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Wisconsin Bankers Association Names New Leadership


Dec 11 - (Madison) Banking advocacy expert Michael Semmann has been named senior vice president and chief operations officer effective immediately for the Wisconsin Bankers Association, the state’s largest financial industry trade association. Semmann most recently held the position of vice president – government relations and communications. 

Semmann has more than 17 years of experience in working with trade associations. He joined WBA in 2004 as director – government relations and was promoted to vice president – government relations in 2010. The following year, Semmann helped expand WBA’s advocacy efforts in the role of WBA vice president — government relations and communications.

“As the industry we represent changes, the way we represent the industry needs to grow and change as well. Mike is uniquely suited to help lead that effort,” explained Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president/CEO. “Mike’s new role and responsibilities within WBA will help focus WBA’s efforts in serving the membership and in advocating the tangible and intangible benefits banks provide to their communities across Wisconsin, and to overall economic development.”

Also announced were the immediate promotions of Kristine Cleven as the new vice president – legal and Patricia Rogers as the new vice president – education. “Compliance assistance and member training are critical member benefits for our industry which has faced many regulatory changes and is preparing for more to come. Having Kris and Patty join the senior leadership team at WBA demonstrates our continued commitment to these areas," said Oswald Poels. “Both Kris and Patty have decades of experience behind them and will be great additions to the team focused on helping WBA’s membership stay strong and serve customers.”

Finally, Oswald Poels also announced the hiring of Michael Sowinski in the newly revised position of vice president – finance and administration. In addition to his role as chief financial officer, Sowinski, a CPA, will also be responsible for human resources, facilities management and IT within the association. Sowinski also brings more than 17 years of experience at various companies in the Madison area and will begin his new duties on Dec. 17.