The WMBA aims to offer public education about the industry, provide professional education for its members and lobby for sound industry-related legislation.
The new board members are: Betty Feierstein of Landmark Credit Union, Scott Fletcher of Mid America Bank, Steve Hansen of Associated Bank, Craig Kouba of First Bank Financial Centre, James Kopp of J.E. Consulting, Anthony Larke of AnchorBank and Brenda Schwab of Genworth Financial.
The leadership team for this year’s board of directors includes: President Dave Rouse of bank Mutual, Vice President Nicholas DelToro of Inlanta Mortgage, Secretary John Inzeo of Wisconsin Mortgage Corp. and Treasurer Marcia Howe of Monona State Bank.
“Over the past few years, our industry has navigated through unchartered waters, worked through unprecedented times and faced many challenges”, says Dave Rouse, President of the WMBA. “The WMBA and our membership have taken these challenges head on, and our new board and leadership team will play a critical role in helping fuel Wisconsin's economy by enabling Wisconsin's citizens to recognize the American dream of homeownership.”
BMO gauge says Wisconsin economy continues recovery
The Wisconsin economy is expanding at a moderate pace, as manufacturing continues to grind out a modest recovery, while exports are rising at a brisk pace for another solid year, according to the State Monitor report released by BMO Capital Markets Economics.
The Wisconsin business sector remains firmly in expansion territory. Exports continue to rise, up 12.5 percent year-over-year in the first quarter. Machinery shipments lead the gains up a strong 28 percent year-over-year to the highest level on record.
"Our commercial customers continue to express optimism and confidence in the state's economic resiliency," said Jeff Ticknor, managing director and head of Diversified Industries, Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank. "Our local expertise, sector knowledge and mid-market focus are real advantages to helping our customers find solutions as they invest and upgrade their businesses."
While the housing market remains weak, with prices down 1.0 percent year-over-year in the first quarter. Wisconsin was not nearly as affected by the housing bubble as many other parts of the country and continues to sport a below-average foreclosure rate. As a result, prices are a relatively modest 9 percent below peak levels.
"Wisconsin's diverse economy weathered the recession relatively well," said Sherry Cooper, chief economist, BMO Financial Group. "Employment remains volatile but has recovered somewhat since late 2011, the state sports a below-average jobless rate, hitting a 31/2 year low of 6.7 percent in April and a less wounded housing market than in many other parts of the country."
Government sector jobs fell sharply thorough much of last year but the declines appear to have stabilized overall in recent months. Construction remains under pressure but manufacturing jobs continue to show a modest recovery, with employment up 1.6 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012.