CCF Bank will pull out of Michigan

ALTOONA — Citizens Community Federal Bank is selling off its lone Michigan branch to a credit union based in that state.

Grand Rapids-based Lake Michigan Credit Union, which has 53 branches in Michigan and Florida, has agreed to purchase CCF Bank’s office in Rochester Hills, Mich.

The two financial institutions entered into an agreement on Nov. 30 for ownership of the branch office, according to a filing CCF Bank made in late January to the FDIC.

The purchase price was redacted in the filing. The Michigan branch has $34.7 million in deposits and about $300,000 in assets, including real estate.

The acquisition is scheduled to be complete by June 30, pending regulatory approval.

Customers of the branch have been notified that they will automatically become Lake Michigan Credit Union customers when the deal closes.

CCF Bank is headquartered in Altoona and has 21 branches between Wisconsin, Minnesota and the one in Michigan.

Unity Bank of Augusta merges with itself

AUGUSTA — Instead of continuing to operate separate charters for its territories in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Unity Bank is merging into a single entity.

The merger will help streamline the bank’s operations because the multiple charters were essentially running as separate businesses for decades, even though they have shared a common name and ownership.

The merger will take effect Feb. 25, but won’t have impacts on customers of the bank.

Patti Kutchera is being promoted to the role of regional branch manager for Unity Bank’s four Wisconsin offices — Augusta, Fall Creek, Fairchild and Neillsville — in conjunction with the merger.

The community bank’s charters have all been owned by the Solsrud family of Augusta since the 1970s and Unity Bank will continue under their ownership.

In addition to its west-central Wisconsin offices, Unity Bank has 11 offices in Minnesota.

Trade venture deadline nears

Wisconsin companies interested in exporting are invited to participate in the state’s April trade venture to China.

Business leaders have until Feb. 26 to register for the trip, which will be April 5 to 17.

“China represents a market that cannot be ignored for Wisconsin, especially in the areas of medical and scientific instruments, industrial machinery and electrical machinery,” Katy Sinnott, vice president of international business development for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., said in a news release.

Companies on the trip will be scheduled to meet with potential Chinese partners during visits to Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing.

Joining the trade venture costs $1,500 per person, which includes lodging and transportation in China, but attendees need to buy their own international airfare and most meals.

To learn more or to register, go online to

Short Takes

• A safety refresher course for mine workers will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday at 29 Pines, 5872 33rd Ave., rural Eau Claire. The MSHA Part 48 class costs $135, which includes lunch. To register, call 715-944-9120 or email

• The Wisconsin Bankers Association recently recognized several employees of Eau Claire-based Security Financial Bank for working more than 30 years in the industry. Marcia Berger, Mary Berger, Cheryl Carter, Cindy Koller, Laurae Mallionson, Jean Marcon, Faye Owen, Paul Rudersdorf and Julie Sabelko won Lifetime Service Awards from the industry group.

From staff reports