Oak Bank Supports Preserving History with InSite into the Future
Steve Mar-Pohl had heard all of the slogans and marketing jargon a bank could possibly offer. He and his partner at InSite Consulting Architects, Chris Oddo, had interviewed four banks in an attempt to find the right relationship — a big company approach for a young upstart.
So, when Steve got a flat tire on the way to his new bank to review some financing documents, one of Oak Bank’s client promises — we come to you — was put to an unusual test.
Jim McNulty, Oak Bank’s Senior Vice President of Business Banking, grabbed a couple of soft drinks, hopped in the car, picked up Steve’s wife, met Steve at the disabled car, and found an improvised meeting site — James Madison Park — to go through their work together.
“It just sums up our relationship with Oak Bank,” Steve said. “We’ve worked with large banks and credit unions, and we’ve never gotten that level of service — that ‘soft drink’ personal attention.”
InSite Consulting Architects is in the business of preserving history and designing adaptive reuse solutions, from the Olbrich Botanical Gardens and the Wisconsin Historical Society to Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and the Wisconsin State Capitol. What was literally a basement startup in 2000 has now performed a wide variety of services for thousands of structures all over North America.
But in order to make some history of their own, they needed a banking partner that could help with cash flow when clients’ payment schedules weren’t always aligned with business operations.
“For a small business, cash flow is everything,” according to Chris. InSite’s line of credit with Oak Bank provides peace of mind. “It allows us to sleep at night. It’s so important for us to know it’s there.”
Steve adds, “We’re currently working on constructing our new office and again, Oak Bank came to the table as our partner and figured out a way to help us get that financed. It’s just another example of the flexibility and the one-on-one relationship we have with Oak Bank.”
A little quick thinking with a flat tire, a line of credit, and office build-out financing are (mostly) things you’d expect from any bank. But for Steve and Chris, the impact of their banking relationship is much more tangible than that.
“Since we started working with Oak Bank, our revenue has doubled, essentially,” Steve said. “I think the greatest metric of our success is that our relationship has allowed us to expand geographically and into other markets. It keeps us healthy and allows us to make decisions that in the past we had no room to make. We can take a risk knowing that we have the backing of a solid bank that is willing to walk the path with us.”
And that’s what Steve and Chris had in mind when they set out on their bank interview tour.
“Oak Bank stood out in that process,” Chris remembers. “They were flexible. Even though we didn’t really have a long track record, they were willing to give us a chance.”