Alpine Bank To Host Annual Spring Community Shred Day April 25

iStock_000002827290LargeAlpine Bank and Paper Recovery Service Corporation, a secure shredding solutions company, are partnering together again to hold Alpine Bank’s annual spring Community Shred Day on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 9 a.m. to Noon in the North parking lot of Alpine Bank’s East State Street Branch at 6838 East State Street in Rockford. In conjunction with Money Smart Week Northern Illinois, Alpine Bank’s Community Shred Day is a FREE event open to the entire community. Attendees, without leaving the comforts of their vehicles, 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.

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, and etc.

Identity theft continues to be a serious growing crime in the United States. As noted on the TransUnion website, nearly 9.9 million Americans are victims of some form of identity theft each year. Shredding personal documents and information is just one way to avoid becoming a victim.  Alpine Bank hosts two Community Shred Days each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.

More Information
For more information about this Community Shred Day, visit www.bankalpine.com or call 815.398.6500. For more information about identity theft and other important security tips, visit www.bankalpine.com/security-privacy.

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.

Tips to Save On Your Next Big Road Trip

If you are hitting the road for spring break this year, check out some of these money-saving ideas.

If you are hitting the road for spring break this year, check out some of these money-saving ideas.

A road trip is a great way to spend more time with your family, see a lot of the country and make fun memories. Many families want to take a trip like this but don’t think they can afford the meals, hotel stays, entertainment, and transportation costs. But Alpine Bank has some tips that will let you hit the highway without blowing your budget.

Drive a larger vehicle – Though it may seem counter-intuitive to drive something that will guzzle more gas, the money you will be able to save by packing an extra cooler of food or making room for some camping equipment (check out the next tip!) will make up for the cost of extra gas.

Consider camping – While hotels are convenient, setting up camp is a fraction of the cost. Camping is an especially great option if you want to explore National Parks that have limited accommodation for miles. If you don’t own any camping equipment, you probably know someone who does that will let you borrow it for a week.

Pack your food – Even fast food meals add up quickly when you are eating them three times a day. Having a cooler full of sandwiches, drinks, and snacks will be much cheaper and healthier than stopping for a burger every few hours.

Stop by free attractions – While there are probably specific sites you want to see and pay for, there will also be times when you need to pull over for a break. Instead of pulling into another rest stop, make a memory and stop by one of the many roadside attractions on your way. The Roadside America app is full of quirky roadside attractions – most of which are free!

Get your vehicle checked before you go – Nothing ruins a good road trip quite like car problems. Calling a tow truck, relying on a new mechanic and possibly staying the night while you wait for repairs to be made can add up to a huge expense. Having your vehicle checked out before you leave can save a lot of money and stress.

Road trips are all about making great memories (and some not so great ones that you will laugh at in a few years). If you are ready to hit the highway, we wish you safe travels! For more tips on saving for your family’s next vacation, talk to the experts at Alpine Bank.

Branch Managers Promoted at Alpine Bank

Alpine Bank has announced the promotions of three branch managers.  Melissa Beatty and Natasha (Tasha) Ferguson were promoted to Assistant Vice Presidents & Branch ManagersRachel Parry was promoted to Assistant Vice President & In-Store Branch Manager.

Melissa BeattyMelissa Beatty, born and raised in Rockford and now residing in Pecatonica, has been with Alpine Bank for over a decade.  Ms. Beatty manages the Retail branch on East State Street, in Rockford.  She has her Associate’s Degree from Rock Valley College, carries an Illinois Insurance License and is also a notary.

Ms. Beatty helps out her community by volunteering with Visiting Nurses and is a board member for Just Goods in Rockford.

FergusonTasha Ferguson, a lifelong resident of Belvidere, has been in the financial industry for nearly two decades.  As a member of the Alpine Bank team, she runs the Cherry Valley branch and assists customers with their personal financial needs.

Ms. Ferguson helps out in the community by volunteering with the Boone County CASA, Blue Thunder Booster Club and stays busy with kids’ sports.

ParryRachel Parry grew up in Chicago before moving to Marengo, then to Loves Park in 2002.  Her educational achievements include a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia College, and she is currently working on her MBA.  Ms. Parry’s decade-plus experience in the financial industry has helped her become a valuable member of the Alpine Bank team.

Ms. Parry is very involved in the community.  She teaches classes for  Family Credit Management.  She is also a trustee on the board for the North Suburban Library District and secretary of the PTA at Loves Park Elementary.

 

URGENT: Beware of Phishing Emails

It has recently come to our attention that several phishing emails are being circulated.  A sample of one of the emails is seen below.  If you receive one of these emails, DO NOT click on any links or open any attachments. DELETE immediately. If you have clicked on any links, please contact your IT department or provider.

These emails are not specific to Alpine Bank customers.  Reports from many institutions have surfaced.  The safety of our community is important to us.  If you have any questions on these types of emails, please feel free to contact our Electronic Banking Department at 815-398-6500.

For more information on Online Security visit www.bankalpine.com/security-privacy/online-mobile-banking.

Spam

 

(Click on image to enlarge.)       

5 Things You Need to Know About Valentine’s Day

The National Retail Federation found that Americans spend over $17 billion on Valentine’s Day celebrations. But showing love on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you need to blow your budget. Let Alpine Bank help you. Check out some of the facts about buying a Valentine’s Day gift this year.

  1. Gender counts

In 2014, gift givers planned to spend an average of $134 on Valentine’s Day, with men saying they would spend an average of $108.38 while women said they would spend $49.41. Additionally, research from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management found that men tend to spend more on gifts when there is a lower female population near them.

  1. Roses may be cheaper

The price that florists pay for roses can double on Valentine’s Day, which carries over to consumers. But since Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year, prices may be lower. Why? When the holiday falls on a weekend, there is 20% less demand because men have more time to plan.

  1. You’ll pay more for chocolate

The cost of cocoa rose sharply in 2014 due to the rising global demand and fear of depleting supply. In July, Hershey’s started charging 8 percent more for their goods while the price of Mars products increased by 7 percent. The National Retail Federation found that almost half of all romantics buy chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

  1. Quality time is more precious than money

If you are reluctant to drop too much cash on a decadent box of chocolates or bouquet of roses, don’t feel bad! Activities that bring you closer together often make loved ones happier than buying expensive gifts.

  1. Talk money

Having a discussion about money may not sound very romantic, but a 2014 survey by the credit bureau Experian found that 73 percent of women and 60 percent of men found their significant other more attractive when they were willing to talk about personal finances.

Don’t get so caught up in the gift-giving part of Valentine’s Day that you forget about its real purpose. Turn it back into a celebration of love, not an empty bank account. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones from Alpine Bank!

The Face of Our Dollars


In February, we celebrate the historical leaders of our country on President’s Day. To celebrate these great men, Alpine Bank decided to look at some of the presidents who are featured on our money. Treasury.gov says that their records don’t suggest why specific presidents and statesmen were chosen for each bill. Let’s take a look at some of the facts about our past presidents to figure out how they came to be on our money.

George Washington – America’s first President and Founding Father was put on the dollar bill in 1869 – seven years after the bill was first printed. He appeared on the quarter in 1924 after Congress created the US George Washington Bicentennial Commission to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Abraham Lincoln – The 16th president is credited with preserving the Union and ending slavery in the US. He has appeared on the $5 bill since 1914. Teddy Roosevelt commissioned Lincoln to be on the penny as well in 1909 in honor of Lincoln’s 100th birthday.

Andrew Jackson – Jackson’s face replaced Cleveland’s on the $20 bill in 1928. Since then, several petitions have circulated to have this controversial political figure removed from the bill.

Ulysses S. Grant – Civil War general and 18th US President Ulysses S. Grant first appeared on the $50 bill in 1913. Legislation to put Ronald Reagan on the bill instead of Grant was voted down by Congress in 2005 and 2010.

Benjamin Franklin –One of only two non-presidents featured on our paper money, Franklin is thought to be “the only President of the United States who was never President of the United States.”  His picture first appeared on the $100 bill in 1914.

Paper money has changed a lot in the last 100 years. It will be interesting to see what changes are in the future! At Alpine Bank, our goal is to keep as many of these President’s faces in your wallet as possible! Contact us for tips and advice about saving.

Alpine Bank Announces Commercial Officer Promotions

Matt Roegner, Executive Vice President & CLO of Alpine Bank, has announced the promotions of five Commercial officers.  Don Banks, David Sobojinski and Rhonda Sunden were promoted to Senior Vice Presidents of Commercial ServicesCarl Dumoulin was promoted to Senior Vice President of Ag and Commercial ServicesBrenten Witherby was promoted to Vice President of Commercial Services.

BanksDon2008_1962re_3x4Don Banks has over two decades worth of experience in helping customers with their commercial lending needs. Mr. Banks earned his BA in Business Management from Western Illinois University.  He is also a graduate of the ABA Commercial Lending School and the CBA’s Illinois Midwest School for Community Bankers.

Mr. Banks stays active in the community as a trustee for Flora Township and a member of the Kirkland Lions Club.  He is also a member and past president of the Boone County Historical Society, a board member for the Greater Kirkland Area Chamber of Commerce and president of the Flora Cemetery Board.  He serves as president of the Belvidere IOU Club and is a board member for the School District #100 Charitable Foundation.

DSobojinski_09.14David Sobojinski has 25 years in the financial industry, with 16 of those years in commercial lending.  He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh with a degree in Finance and Management Information Systems.   He takes the extra time necessary to understand a company’s business and providing financial resources and tools to assist the owner in achieving their goals.

Mr. Sobojinski follows the Alpine Bank philosophy of helping people, businesses and our community. He is currently a member of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful. He is a past treasurer of the Beloit YMCA board, past member of Kiwanis and former loan committee member of the Rockford Local Development Corp.

SundenRhonda 2009Rhonda Sunden has two-plus decades of financial service experience, giving her a keen eye and great sense of how to best serve the customers she works with. She attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR with a degree in Business Management.  She is also a graduate of ABA National Commercial Lending School.

Ms. Sunden is also busy in the community, serving as a board member of the Rockford Downtown Rotary and member of Women of Today’s Manufacturing.  She also participates on the United for Youth Capital Campaign for the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.  Ms. Sunden is a past board member for the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois.  She has worked with the United Way of Rock River Valley, Junior Achievement of Rock River Valley, and the YMCA of Rock River Valley.

DumoulinCarl_01_2013Carl Dumoulin got his start in finance with his BS degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois and continued his education at the Bank Administration Institute Graduate School of Banking at UW-Madison. Combined with his 30-plus years of experience, Mr. Dumoulin is a great resource for our customers with lending needs.

Mr. Dumoulin stays active in the community as treasurer for the Belvidere Lions Club and as a board member for the University of Illinois Extension Council serving Boone, DeKalb and Ogle Counties.  He is a current member of the finance and audit committees of the Rockford Area Literacy Council and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He has also been involved with the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation Council in Belvidere.

WitherbyBrenten_11_2012Brenten Witherby has lived in Winnebago County his whole life, which provides an extra benefit when working with our local small businesses. Mr. Witherby’s BS and MBA degrees, as well as his specialty in working with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lending programs, allow him to help small and medium-sized businesses find success.

Mr. Witherby’s community involvement includes being a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. He’s also a member of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) and is a graduate of the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Leadership Rockford program.

3 Steps to Start Planning for Retirement

Do you find yourself thinking about what’s next?  No matter how old you are, it is never too early to start thinking about the future and planning for a comfortable retirement.

Whether you are in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s, there are some behaviors you can start now so you are set up for a happy retirement. Follow these practices and you will be on your way to relaxing after many years of hard work.

Find three core pursuits

Core pursuits are more than hobbies. They are the things you are passionate about! Whether it is travel, volunteering or sports, your core pursuits should help you find purpose in each day and define your priorities.

Create multiple streams of income

Having multiple streams of income is the best way to feel financially secure. Utilize social security, pension income, income from investments, and government benefits. Think of it like many small tributaries flowing into the same river. If one tributary dries up, you still have others to keep your financial river flowing.

Plan for retirement

Commit to spend five hours each year planning for retirement. Saving throughout your working life is the best way to ensure that you will be able to live your golden years on your own terms. Think ahead about what you want your retirement to look like. Use this goal to generate ideas about how you can save enough money to achieve it. Everyone’s plan will be different but we should all have one!

Retirement should be something we all look forward to whether it is next year or in another 30. We know you work hard and Alpine Bank wants you to enjoy every year! No matter your age, we have a savings account that will help you plan for your future.

How to Have More Money without Making More Money


The economy is starting to look up for the first time since 2008 and many people are finding themselves with some extra cash. But that extra chunk of change brings some responsibilities with it. People who overspend typically don’t do so on a few major purchases. They usually spend too much on many small purchases that sneak between the cracks of their budget. Try out a few of these ideas to keep your spending in check this year.

Start a budget: Budgeting is not a new topic for our blog, but if you haven’t started or updated your budget yet, it is time to start. Keep the receipt for every purchase you make for a month. At the end of the month, add up every dollar you spent (even if it is just a couple!) and evaluate what purchases were necessary. Include these in your monthly budget and try to cut out the other stuff.

Shop Sales Wisely: We all love a good sale! But if you end up buying more because it was on sale, you didn’t save at all. Only take advantage of sales when it is for something you need.

Use Cash: Giving your plastic card a quick swipe is a lot easier than handing over some green. The best way to track what is leaving your wallet is to physically see it. Many people just click the pay button without looking at the charges on their credit card bill. When you see your wallet shrinking before your eyes, you may realize you don’t have extra money to spend on wants.

Cutting back on purchasing is not only about saving money but also accumulating less stuff over your lifetime. When we live with fewer things, it is easier to manage a simple lifestyle. Alpine Bank wants you to keep your finances organized and in check. We offer different checking and savings accounts to fit your unique needs. Stop in at one of our locations today!

Alpine Trust & Investment Group Officers Promoted

JO_ML Bill Roop, president & CEO of Alpine Bank, has announced the promotions of two Alpine Trust & Investment Group employees, Julie O’Rourke and Michele Lind.

 Julie O’Rourke, CFA, CFP® was promoted to Executive Vice President and Senior Trust & Investment Officer.  Ms. O’Rourke joined Alpine Trust & Investment Group in 2004 and has over two decades of investment management experience. She Chairs the Investment Strategy Committee, is responsible for monitoring the economy and markets, and leading department-wide portfolio strategy decisions.  Ms. O’Rourke supervises the team of investment professionals and manages the investment and financial planning processes.  She works with institutional and high net worth clients.

Prior to joining Alpine Trust & Investment Group, Julie spent 15 years serving as portfolio manager, working with both large institutions and individuals at all stages of wealth. She successfully led a team of equity research analysts as they worked together to manage equity mutual funds. Julie has counseled many different types of institutions regarding the construction of investment policies and appropriate asset allocation.

She has been quoted in several print publications and has appeared on both television and radio to speak about investments, the markets and the economy. She has presented to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office Smart Women / Smart Money seminar, as well as to numerous economic and financial market outlook symposiums.

Julie graduated from Rockford University with a BS in Finance and attained the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1995 and the Certified Financial Planner TM (CFP®) designation in 2008.  She is a member of United Way’s Impact Council and the Boone County Council on Aging Endowment Committee and volunteers at St. Mary Parish.

 Michele Lind, CFP® has been promoted to Assistant Vice President & Investment Officer.  Ms. Lind joined Alpine Trust & Investment Group in March 2009.  She manages portfolios of individual trusts and guardianships, investment agency accounts, and 401(k) plans.  She is responsible for monitoring the economy and markets as a member of the Investment Strategy Committee.

Prior to joining the investment group, Michele spent 20 years in the financial planning and investment industry with various positions in administration and marketing, sales and project management, and bank brokerage management.

Michele is a graduate of Rockford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics/Finance.    She earned the Certified Financial PlannerTM designation in 2005 and holds Life and Health Insurance licenses for the state of Illinois.

Michele currently serves on the Finance Committee for Womanspace of Rockford.