Mark DeBiasio, State Bank of Cross Plains
IB's Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet the state's professionals. This week features Mark DeBiasio, chief financial officer for State Bank of Cross Plains.
Business Address: 1205 Main St., Cross Plains, WI 53528
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Spouse/Partner’s Name: Camille
Organizations: Volunteer at Metro Believers Church, Madison
Education: Master of Science, accounting, Robert Morris University; Bachelor of Science, accounting, Point Park University; Bachelor of Arts, economics, University of Pittsburgh. Certified Financial Manager and Certified Management Accountant (Institute of Certified Management Accountants)
How long have you been at State Bank of Cross Plains, and what is your day-to-day role in the organization?
I am honored to have been selected one year ago by Jim Tubbs for the role of CFO of this fantastic community bank headquartered in Dane County. The bank has an extremely talented team and a long history of success. My responsibilities include: all areas of accounting, financial reporting, regulatory reporting, management accounting, treasury and liquidity functions, asset/liability management, investment portfolio management, tax planning, capital and budgetary planning, regulatory compliance, and asset quality improvement.
Who has influenced your career the most, and in what way?
The people outside of State Bank who have influenced my career the most are, first, my wife, who has held down the home front during many years of working long hours. I have told her many times that she has had the tougher job of helping with homework, shuffling children to various events, and making our house a home. The second person who influenced my career the most is my former long-term CEO, Don Shamey. Don supported and encouraged me over 20 years and demonstrated by example the traits of being a great leader.
What would you say, as a result of their support and help and your own gumption, was a career high point for you?
A career highlight for me was to assist CEO Bruce May in the establishment of First Colony Bank of Florida. Planning for the bank began in 2007. We opened our doors in January of 2008 right before the financial collapse. The bank achieved profitability in record time. First Colony is now one of the top-performing banks in the country.
Did you always know you were destined to work in banking?
I didn’t start out with a desire to be an accountant. When I was in high school, it was my dream to be an astrophysicist. I have always had an interest in the beauty and grandness of God’s creation. My college educational pursuits in astrophysics lasted as far as my sophomore tensor calculus class. Since I was pretty good in math, I thought accounting would be a good bet.
And was your first job in accounting?
My very first paycheck was from my uncle’s landscaping business in Florida. I’m certain that I spent it on gasoline for my car and a new Pink Floyd record.
You weren’t originally from Wisconsin. How has the transition been for you?
My family is from the Pittsburgh area. So, yes, our blood runs black and gold for all sports (Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates). That said, I have no animosity toward the Packers (the Brewers are another story). And I do root for the UW in all sports. My wife, son, and I moved to Wisconsin to accept this new opportunity at State Bank. We are very much enjoying our new home, friends, and church family at Metro Believers Church. Away from work, I enjoy spending time with my family. We have begun to embrace the amenities of south-central Wisconsin – day trips, farmers markets, wineries, and finding new and different restaurants. Just recently, my wife and son have taken up golf, which has permitted me the opportunity to dust off my clubs. Also recently, we adopted a Cockapoo mix from the Dane County Humane Society. Her name is Bella, and she is a real joy. We try to return to western Pennsylvania and central Florida as often as we can over holidays and vacations to visit with family and friends.
Care to share more about your children?
Cammy and I have a son, Luke, age 14, with us, and two adult children, Larry and Alyssa, back in western Pennsylvania. Larry served four years in the armed services with a tour of duty in Afghanistan as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist. He is now attending college at Slippery Rock University. Alyssa graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and is a tax accountant with a regional accounting firm. Cammy is also an accountant by education. She currently does volunteer work for Care Net of Dane County.
Do you have a favorite place to travel with family?
This past summer our extended family took a two-week trip to Italy. We all had a wonderful time discovering the ancestral country of the DeBiasio family. I’m certain that Italy and other parts of Europe are in our future travel plans. I prepared for our trip by reading The Agony and the Ecstasy, which is a biographical novel about Michelangelo.
Do you enjoy reading for pleasure?
I am generally reading two books, one just for pleasure and one to help me learn something new or grow as a person. Presently, I am reading the third book in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Mark, at IB we like to close out these interviews by asking for three words to best describe you. We’ve gotten all sorts of responses from folks, and we’re now curious to know how you see yourself.
Three words that would best describe me are: curious, loyal, and thankful.
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