.
- Banzai (High School Education Program) – Bank of Luxemburg sends employees to classrooms in Kewaunee County for a special presentation on the practical and vital importance of budgeting.
- Local Sponsorships – Bank of Luxemburg regularly supports local events, parades, sports teams and area improvements. For example, Bank of Luxemburg donated $5,000 to the county youth soccer fields for maintenance long before the construction on the fields was even complete.
- Local Committee/Board Participation – Bank of Luxemburg employees regularly volunteer their financial expertise to local organizations and charities. It’s not uncommon to see the names of Bank of Luxemburg employees on the lists of local boards and committees throughout the area.
Bank of Luxemburg President/CEO Tim Treml
Tim Treml officially stepped into his new leadership role in 2017, after years of working beside former president John Slatky. He currently serves as treasurer to Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation, has co-chaired the EastShore Industries Annual Golf Outing for 13 years, has served as treasurer to Ducks Unlimited for over 16 years and is a former rescue squad member. He served as president on the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce and was named the chamber’s “Man of the Year” in 2013. Treml has been with Bank of Luxemburg for 22 years this June including seven years as chief lending officer, before being promoted to executive vice president in 2015. Treml also lives in the community he serves. Treml grew up in Green Bay, and has lived and worked while raising three children in the Luxemburg community for the last 19 years.
About Bank of Luxemburg
Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. and Bank of Luxemburg have banking offices in Luxemburg, Green Bay, Dyckesville, Casco, Algoma, Kewaunee and Sturgeon Bay. For more information about Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc., visit www.bankofluxemburg.com.