First National Bank-Fox Valley: Sponsors economic development presentation

NEENAH, Wis. – First National Bank-Fox Valley will sponsor veteran economic development consultant Mark Barbash’s Feb. 19 keynote address on financing challenging business projects at the fourth annual InDevelopment Conference.

Barbash has more than 30 years of experience arranging financing for viable economic development deals, and will discuss the opportunities and obstacles during his “Finding Money for Challenging Development Projects” presentation.

Wenda Roycraft, FNB-Fox Valley’s senior vice president, will introduce Barbash before his keynote presentation to the daylong conference at the Oshkosh Convention Center.

“Our FNB team is excited to sponsor this keynote speaker who will bring informative and pertinent information to area businesses,” Wenda Roycraft, FNB-Fox Valley senior vice president, said.

As part of his presentation, Barbash will address the conflicts between large banks and community banks, the regulations those institutions face when financing development projects and available federal programs that can make deals possible.

As a community bank, FNB-Fox Valley finances area economic development by working as a consultative partner with local business owners to identify effective ways for them to grow their businesses.

It’s a relationship that has been harder for business owners in Northeast Wisconsin to find since the credit crunch of 2008 transformed the banking industry. Local businesses have often found themselves unable to get the advice they need from large banks because of a reliance on remote decision makers or computer models, neither or which have insight into local market conditions or risk factors.

Since FNB-Fox Valley’s decision makers are local, they can make financing decisions based on qualitative information gained by getting to know the business owner, learning how the business operates and bringing their own understanding of the local market into play.

That approach has helped to make FNB-Fox Valley a top lender in the Small Business Administration business loan program. The bank authorized 40 loans to businesses in Northeast Wisconsin totaling nearly $11 million from Oct. 1, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2011, which included financing for 6 start-up businesses and close to 90 jobs.

FNB-Fox Valley will also have members of its business team available during the conference. John Hintze, vice president for commercial banking, will conduct a 30-minute booth talk on “Taking the stress out of project financing.”

About FNB-Fox Valley

Established in 1887, First National Bank-Fox Valley is one of the oldest banks in the Fox Cities. The privately held community bank offers a full array of retail, mortgage and commercial services and products. FNB-Fox Valley offers full service banking to businesses and residents throughout the Fox Valley, including: advanced online banking options, customized lending to meet the client’s unique needs as well as treasury and cash management services. With approximately $309 million in assets, FNB-Fox Valley operates in Appleton, Neenah, Menasha and Oshkosh. For more information, visit: .

About Mark Barbash

Mark Barbash is a seasoned economic development consultant based in Columbus, Ohio. Barbash grew up in Madison, Wis., and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He served as chief economic development officer for the Ohio Department of Development and now works with clients in Ohio, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and beyond. He is on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council and designated a “fellow member” of IEDC, recognizing his career contributions to the economic development industry.