senior management



From L to R: Leif Christianson, Scott Cattanach, Keith Baars, Tom Knudsen, Donna Staples, Patrick Heier, Peter Knitt, Chris Pfender, & Maureen Jorgensen


Peter Knitt | President & CEO

As president and chief executive officer, Mr. Knitt is responsible for setting strategic direction and for ensuring the profitability of the bank. Mr. Knitt joined the bank in 2003 as the Northern Market President after an extensive track record in commercial banking and was promoted in 2006 to President and Chief Executive Officer. He has over 30 years of community banking leadership in north-central Wisconsin. Mr. Knitt serves on the Board of Directors for Bankers Bank of Wisconsin and the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce.

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Scott Cattanach, CPA | Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Cattanach joined Peoples State Bank as Chief Financial Officer in 2002 after 11 years of serving banks as a CPA with Wipfli LLP. His responsibilities include financial reporting to shareholders and regulatory agencies, as well as managing the bank’s investment portfolio and liquidity position, product pricing, budgeting, interest rate risk, investor relations and strategic planning.

Mr. Cattanach currently serves as Director and Treasurer of Christian Life Communications, Inc. (WCLQ Radio 89.5 FM) of Wausau, WI, and as President and Treasurer of MC United Soccer Club, representing over 200 youth soccer players and teams affiliated with the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association. Mr. Cattanach is also a past Director and Treasurer of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin.

Scott Cattanach - LinkedIn

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Patrick Heier | Senior Vice President, Commercial Division Leader

Mr. Heier joined Peoples in the fall of 2007. Under the leadership of Mr. Heier, the commercial team has shown significant growth in its customer base, while maintaining sound asset quality. Prior to joining Peoples, Mr. Heier was a regional president of Associated Bank and has held several divisional and sales management roles in regional and national banks. He is currently a Board Member of The Women’s Community, Inc., the Wisconsin Woodchucks and has volunteered for several organizations.

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Donna Staples, SPHR | Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Ms. Staples joined Peoples in 2006. Her responsibilities include human resource management, strategic planning, organizational development, compensation and benefit administration and oversight of the bank’s marketing function. In her 30-plus year career, Ms. Staples has implemented many innovative programs to solidify employee development and engagement as well as helped organizations successfully assimilate different cultures upon multiple mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Staples is currently the board chair of Northcentral District – Junior Achievement, committee member for JA Event - Champions of Business, JA volunteer classroom instructor, board member of United Way of Marathon County’s Personnel Committee and Board Nomination Committee, and active past co-chair and council member of Women In Action.

donna on linkedin

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Tom Knudsen | Senior Vice President, Northern Market President

Mr. Knudsen joined Peoples in 2008 and has more than 35 years of commercial lending experience throughout Northern Wisconsin. He is responsible for the growth of Peoples northern market offices. Tom is actively involved with organizations that promote business growth in Northern Wisconsin. He has been involved with the Economic Development Corporation for over 18 years (including board president and current board member), the Oneida Revolving Loan Fund, Kinship of the North, Sacred Heart Hospital Foundation Board, and various other organizations.

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Keith Baars | Vice President, Commercial Lending & Loan Operations

Mr. Baars joined Peoples in 1998. His responsibilities include business development, lending and overseeing commercial loan processing along with Bank collection activity. He was instrumental in starting and managing the credit department, shaping a strong credit culture at Peoples. He has supported significant commercial loan growth over the past 15 years. Baars serves as a member of the McDevco Loan Committee.

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Leif Christianson | Senior Vice President & Chief Operations Officer

Mr. Christianson joined Peoples in 2007 and has over 15 years of experience related to information technology, risk management and data processing. His responsibilities include the management of the bank’s operations, technology, call center and facilities. Under his strategic direction the bank has implemented multiple layers of risk management that included the key controls for SOX404 compliance. Mr. Christianson also has spearheaded numerous technology and operational initiatives that has improved the delivery of customer service, operational efficiencies and bank profitability. Mr. Christianson holds an MBA and Six Sigma Certification. Mr. Christianson serves as a member of the Profit Stars Synergy Advisory Board, the Past President of the Silverlake Midwest Regional User Group and volunteers as a Junior Achievement classroom instructor.

donna on linkedin

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Chris Pfender, CPA | Vice President, Risk Management

Mr. Pfender joined Peoples in 2004 and has more than 10 years of experience with financial institutions. Prior to joining Peoples, he worked at a regional accounting firm serving a variety of banking and commercial customers. His responsibilities include overseeing regulatory compliance, internal audit and credit administration at Peoples. Mr. Pfender is currently a Director for United Way of Marathon County and also volunteers as a youth basketball coach and Junior Achievement classroom instructor.

donna on linkedin

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Maureen Jorgensen | Senior Vice President, Retail Sales & Service

Ms. Jorgensen joined Peoples in 2012 and has more than 25 years of experience with financial institutions. At Peoples, Maureen’s responsibilities include leadership coaching and management of the retail sales team, mortgage lending, and wealth management. Maureen is a classroom instructor for Junior Achievement and a member of Women in Action.

donna on linkedin

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