Press Release
Press Release

ICBA Names Joe Fazio as Community Banker of the Year

Fazio is chairman and CEO of Commerce State Bank in West Bend, Wis.

By - Oct 16th, 2017 12:10 pm
Joe Fazio. Photo courtesy of The Independent Community Bankers of America®

Joe Fazio. Photo courtesy of The Independent Community Bankers of America®

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 16, 2017)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today announced Joe Fazio, chairman and CEO of Commerce State Bank in West Bend, Wis., as its 2017 national Community Banker of the Year. This annual ICBA award recognizes the exceptional work and commitment of individual community bank employees and their dedication to local communities.

“We are pleased to honor and recognize Joe Fazio as ICBA’s 2017 Community Banker of the Year,” said ICBA Chairman Scott Heitkamp, president and CEO of ValueBank Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas. “As a dedicated, driven leader and compassionate and conscientious citizen, Joe’s contributions to his community and the betterment of our industry are to be commended.”

Perhaps the best example of Fazio’s leadership and passion is his self-published book, “This might be a dumb question but…How Does Money Work?” which offers practical financial management advice for consumers. “Joe’s passion for explaining money matters begins with the belief that we need to stop talking about financial literacy” and instead focus on educating consumers about how to make their money work for them, said the Commerce State Bank employee who nominated Fazio.

The community leader also actively supports the community banking industry through his service on various boards and speaking engagements. He serves as a board member for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, was a Wisconsin Bankers Association board member, has testified before the State of Wisconsin Assembly Committee for Financial Institutions, and has traveled to Washington to advocate community bank-friendly policies. Fazio is also active in recruiting future banking talent, serving as a guest lecturer and panelist for Marquette University’s banking career night.

In addition to Fazio being name ICBA’s national Community Banker of the Year, three winners from the East, Central and West regions were also named. The winners will be featured in the December issue of Independent Banker®, ICBA’s award-winning monthly publication and the number-one source of community banking news for ICBA members. Fazio and the regional winners will also be recognized at the 2018 ICBA Community Banking LIVE® national convention in Las Vegas.

This year’s regional award recipients are:

  • East: Kathy Underwood, president and CEO, Ledyard Bank, Hanover, N.H.
  • Central: Peter Nelson, president, Glenwood State Bank, Glenwood, Minn.
  • West: Christopher Palmer, president and COO, Pioneer Bank, Roswell, N.M.

ICBA seeks nominations from community bankers, customers and community leaders to identify passionate, innovative and savvy community bankers for this prestigious award. This is the fourth annual contest the association has held. SHAZAM is the sponsor.

To learn more about community banks, visit

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 5,700 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.

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