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  • Kent Casson

Kauffman to retire as bank CEO

Bill Kauffman, left, is retiring from Bank of Pontiac and Mark Donovan, right, will become CEO.

After almost 45 years in banking, Bill Kauffman is retiring as CEO at Bank of Pontiac.

Born and raised in Chenoa, Kauffman started his banking career in 1978 while he was still in college. After graduating, he started at People’s Bank of Bloomington where he worked for a few years before returning to Chenoa in March 1981. Kauffman’s Bank of Pontiac career began in late 1988 when he took a job as a loan officer.

“From there, I just kind of worked my way up the ladder, then I became president in April of 2009 and CEO in January of 2010,” Kauffman recalled.

Kauffman will remain on the board as he is currently chairman of the board for both Bank of Pontiac and Pontiac Bancorp, Inc.

Technology is one of the obvious changes to the banking industry during Kauffman’s career but he feels it is still all about the people involved.

“I think why we still have jobs (in banking) is because it’s still a people business,” explained Kauffman. “There are things people still want to talk to another person about and one of those things is their money.”

Kauffman stresses the commitment of the bank to the communities, customers and employees it serves.

“Over the years, I’ve worked with some really good people. That has driven the bank’s success.”

Spending more time with family, traveling and golf are goals for Kauffman during retirement. He has been married to his wife, Linda, for 39 years and has two daughters, Courtney in Chicago and Lauren in St. Louis.

Current Bank of Pontiac president Mark Donovan, a Pontiac native, will assume the role of CEO following Kauffman’s retirement. The Pontiac Township High School and University of Illinois graduate worked for Citigroup for over a year until Kauffman gave him a call about a job in late 2004 which is when he came to Bank of Pontiac as a loan representative.

“I was named Chief Lending Officer in 2015 then president in 2021,” Donovan said.

Donovan is married to Megan with two kids, Brady, a senior, and Lyla, a freshman, at Pontiac Township high School.

“My family is all here and embedded in the community,” adds Donovan.

The size of Bank of Pontiac has grown to over $900 million in assets with 11 branches in nine communities, including Forrest, Fairbury, Pontiac, Bloomington, Delavan, Minier, Dwight, Odell and Coal City. Banking services include agriculture, commercial, real estate and retail. The business employs more than 130 employees.

In addition to the other changes, John Marshall will assume the CEO and presidential duties of Pontiac Bancorp, Inc.

Kauffman feels the bank is destined for continued success since he is leaving it in good hands.

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