Press Releases

Bank Donates to Portage Family Skate Park Project

January 2021

Portage Skate Park Donation Presentation
Pictured from left: Heather Meyer, Kyle Little, Anastasia Kinney, and Dan Timm

Community Bank of Portage recently contributed $1,000 to phase three of Portage Family Skate Park’s project. The $180,000 project will add 3,525 square feet to the park’s existing 10,000 square feet of ramps and skating area.

The group is accepting donations and business sponsorships for its third and final phase for the park. If you would like to donate visit for details, or Prairie Flower Beads at 210 W Cook Street in Portage to make a donation and purchase Portage Family Skate Park merchandise.

Bank Announces Promotions

January 2021

2021 BWD Promotions

Bank of Wisconsin Dells is pleased to announce the promotion of Tracy Stowell, Matt Schaefer, and Julie Van Der Wilt.

Tracy joined the Bank of Wisconsin Dells in 2003 in our Loan Processing Department.  Not long after joining BWD, Tracy was selected for a role in our Information Technology Department and later transitioned to our Deposit Compliance/BSA Officer for a period of time.  Tracy was sought out once again for her years of experience in technology and banking as our VP / Information Technology Director. 

Matt has been part of the Bank of Wisconsin Dells team since 2003.  He began his career with the bank as a Loan Officer and quickly elevated within the organization as VP/Compliance Officer, working with various departments in the bank and fulfilling multiple other roles along the way.  Matt is being promoted to VP/Credit Officer as he continues to play a greater role in our credit department.

Bank of Wisconsin Dells welcomed Julie in 2019 as our AVP/Assistant Compliance officer.  She has been a great addition to our Compliance team and will lead this department in her new role as VP/Compliance Officer.

Congratulations Tracy, Matt, and Julie on your well-deserved promotions!

Rockwell Named Bank of Wisconsin Dells CEO

January 2021

The Bank of Wisconsin Dells Board of Directors have appointed President Scott Rockwell to assume the additional role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as of January 1, 2021. Rockwell was promoted to President in 2020 and has accepted the CEO responsibilities from Jon Bernander who will continue in his role as Chairman of the Board.

“I am grateful for the trust placed in me by the Board of Directors and honored to be appointed CEO,” stated Rockwell. “I thank Jon for his mentorship, and look forward to building upon his contributions to the bank. We remain fully invested in the future success of our customers, employees and communities we serve, while delivering value to our shareholders.”

Rockwell joined the Bank of Wisconsin Dells in 1995 as a Vault Attendant and Customer Service Representative, later transitioning to commercial lending. After working in several areas of the bank, along with attaining his Bachelors, MBA and Graduate School of Banking degrees, Rockwell was promoted in 2018 to Executive Vice President in preparation to succeed Bernander as President and CEO.

Bank Donates to Reedsburg Helping Hands

January 2021

Pictured from left: Sarah Hegg, Brett Schwartzer, Scott Rockwell, Rita Mead, and Kim Pearson

Bank of Wisconsin Dells showed its support for Reedsburg Area Helping Hands by presenting a $2,000 donation toward helping children and families in need. The non-profit serves families within the Reedsburg school district year-round by providing food, clothing, toys and other necessary items.

Anyone wishing to donate to Reedsburg Area Helping Hands can do so. Send monetary donations to Reedsburg Area Helping Hands, 624 N. Willow St., Reedsburg, WI 53959, or visit

Bank Donates to Sleep in Heavenly Peace – Portage

January 2021

Sleep in Heavenly Peace Check Presentation

Pictured from left: Dan Timm, Scott Rockwell, Brian Scheibach, Anastasia Kinney and Heather Meyer

Community Bank of Portage showed their support for the Portage chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace by presenting a $2,000 donation toward furnishing beds for children and families in the area. The organization works to build and supply bed frames, mattresses and bedding for local families who cannot afford to purchase these items. Sleep in Heavenly Peace has built and delivered more than 500 beds in the community since the Portage chapter began in 2018.

Families in need of beds are encouraged to submit a request by visiting Beds are available to families as single beds and bunk beds, or a combination of both.

Bank of Wisconsin Dells CEO Announces Retirement

December 2020

Jon Bernander

Bank of Wisconsin Dells Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jon Bernander announced his plans to retire at the end of the calendar year after 37 years with the bank. The bank’s board of directors formally accepted Bernander’s retirement notice in November of 2020, followed by the unanimous endorsement of President Scott Rockwell to assume the additional role of CEO effective January 1, 2021. Bernander will remain Chairman of the Board, a position he has served since 2006.

“We have successfully executed our strategic succession plan this year, preparing the bank’s management team to move forward seamlessly into 2021 under its new leadership. Scott has worked diligently over the past few years in preparation of this transition. I am very proud and confident in his abilities to assume the leadership role of the bank for what we hope will be many years into the future,” stated Bernander. “My thanks to all who have been so instrumental in allowing me the opportunities to enjoy my career in banking. The many mentors, fellow employees, customers and dear friends will never be forgotten.”

After attaining his undergraduate degree in 1978 from UW – Stevens Point, Bernander began his career in finance. He joined the staff at the Bank of Wisconsin Dells in 1983 as a commercial lender. In 2006, he was promoted to the role of President, CEO and Chairman of the Bank of Wisconsin Dells and Dells Bancshares, Inc. Bernander is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking and is a former Board member of the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

Bernander’s retirement party will be announced at a later date, when everyone can gather safely to celebrate his wonderful milestone.

Bank Donates to Hope House Holiday Program

December 2020

Hope House Check Presentation

Pictured from left: Deb Bauer, Annabelle Lange, Scott Rockwell and Tammy Maki

Bank of Wisconsin Dells showed its support for the Hope House of South Central WI by presenting a $5,000 donation toward its holiday Adopt a Family Program. With this donation, Hope House is on track to fulfill everyone’s wishes this holiday season. Due to the pandemic, the organization has had more applicants for its Adopt a Family program than ever before and has made it their mission to not turn anyone away who is in need.

Bank Continues Support for Dells Area United Fund

December 2020

Dells Area United Fund

Pictured from left: Scott Rockwell, Kevin Bernander and Jennifer Gilbertson

Bank of Wisconsin Dells demonstrates its continued support for the Dells Area United Fund by presenting a $2,000 donation toward the organization’s 2020-21 fundraising goal of $37,750. Proceeds raised from the fund’s annual drive go back into the community, helping ensure local organizations have support and resources available to them. Bank of Wisconsin Dells has been a long-time partner of the Dells Area United Fund.

Bank Welcomes VP/Commercial Loan Officer, Timm

November 2020



Bank of Wisconsin Dells is pleased to announce the hiring of Dan Timm as Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer at the Community Bank of Portage. Dan brings over 35 years of commercial lending experience and over 25 years of SBA lending experience to the Portage Community. In this role Dan will be working with commercial customers and assisting them in attaining their financial goals. In Dan’s spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and the outdoors.

Bank Awards Grant to Happy Kids Network

November 2020

Pictured from left: Molly Bauer, Autumn Giddings and Scott Rockwell

Bank of Wisconsin Dells recently awarded Happy Kids Network with a $10,000 grant provided through a partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. The funds will support Happy Kid’s Market Program, which serves around 125 students and families of the Wisconsin Dells School District daily, as well as the Spring Hill Middle School snack program.

“The donation from the Bank of Wisconsin Dells is so appreciated,” says Happy Kids Network Vice President, Autumn Giddings. “The $5,000 that is earmarked for the Spring Hill Middle School program will be a huge asset as we strive to ensure that every student has access to a free snack every day. The other half of the donation will be used at The Market at the Wisconsin Dells High School to expand Happy Kids Network’s ability to service the entire community.”

Bank Supports Central Wis. Community Action Council

October 2020

Pictured from left: Fred Hebert and Scott Rockwell

Bank of Wisconsin Dells awarded Central Wisconsin Community Action Council, Inc. (CWCAC) with a $5,000 grant provided through a partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Funds will support CWCAC’s food assistance program, ensuring food security to those who were impacted the most by the pandemic. 

Bank Supports St. Clare Foundation’s Initiative

October 2020

Pictured from left: Jon Bernander, Scott Rockwell, and Julia Randles

Bank of Wisconsin Dells recently contributed $10,000 to SSM Health St. Clare Foundation to purchase a Vest Airway Clearance System for respiratory therapy. This equipment assists patients who have secretion clearance issues and may be ventilated, have pneumonia, have chronic respiratory conditions, or an individual suffering from COVID-19.

Jessica Herold, SSM Health St. Clare Respiratory Therapy Supervisor was so pleased to hear the news of the new equipment, sharing, “We are grateful to Bank of Wisconsin Dells for supporting the purchase of this equipment which will help clear our patients’ lungs and improve their respiratory status sooner. This is very timely as we move into the fall and winter and we see an increase in respiratory patients.”

Bank of Wisconsin Dells is a strong supporter of local health care and has participated in many of the St. Clare Foundation initiatives throughout the years. 

Bank Supports Agrace Foundation

October 2020
Pictured from left: Denise Budurov, Millie Mills, Scott Rockwell, Jon Bernander, Becky Radke, and Tracy Buglass

Bank of Wisconsin Dells recently presented the Agrace Foundation with a $4,000 donation. This contribution supports Agrace’s nonprofit mission of compassionate care to those in need. Agrace provides hospice services, palliative care and senior care into the homes of people in our local communities. 

Bank Awards Youth Apprentice Scholars

September 2020

YA Scholars

Bank of Wisconsin Dells recently awarded its five Youth Apprentice (YA) Scholarship Program recipients, pictured from left, Katelyn Zajicek, Allison Anderson, Aspen Eide, Lauren Prellwitz (not pictured), and Shayla Stefan (not pictured). Each scholar was presented their own award from bank President, Scott Rockwell.

Bank of Wisconsin Dells’ YA students are selected through Wisconsin’s YA program, a statewide school-to-work initiative. Cooperative Education Service Agency #5 (CESA 5) coordinates the YA program for 35 Wisconsin school districts. It is designed for high school students who want hands-on learning in an occupational area at a work site along with classroom instruction. Upon completion of a program, students receive a certificate of occupational proficiency from the State of Wisconsin.

Bank Supports Local Restaurants

September 2020

Pictured from left: Scott Rockwell, Jon Bernander, Stephen Timm, Keara Brecka, Brandon Wegner, and Travis Bolcerek

Bank of Wisconsin Dells and Community Bank of Portage had the pleasure of purchasing just over $11,000 in gift cards and employee meals from nearly 70 local restaurants, as part of its Customer Appreciation Celebration held August 24th – 28th, 2020. 

To kick off the week, the bank surprised its customers by randomly distributing about 550 gift cards to eateries in the surrounding areas. Employees also enjoyed lunch from their favorite local food places on what was known internally as “Take-Out Tuesday”.

Bank Awards Portage Scholarships

July 2020

CBOP Scholars
Pictured from left: Ben Brancel, Katelyn Zajicek, Gabrielle Garrigan, and Anastasia Kinney

The Community Bank of Portage’s Outstanding Citizenship Scholarship committee awarded its 2020 recipients. Portage High School graduates, Gabrielle Garrigan and Katelyn Zajicek, were each presented with their own $2,500 scholarship. This scholarship is awarded each year to two Portage High School seniors who demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for people in his or her school and community.

Bank Continues Support for Easterseals Wisconsin

July 2020

Easterseals 2020
Pictured from left: Jon Bernander, Scott Rockwell, and Easterseals’ Rachel Reichhoff

Bank of Wisconsin Dells demonstrated its continued support for Easterseals Wisconsin by presenting a $5,000 donation toward providing children with disabilities in financial need the opportunity to attend Camp Wawbeek, located in Wisconsin Dells. The bank has been a long-time partner of Easterseals Wisconsin, helping to ensure the organization continues to meet the ever-increasing need for campers, promoting independence and offering challenge as well as fun. 

Bank Announces Wegner Promotion

July 2020

Brandon Wegner




Bank of Wisconsin Dells is pleased to announce the promotion of Brandon Wegner as Chief Lending Officer. Brandon joined the Bank of Wisconsin Dells in 2016 as Vice President/Commercial Loan Officer and has over 17 year of lending experience. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in January of this year. 

Bank Announces Schaller Retirement

July 2020

P Schaller

Bank of Wisconsin Dells announced the retirement of Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Lending Officer, Paul Schaller, for July 10th, 2020. Schaller joined the Bank of Wisconsin Dells in 2008 with over 25 year of prior lending experience in the South Central Wisconsin market.

“We appreciate the leadership and energy Paul has brought to the bank. His devotion to our team has been instrumental in the growth and success of our bank,” says bank President, Scott Rockwell. “We will certainly miss Paul as a part of our team, but wish him and his family the very best throughout his retirement years.”

In reflecting on his time with the bank, Paul had this to say:

Spending the last 12 years of my 40-plus-year banking career with the Bank of Wisconsin Dells has been very rewarding. The community banking model is alive and well at the bank. With community member ownership, local decision-making and a commitment to the communities we serve; ending my career with the Bank of Wisconsin Dells has been a joy. My focus has always been the customer and that is the overall focus of the bank. The growth of the bank in my 12-year tenure is a testament to that customer focus. 

I want to thank all my customers and business associates for making my time at the Bank of Wisconsin Dells so enjoyable. As a stockholder of the bank, I will enjoy watching the continues success and the commitment from all the employees to serve our communities well. Thank you to all those who have made my career fun. Again, especially my customers!

Bank Awards Scholarship to Schulz

June 2020

WDHS Scholarship
Bank President, Scott Rockwell, presenting 2020 Educational Scholarship to Paul (Pablito) Schulz Jr.

Bank of Wisconsin Dells recently awarded its 2020 Educational Scholarship to Wisconsin Dells High School Valedictorian, Paul (Pablito) Schulz Jr. Schulz is the first Educational Scholarship recipient to receive a total of $10,000 toward his first two years of college. In previous years, the bank awarded the Wisconsin Dells High School Valedictorian with a $5,000 scholarship toward their first year of college. The Bank of Wisconsin Dells Educational Scholarship is given out in perpetuity through an endowment scholarship program with the Wisconsin Dells Education Foundation.  

Bank Announces Promotions

January 2020

Bank of Wisconsin Dells is pleased to announce the following staff promotions:

Brandon Wegner Brandon Wegner – Senior VP | Commercial Loan Officer

Steven Timm Stephen Timm – Assistant VP | Commercial Loan Officer

Tracy Stowell Tracy Stowell – Assistant VP of Information Technology

Rachel Deering Rachel Deering – CSR Manager

Bank Continues Support for Education Foundation

January 2020

WD Education Foundation
Pictured: Bank of Wisconsin Dells presents donation to Wisconsin Dells Education Foundation’s Board

Bank of Wisconsin Dells demonstrates its continued support for Wisconsin Dells Education Foundation by paying out an additional $5,000 for the Valedictorian’s second year of college. Each year the bank awards the Valedictorian of Wisconsin Dells High School with one $5,000 scholarship. With this donation, the bank has grown its endowment large enough to support the Valedictorian’s second year as well.  The scholarship will be given out in perpetuity. 

Rockwell Named President of Bank of Wisconsin Dells

January 2020

Scott Rockwell



Bank of Wisconsin Dells announces the promotion of Scott Rockwell as President. Scott joined the bank in 1995 as a Vault Attendant and Customer Service Representative. In 1999, he became a Consumer/Residential Lender, and shortly thereafter was promoted to VP/Commercial Loan Officer. Scott was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2018. He assumes the presidency from Jon Bernander who will continue his role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). 

“Scott has been a loyal employee of the bank since his teenage years, starting the the vault rolling coins,” says CEO, Jon Bernander. “He’s worked his way up through the ranks over the past 24 years. Along with furthering his educational goals at attaining his Bachelor’s and MBA degrees, Scott is a recent alumnus of the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking. The Board of Directors are fully supportive of this transition and are very confident in Scott’s leadership abilities.”