Chris Zellner, who recently joined the Waunakee Rotary Club, gave his classification talk at the March 18 meeting.
Chris is the market president at One Community Banks, though many know him as the Waunakee Village Board president. He tried to stay off that subject.
Chris grew up on Fifth Street in Waunakee, but showing a recent picture of the home taken from Google, said it looked different from the structure standing today. He has a bachelor’s degree in health administration and public instruction from UW-LaCrosse. After graduation, he began teaching at St. John’s School where he stayed for 3 years. His wife is a teacher at Prairie Elementary School. At St. John’s, Chris said he was asked to teach language arts, which he had no training in and had to learn on the job, as he’s done in his role today.
But he said, “Kids have always been what I’ve been about.” He and Aime have two grown children. Chris shared pictures of them  -- Austin with his wife and Abigail with her fiancé.
Chris went on to a 25-year career at Aflac, where he was the state of Wisconsin’s broker and agency developer. He oversaw 1,800 business clients, both large and small, and worked with those companies and the employees.
He had met Steve Peotter, president of One Community Bank, when Steve sought to learn more about Waunakee and whether what was then the State Bank of Oregon would be a good fit. Steve had tried to recruit Chris then, but initially, Chris didn’t want to make a change. Then, after he marked his 25th year at Aflac, Chris considered the new challenge and made the move, first becoming the relationship development officer.
Chris has many connections in the community and enjoys providing funds. He showed a picture himself presenting a $5,000 check to Lisa Humenik of the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection.
What had been Waunakee Community Bank eventually merged with McFarland State Bank and grew. Chris also grew into a new role as market president.
He said he is not an expert in every category of banking but works with others and is involved in many of the decisions.
Currently, Zellner is working on a project to recognizing Waunakee’s sesquicentennial. This campaign will help businesses market specials to celebrate the village’s anniversary. Community members can pick up coins at the bank, and present them for the businesses’ specials, like $1.50 appetizers.
“This is an opportunity for businesses to interact with the community again,” Chris said, adding the bank is “committed to our customers and the community.”
Passcode: 8=xW8%0w
Other news:
-The club congratulated Roberta Baumann (your newsletter writer) on being voted the Business Person of the Year. Roberta has written the newsletter since 2006. She is (I am) honored.
-Volunteers are still needed at the March 27 Easter Bunny event and to stuff goodie bags.
-If you haven’t filled out the membership survey sent by Lisa Humenik, please do.
-Volunteers will also be needed that the Tri 4 Schools run.
-The Knights of Columbus has donated $500 toward the Rotary accessible pier that was just completed at the Village Center Pond.
Birthdays: March 26, Ken Ballweg; March 29, Scott Biba.
Anniversaries: March 31, Drew and Lolly Lawrence.