Category Archives: Alpine Bank News

The latest news, announcements and information from Alpine Bank.

Alpine Bank Participates in Small Business Assistance Workshop for Minority Business Owners

In February 2015, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos hosted Minority Small Business Roundtable discussions in Rockford and Peoria. Our office learned access to capital was a challenge for the minority business communities in both cities. In response, the Congresswoman hosted the Minority Small Business Assistance Workshop in August 2016, and proved to be very beneficial for the Peoria community.

Martesha Brown and Brenten Witherby pose with Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.

In late 2016, we followed up with small businesses in the Rockford area, and owners reiterated that an event promoting access to capital would be beneficial.


In 2015, the Small Business Administration issued over $23 billion in 7(a) Regular SBA loans. The Hispanic/Latino community received only 5% of those funds; the African American community received fewer than 2% of those funds, down from 8% in 2008. Small businesses account for over half of the sales in the United States, and in Illinois, small businesses represent 2.4 million jobs – 46% of the jobs throughout the state. As of 2012, the SBA states that only 36% of businesses are owned by women, and only 10.5% of those businesses have paid employees.

This workshop brought together business owners, lenders from Alpine Bank, Rockford Bank & Trust, Rockford Local Development Corporation, and ACCION, as well as representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), to address access to capital within the minority business community.

The experts on hand highlighted different lending resources available to prospective borrowers as well as the components of a successful loan application. By helping women and minority business owners gain access to the tools and resources they need to grow their businesses, we can help grow our regional economy and build up capital within the community.

For its part, Alpine Bank continues to add resources and team members to assist women and minority business owners. In 2012, Alpine hired experienced not-for-profit SBA and local micro-lender, Brenten Witherby, and quickly regained status as one of the top SBA lenders in the State of Illinois.  Cesar Sanchez, Small Business Development Officer, spends every day searching for ways to make loans more accessible throughout our entire community.  Most recently, Martesha Brown joined the Alpine Bank family as Community Outreach Officer where she is responsible for building awareness, implementing financial literacy programs, and providing opportunities to new and existing customers.

Spring Planting Season

Jeremy Doetch

Jeremy Doetch, VP, Ag & Commercial Services

As spring starts to erase the remnants of winter, I can’t help but get anxious and excited for this season.  It’s the time of year that I make a checklist for the next 90 days. The reasons I do this is because I’m part of an elite group that consists of 2% of the United States population. This group is working feverishly to get everything ready.  We check and double check equipment, technology items, seed, and fertilizer, and then we count down the days until it all begins. Every member of this group has their own way of preparing for the spring.

For me, this checklist revolves around smells. It may sound funny, but it’s something that has been sown deep into my roots. I can’t wait to smell the exhaust from a tractor just starting up. I can’t wait to smell fresh tilled dirt. The mixture of seed and graphite, along with the occasional smell of grease.  The way the smell of the dirt changes from May to April to June – And then, the satisfaction of a carefully executed plan coming to fruition when I see the first sign of corn and soybeans sprouting above the ground. The smell of freshly cut hay and yes, even the smell of fertilizer.  These smells keep me grounded, keep me focused, and keep me on track.

These checkpoints help me understand and appreciate a farmer’s perspective. When I’m sitting across the desk from a farmer wanting to do business with me, I never forget my roots and I know that this farmer understands my appreciation of these smells in a way that the other 98% of the population does not. We’re farmers. We’re part of an elite group.

Our agriculture lending team has very deep roots in this industry.  When we take the banker hat off at the end of the day, we are putting the farmer hat on.  We strive to help farmers grow their business, protect their legacy, and transition to the next generation.  If your banking relationship is broken and needs repairs, we have the tools to fix it and get you back to enjoying the smells that you love, worry free.

So to my fellow elitists, I wish you all a prosperous and safe spring planting season.  I hope at some point this season, as you are filling your planter at sunset, you take in a deep breath and think to yourself, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Jeremy Doetch, Vice President, Ag & Commercial Services, has more than 14 years of experience in commercial and agricultural lending. From the Poplar Grove area, Doetch plays an active role in his family’s grain, hog and trucking operation. 

Scam Calls and Emails Using IRS as Bait Persist

Scam AlertScams using the IRS as a lure continue. They take many different forms. The most common scams are phone calls and emails from thieves who pretend to be from the IRS. They use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try to steal your money. They may try to steal your identity too.

Be wary if you get an out-of-the-blue phone call or automated message from someone who claims to be from the IRS. Sometimes they say you owe money and must pay right away. Other times they say you are owed a refund and ask for your bank account information over the phone. Don’t fall for it. Here are several tips that will help you avoid becoming a scam victim.

The real IRS will NOT:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Demand tax payment and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For example, demand that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other agencies to arrest you without paying.
  • Threaten you with a lawsuit.

If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page to report the incident.
  • You should also report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your report.

If you think you may owe taxes:

  • Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you.

In most cases, an IRS phishing scam is an unsolicited, bogus email that claims to come from the IRS. They often use fake refunds, phony tax bills, or threats of an audit. Some emails link to sham websites that look real.  The scammers’ goal is to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information. If they get what they’re after, they use it to steal a victim’s money and their identity.

If you get a ‘phishing’ email, the IRS offers this advice:

  • Don’t reply to the message.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to Then delete it.
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.

More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on

Additional IRS Resources:

IRS YouTube Videos:

IRS Podcasts:

IRS ID Theft FAQ – Going After the Bad GuysEnglish | Spanish


(This article is courtesy of

Working Together: A Bright Future

(Left to Right: Dave Adkins, Blackhawk; Tom Budd, Rockford Bank & Trust; Bill Roop, Alpine Bank; Tom Walsh, Northwest Bank; Ben Barton, Byron Bank.)

(Left to Right: Dave Adkins, Blackhawk Bank; Tom Budd, Rockford Bank & Trust; Bill Roop, Alpine Bank; Tom Walsh, Northwest Bank; Ben Barton, Byron Bank.)

As a bank that believes in the importance of “helping people, businesses and our communities succeed,” when opportunities to help our community achieve economic growth present themselves, they cannot be ignored.

Several months ago it was brought to my attention that, due to the state budget impasse, the construction of Rockford’s new $41 million, 200,000 sq. ft. AAR jet-repair hub was likely coming to a halt in response to the delay in state and federal funding.

Alpine Bank is proud to be a part of a community full of leaders and businessmen and women who are able to put competition aside for the greater good of the region in which we work, live and play. I am fortunate to call many of these leaders my friends and colleagues, and with their help, our community was able to come together to keep this project on track.

A press conference was hosted by the Greater Rockford Airport Authority on Dec. 9, 2015, celebrating the collaboration of Alpine Bank with four other local banks in supplying a $17 million line of credit for the AAR project to ensure that it is completed on time, in the fall of 2016.

I would like to extend a thank you to Northwest Bank, Blackhawk Bank, Byron Bank, and Rockford Bank & Trust. With your help, we’ve been able to ensure that our community will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of this state of the art maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility, including more than 500 new, well-paying jobs that promise to result in an insurmountable economic impact.

We stepped up to the plate because we truly believe in our people, our businesses and our communities – and for good reason. From local banks, to the hard-working forces behind the Greater Rockford Airport Authority, to our local taxing bodies, we all have one thing in common; the future is bright. Let’s go together.

Bill Roop, President and CEO

Betsy Pierson Joins Alpine Trust & Investment Group

BPierson_09.15Julie O’Rourke, Executive Vice President and Senior Trust & Investment Officer, is pleased to welcome Elizabeth “Betsy” Pierson, Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Officer, to Alpine Trust & Investment Group.

Ms. Pierson joined Alpine Trust & Investment Group earlier this month.  She is responsible for overall investment strategy, as well as client relationships.

Ms. Pierson has been involved with the investment process, asset allocation and strategy decisions for over three decades.  She has worked alongside institutional and high net worth clients to help them achieve their long-term financial goals.  In addition, she has extensive knowledge in the fixed-income area, having managed bond mutual funds and a fixed-income collective investment trust fund for employee benefit plans.

She graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor of Science in Finance.  She attained her Chartered Financial Analyst designation, in 1991.

She has served on non-profit boards in the past and is looking forward to more opportunities to serve the community.

This is Not a Lehman Moment!

Certainly stock market declines of the nature that we have experienced in the past couple ofStockMarket days are unnerving.  Recollection of the 2007-2009 market decline is very fresh in investors’ minds. It is important to keep these events in perspective. The previous decline was a reaction to a financial system on the brink, a real crisis in confidence in the entire financial system. This is not the case today. In other words, this is not a Lehman moment!

So, what is going on?
>      This is merely a reset of global growth expectations. It’s becoming clear that the global economy, likely in part due to demographics, is going to be in a much slower growth pattern than has historically been the case.
>      If global economic growth is lower, then future earnings growth must be lower too. Earnings are what moves stock prices and that’s why stocks are going lower, to reset to new lower growth expectations.
>      Good news is that U.S. earnings expectations are not very high anyway, however, everyone has been suspicious of China’s reported economic data and given all the actions the government has been taking to stabilize growth, the suspicions are confirmed and China is likely growing slower than previously thought.
>      Market valuation is not at the same high level that it was in 2007, it is much more reasonable.
>      Our economy is still growing steadily. Our largest trading partners are Canada, China, and Mexico. China’s citizens are not heavily involved in their stock market so our exports to China may not even be impacted too much.
>      U.S. new home sales in July were at their highest level since July 2007; auto sales are at best pace in a decade; labor market improved.
>     Europe has become more stable despite Greece’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras’ recent resignation.  European growth is firming, but certainly not robust. Recent Eurozone PMI came in at 54.1, signaling the best expansion in some time for the manufacturing sector.
>     U.S. has gone 1,418 calendar days without a 10% correction, the 3rd longest in the past 50 years. The DOW and S&P 500 have now corrected 10% from their May 2015 highs. 10% corrections are normal and healthy, even though they do not feel very good, especially when they happen as quickly as this one.
>     The Fed has not been clear on its direction and that has spooked markets as well. Market volatility may push off a rate hike until at least December.
>     Most portfolios are diversified and are not fully invested in stocks. Bonds have rallied so that side of your portfolio should have gained in value to help offset equity declines.

Investors in the equity markets know that long term value is achieved only when a long term perspective can be maintained. Volatility like this is difficult to tolerate over the short term but might be easier if the media was as vocal about the gains in your bond portfolio that were serving to mitigate some of the short term equity declines.

Investment and insurance products are: not Alpine Bank products, not FDIC insured; not guaranteed; and, may be subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal.


Jennifer Sipes Promoted to Branch Manager in Roscoe

Jennifer Sipes

Jennifer Sipes

Pat Peterson, Senior Vice President, is pleased to announce Jennifer Sipes has been promoted to Branch Manager of the Roscoe branch, located at 5023 Rockrose Court.

Ms. Sipes began her career in the financial industry 14 years ago.  In 2005, she joined the Alpine Bank family as a teller, after which she held positions as Teller Supervisor and Assistant Branch Manager.

Born and raised in Northern Illinois, Ms. Sipes understands the needs of the community she serves.  She is currently a member of Alpine Kiwanis, volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and volunteer with the Hononegah High School – Readiness in the Workplace Program.  Ms. Sipes can also be seen volunteering at numerous Alpine Bank events.

Alpine Bank Community Shred Day Coming to Roscoe

iStock_000002827290LargeAlpine Bank and Paper Recovery Service Corporation, a secure shredding solutions company, are partnering together again to hold Alpine Bank’s annual fall Community Shred Day on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 9 a.m. to Noon in the parking lot of Alpine Bank’s Roscoe Branch at 5023 Rockrose Court, in Roscoe. This will be the first time since 2011 that  Alpine Bank has held a shred day at this location.

Alpine Bank Community Shred Day is a FREE event open to the entire community. Attendees will be able to drop off their documents at the “shredding drive-thru” and watch Paper Recover shred them during the event on site free of charge – all without leaving the comforts of their vehicle.

People are invited to bring a maximum of 2 boxes of the following materials to be shredded: clean paper of any color, file folders of any color, papers containing staples, paper clips, rubber bands, and/or small binders. Materials that cannot be shredded include: trash, cardboard, telephone books, hardcover books, hanging folders, 3-ring binders, lever-arch binders, and any plastics, including computer disks, CDs, DVDs, VCR tapes, ID badges, x-rays, transparencies, etc.

Nearly 9 million people are affected by identity theft each year.  According to the FTC, “Identity theft is a serious crime. It can disrupt your finances, credit history, and reputation, and take time, money, and patience to resolve.”  With over 4 million tons of junk mail received by Americans each year, there are millions of documents which contain your personal information.  In addition, most Americans still receive paper documents for bank accounts, utility bills, credit cards, etc.  When these documents are discarded, the risk of having your information stolen by a “dumpster diver” drastically increases.  By taking steps, such as shredding to protect yourself, you can potentially lessen this threat.

Alpine Bank hosts two Community Shred Days each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.

For more information about protecting your self from identity theft, visit

About Paper Recovery Service Corporation
Based in Loves Park, IL, Paper Recovery Service Corporation provides solutions from secure document destruction to recycling for businesses in manufacturing, retail, or professional services.

Alpine Bank Announces Junior Golfers for Pro-Am Foursome

Playing golf, ball on tee and golf club. Vintage, retro styleAlpine Bank has selected four up and coming golfers to play in the Alpine Bank foursome at this year’s Rockford Pro-Am on Monday, July 13, 2015. Alpine Bank is pleased to announce that its foursome will include: Adam Norwood, Jesse Slattery, Harrison Engelbrecht, and Carson Racich.

Alpine Bank returns this year as a prime sponsor of the Rockford Pro-Am. The bank is choosing to fill its foursome with young, aspiring golfers, giving them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in such a prestigious event alongside golf professionals. In April of this year, the bank extended a special invitation to young golfers to apply to play in the Alpine Bank foursome. The application process involved an application where applicants noted their golf skill/ability, extracurricular activities and a personal statement explaining how playing at the Rockford Pro-Am would benefit them. In addition, each applicant was asked to submit a one-page letter of recommendation from a non-family member (i.e. coach, teacher, mentor, etc.). Fifteen junior golfers from the area applied to play. A selection committee reviewed the applications.

“I would like to thank all of the young golfers who applied.  There skill levels were very impressive and any one of them would’ve made a great addition to our team.” said Matt Roegner, executive vice president of Alpine Bank.

In the coming weeks, Alpine Bank will choose the PGA Pro Golfer who will play alongside these talented individuals.  Last year’s foursome, with Kenny Perry, took first place in the tournament, marking the first time our foursome has taken that honor.

Alpine Bank will be hosting a special luncheon for the foursome players, as a special thank you and to become acquainted with one another.  Following the luncheon, the players will be treated to a round of golf at Rockford Country Club.

About Rockford Pro-Am 
Beginning in 1977, The Rockford Pro-Am is the nation’s longest-running, free-standing pro-am not associated with a professional tournament. This year it will be held at Rockford Country Club on Monday, July 13, 2015, and will feature amateur foursomes paired with professional golfers. The foursomes play in a best-ball handicapped format, while the pros keep straight 18-hole scores. Cost is $10 and tickets are available at the gate. For more information, visit

About Alpine Bank
Alpine Bank is a locally owned financial institution serving Winnebago, Boone, and DeKalb counties with a total of 15 locations in Rockford, Belvidere, Cherry Valley, Kirkland, Loves Park, Machesney Park, and Roscoe, Illinois. Founded in 1908, Alpine Bank offers a variety of financial products and services for consumers, small businesses, agricultural businesses and commercial companies and provides investment and financial services through Alpine Trust & Investment Group. Alpine Bank is committed to being a bank you can actually like. For more information, visit

Alpine Bank Adds 55,000 Surcharge-Free ATMs

Allpoint-GrnYel-cmykAlpine Bank has joined Allpoint Network, which means Alpine Bank customers now have access to America’s largest surcharge-free ATM network, with some 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide.Allpoint Network is an affiliate of Cardtronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CATM), the world’s largest retail ATM owner.

In addition to Alpine’s branch locations and ATMs, with Allpoint Network, our customers will never be far away from surcharge-free ATM access to their cash, especially in the United States where Allpoint offers 43,000 cash machines in places they’re already visiting as part of their daily routine. Conveniently located in destination retail outlets including major discount retailers, convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores, Allpoint Network ATMs save customers of Alpine Bank time as well as ATM fees.

“By becoming an Allpoint Network member, in an instant Alpine Bank grows its surcharge-free ATM locations to more than double that of even some of the largest banks,” said John Vanderheyden, executive vice president of Operations for Alpine Bank.  “People want a financial service provider that delivers the most convenient account access and management options, and that includes access to their cash.  With Allpoint, we can meet that need.”

How to find Allpoint NetworkAlpine Bank customers looking for the nearest surcharge-free Allpoint ATM—including 12,000 locations in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Australia—can do so with their smartphone using the free Allpoint Network ATM locator app. And once at the store hosting an Allpoint ATM, look for the green Allpoint logo.

Allpoint Network resources:

About Allpoint

Allpoint Network is the largest surcharge-free ATM network with more than 55,000 ATMs in leading national and regional merchant locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and Australia.  Allpoint provides greater access, convenience and savings to customers of financial institutions while providing institutions the tools to compete more effectively for customers. For more information or to find the nearest Allpoint surcharge-free ATM, please visit, like us on Facebook and follow @Allpoint on Twitter. Allpoint Network is an affiliate of Cardtronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CATM)