Wisconsin banks merging

First State Bank, New London, Wis., has signed a deal to acquire Pioneer Bank, Auburndale, Wis., and its seven offices in north central Wisconsin.

The $160 million Pioneer Bank has branches in Greenwood, Marshfield, Rozellville, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, and Withee.

When the merger closes in the fall, Pioneer President/CEO Jeff Whitrock will join First State Bank as senior vice president/chief market development and sales officer. He will lead the growth and development of the bank’s business and personal banking across its entire market area.

“Like Pioneer Bank, First State Bank has a long history as an independent community bank with offices in rural communities,” Whitrock said. “With our merger, we’ll be preserving Pioneer’s original 1910 core values and the personal relationships our employees have built with our customers and communities.”

Jim Nowak, Pioneer Bank’s chief financial officer, will also join First State Bank as senior vice president and chief operations officer, responsible for overseeing all aspects of operations.

“Our two organizations are very complementary and together will be stronger in providing customers with the best products, convenience, and fantastic service from people they know and trust,” said Robert Van Asten, president and CEO of First State Bank. “We are both committed to the principles of community banking serving families, businesses and communities in North Central Wisconsin.”

First State Bank has offices in New London, Clintonville, Manawa, Waupaca, Cecil, and Rudolph, Wis.,  with total assets of $300 million.