Text Size: A A A

Business Bankers

Rick Bastian, President & CEO

Rick Bastian, Chairman & CEO
400 Broad Street, Beloit and 2475 N. Perryville Road, Rockford
Toll Free 800.209.2616 | Beloit: Ext 4229 | Rockford: Ext 4633
rbastian@Blackhawkbank.com

Rick, a stalwart supporter of manufacturing in the Rock River Valley, believes that manufacturing is experiencing a reinvention and he’s fully engaged in helping that happen.  He knows that manufacturing is the lifeblood of the local economy, with its long, rich history of providing employment for tens of thousands of people and a comfortable Midwestern quality of life.

Rick honed his unique understanding of business and manufacturing over 40 years of leading financial institutions.   He has primed his workforce, and the company’s stakeholders have elected a board of directors who know manufacturing.  Together, they’re helping local manufacturers evolve by advising them about restructuring cash-flow, maximizing their existing infrastructure and workforce, sharing best practices with a network of other customers, and learning how to maximize their negotiation skills. This concentration of knowledge, experience and leadership frequently enables Blackhawk’s business bankers to anticipate the needs of customers and approach them proactively with ideas to successfully meet the next challenge.

Rick completed Lean Manufacturing Training offered by IMEC, gaining knowledge that he passes along to customers.  He conducts research and applies analytical thinking to develop new ways to do business that will help the bank and its customers stay healthy and prosperous.  It‘s this research and his desire to truly understand the business model of every Blackhawk customer that allows Rick and his team to confidently “dig in” and to think beyond the numbers when reviewing a business deal.

In 2013 Rick became a Certified Family Business Advisor upon his completion of Succession Planning training conducted in Los Angeles.  This certification equips him with comprehensive tools to assist family-owned and closely-held businesses.  Advisors work to help the business create an exit strategy, succession plan and build an advisory board not only as a means to transition the business in the future, but also to help create a clear roadmap of how the business will operate to reach its goals.  Read the full News Release here. 

In December of 2014, Rick earned the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation after completing the Exit Planning Institute’s intensive CEPA executive style MBA program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  Bastian joins an elite group of business advisors who have received this designation and are a part of the international community of the Exit Planning Institute. The CEPA program is the most widely accepted and endorsed program in the world.  Bastian is the only financial professional in the Stateline region with both the CEPA and FBA designations.

Both the CEPA and FBA advisor programs were specifically designed to support the needs of closely-held and family owned businesses.  “These businesses form the backbone of the economy in the Rock River Valley.  Many will be faced with the challenges of management and ownership succession in the next several years,” said Bastian. “I am delighted to be in a position to help them assess their current situation, evaluate their options, create enterprise value and implement thoughtful transitions in a way that benefits all stakeholders,” he added.

Bastian encourages business owners who would like to learn more about ownership succession to contact him at 815.877.2039 or 608.299.3400.  

Rick and his wife Jayme reside in Rockford, and are active participants in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations.

Todd Larson head shot
Todd Larson, Senior Vice President Business Banking
2475 N. Perryville Road, Rockford, IL 815.877.2138
tlarson@Blackhawkbank.com

Todd's an expert advisor on business management matters and readily shares his knowledge with clients throughout the bank's market area. He directs Blackhawk's team of Business Bankers, Credit Analysts, Loan Underwriters and Administrative Assistants while developing and managing commercial loan relationships. With more than 27 years of experience in the local business banking arena, Todd's keen insights into the local marketplace position him as a lead member of the bank's Asset/Liability and Loan Committees.

The father of three children, Todd lives in Belvidere where he's an active member of the Belvidere Cosmopolitan Club. His two favorite leisure activities are golfing and enjoying all the activities that go along with being a dad.

Brenda White head shot
Brenda White, Vice President Business Banking
2475 N. Perryville Road, Rockford, IL 815.986.7120
bwhite@Blackhawkbank.com

Brenda knows the financial industry backward and forward and delivers prompt action to her clients. A former Personal Banker, Business Development Officer, Mortgage Originator and Manager of Blackhawk's real estate division, Brenda's 28 years of experience enables her to put together innovative solutions for her clients' specific needs. Since 2005 her primary emphasis has been in Commercial Banking, serving clients in Winnebago and Boone County.

Brenda's active with the Rockford and Belvidere Chambers of Commerce; she's a member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Rockford, the South Central Wisconsin Builder's Association and the Rockford Association of Realtors. She lives in Boone County and has an affinity for antique cars, travel and anything involving water!

Andy Williams head shot
Andy Williams, Senior Vice President Business Banking
2475 N. Perryville Road, Rockford, IL 815.877.2421
awilliams@Blackhawkbank.com

Outstanding banking skills combined with intimate knowledge of the Rockford business scene are two valuable benefits Andy brings to local entrepreneurs. He's a go-getter who's won numerous new clients for the bank and proves his dedication to building relationships by delivering excellent service after the sale. Andy specializes in business banking solutions for manufacturers and healthcare professionals in Rockford and Winnebago County. A former Vice President of Organizational Development at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Andy knows nearly every business person in Rockford. Blackhawk acquired his professional sales skills in 2004.

Andy's a member of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, RMA, and Women of Today's Manufacturing. Andy and his wife Chanin have two children and live in Winnebago. His hobbies include model rocketry, trap shooting, fantasy football and cycling.

Jim Pieschel
Jim Pieschel, Vice President Business Banking
2471 N. Perryville Road, Rockford, IL  815.544.4146
jpieschel@Blackhawkbank.com

Jim brings 21 years of banking experience (18 of them in commercial banking) to the bank’s team of experts.  He previously managed a commercial banking division with 13 commercial bankers and loan balances in excess of $400,000,000. He has specialized expertise in Illinois revenue bond financing, as well as financing for manufacturing and the development of senior living communities.

As a management trainee during his first two years in banking, Jim learned how a bank truly operates and how multiple lines of business are engaged to meet the needs of its clients. 

Jim serves as a board member of the Crusader Health Foundation and Rockford Lutheran High School Foundation, and is a recent past treasurer of the University Club of Rockford.  He obtained a Bachelors of Arts / Economics degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.

A lifelong Winnebago County resident, Jim, his wife Courtney and their two children reside in Loves Park.  His favorite leisure activities include being entertained by the antics of his kids, listening to classic rock (Rockford’s very own Cheap Trick is # 1 in that book!), golfing, being a fan of University of Illinois athletics, the Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks, and the Bulls.

Kevin Busker head shot
Kevin Busker, Vice President Cash Management, Certified Treasury Professional, AAP
9609 Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park, IL 815.877.2084
kbusker@Blackhawkbank.com

Kevin's the cash management specialist that teaches clients how to make their deposits really work. With more than 25 years of banking experience, he instructs clients in the use of online tools such as one-time or reoccurring ACH transactions, wire transfers, direct deposits, sweep accounts, remote deposit capture, account analysis, zero balance accounts, property management and more. Kevin meets with clients throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, demonstrating the ease and benefits of Remote Electronic Deposit.

Kevin's a member of the Association for Financial Professionals and holds the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) credential. The CTP designation is evidence that an individual is certified in corporate treasury and cash management.  AAPs (Accredited ACH Professional) are recognized throughout the payments industry as subject matter experts.  

Kevin is actively involved with Scouting, Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Abundant Life Tries Dias. He's married to Thelma and they have two sons. The Busker family enjoys the great outdoors together by spending time camping, hiking, biking and traveling.

Chris Agnitsch head shot
Chris Agnitsch, Vice President Business Banking
2475 N. Perryville Road, Rockford, IL 815.877.2481
cagnitsch@Blackhawkbank.com

With an insider's perspective on initiatives and legislative issues that affect business, Chris came to Blackhawk Bank from a Chamber of Commerce background. He served as President of the Lancaster, Ohio Chamber of Commerce; before that, he spent five years as the Rockford Chamber's Vice President of Government Affairs. Chris earned a Bachelor's degree in Communications with a concentration in Economics; his education and business proficiency equip him to be a valuable asset to business clients.

Chris and his wife Amy Boston are parents to sons Will and Ben. Chris enjoys trap shooting, hunting, fishing and golf.

Dale Reeves
Dale Reeves, Senior Vice President Business Banking
400 Broad Street, Beloit, WI 608.299.3422
dreeves@Blackhawkbank.com

Dale's a powerful resource for business people who want to strengthen or expand their business. He's a fount of knowledge with more than 27 years of experience in business and consumer banking, investment services and wealth management. He administers a portfolio of long-term, successful clients in the Stateline area while cultivating new business in Beloit and Janesville.

Dale is a former chair of the Stateline United Way Campaign and is a Beloit Memorial Hospital Foundation Director. Dale and his wife Lisa live in Stoughton, WI.  Their son Patrick and his wife Emily reside in Fort Collins Colorado as does their daughter Alyssa. Dale's hobbies include scuba diving, cycling and traveling.