News Release: Mertens Named Blackhawk Bank 2019 Spirit Award Winner

Brian Mertens holds trophy for winning the 2019 Blackhawk Bank Spirit AwardFebruary 1, 2019 (Beloit, WI) – Blackhawk Bank is honored to announce Brian Mertens, Network Technician Support Specialist, as the 2019 Spirit Award Winner.

The Blackhawk Bank Spirit Award is the highest award the Bank bestows upon an employee.  To be considered, the employee must have been on staff for at least one year and demonstrate exceptional qualities in all of the following criteria areas: Be obsessed with your Clients’ success, Keep learning and teaching, Own it, Work smart play hard, Communicate in ways that engage and inform, Give back, and Be grateful.

Brian was nominated by Larry Kane, AVP Facilities & Purchasing, and Jessica Hendon, VP Physical and Information Security. His nomination was further supported by his direct supervisor, Phyllis Oldenburg, SVP Technology and Operations.

Here is what they had to say about Brian:

Be obsessed with your Clients’ success

“Brian often takes calls and answers emails after hours. He also works in the evenings and on weekends so that our clients are not disrupted during normal hours.”

Keep learning and teaching

“Brian is currently working on a college degree while working full-time, and he still finds time to attend educational industry events.”

Own it

“Brian takes full ownership of his work. Technology isn’t always a black and white answer and sometimes things do not go as planned. Brain does not attempt to push the blame on anyone else; but, rather, embraces the challenge to figure out what went wrong and make it right.

Work smart, play hard

“On several occasions, you can find Brian coming in early and working late, but he never boasts about it.”  “Brian enjoys a good joke, and has been known to pull a few pranks himself. Brian has volunteered to be a Rally Leader several times and each time he adds his own twist to make the morning meetings fun and informational.”

Communicate in ways that engage and inform

“Wherever there is a technology issue, Brian informs everyone, keeps everyone up-to-date, and makes sure they understand. In addition, he makes sure we all know how to avoid it in the future and if someone doesn’t understand, he works with them until they do.”

Give back

“Brian gives back in multiple ways to our organization. He is the first volunteer on projects that require after-hours work, so not to impede on his co-worker’s family time. He is a willing participant to fill in for ‘Meals on Wheels’ deliveries, volunteers at the summer farmers markets for the Bank, and offers his time to facilities, security, and technology for emergency after-hours calls.”

Be grateful

“Brian is always quick to thank everyone who helps him.”  “Brian shows genuine thanks and gratitude for what the Bank and other co-workers have done for him over the years. I can think of no one more deserving of this award.”

Congratulations, Brian. Thank you for all you do and for setting such a good example to those around you.


About Blackhawk Bank

Established in 1881, Blackhawk Bank has served individuals, families and business owners for 138 years. The Bank operates eight full service banking centers in Beloit and Janesville, Wisconsin and in Rockford, Belvidere, Machesney Park and Roscoe, Illinois. The Bank also operates a Business Banking Center in Elgin, Illinois and a Mortgage Processing Center in Roscoe, Illinois. Complete information about Blackhawk Bank can be found at  Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender