Wintrust Banks help large, small business thrive
MacNeil Automotive founder and CEO David MacNeil,left, talks over plans with Wintrust CEO Ed Wehmer. MacNeil said his Wintrust Community Bank, Hinsdale Bank & Trust, helped him reach his goal to open a state-of-the-art facility in Bolingbrook. | SUPPLI
In an industry dominated by mega-banks, how does a community bank find the inspiration and support to thrive? Wintrust Community Banks maintains the relationships the company forms with the communities as well as the focus it has on helping local small businesses and entrepreneurs grow.
Maybe it’s because like the thousands of small businesses it serves, Wintrust Financial Corp. came from humble beginnings. According to Wintrust co-founder and CEO, Ed Wehmer, the company started in 1991 with a briefcase, a card table and a cell phone the size of a shoebox. Although the company began with few resources, it was never lacking in passion.
Twenty years, $16 billion in assets and more than 100 locations later, the mission remains the same: to be the local alternative to the big banks while offering the same technology and financial solutions with a level of customer service and community focus that can only be found at a local community bank. This goal, during a time when a big bank is on every corner, has not always been easy.
That mission draws many of the small business customers to a Wintrust bank; after all, most of them began their businesses with passions of their own. They see a kindred spirit in their local Wintrust Community Bank.
The Music Room in Palatine is one of these. Owners John Giovannoni and Carol Cook have the musical expertise to make their business a success. For all the rest, they count on Palatine Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank.
“If you are a small business owner, you really need Wintrust. I’ve been with them for years, and I cannot imagine trying to run my store without them,” declared Giovannoni. “My business banker is, at times, more on top of things than I am.”
Since 1994, The Music Room has been a hub for music products, instruction, resources, activities and opportunities for the members of the Palatine community. The business provides customers with the opportunity to experience personal growth through music and the performing arts.
Giovannoni and Cook understand the importance of being part of the Palatine community and putting their customers first. This dedication makes The Music Room and its bank a good match: they were both built on a similar foundation. The small businesses, such as The Music Room, are the heart of the communities they serve. Wintrust recognizes that and allows them to focus on what’s important.
Not all Wintrust customers stay small. MacNeil Automotive, an automotive accessories manufacturer based in the western suburbs, started small with the intention of staying true to its local roots. Finding success with a number of products, including WeatherTech Floor Mats, the company became one of the top in its industry. Similar to hundreds of other manufacturers, MacNeil could’ve chased lower labor costs overseas, but instead it chose to stay local. The company opened a new state-of-the-art facility in Bolingbrook and has kept its products American-made: a goal the company’s founder and CEO, David MacNeil, realized with the help of his Wintrust Community Bank: Hinsdale Bank & Trust.
“Banking with Wintrust means you can spend your time concentrating on your business,” he said. “Your banking is covered.”
Wintrust gains inspiration from its customers. Every account is important: from a local small business serving the customers in its area to a business that’s grown to be the top in the industry. As MacNeil explained of his relationship with Hinsdale Bank & Trust: “I wanted a bank that knew me and my business by name, not just by my account number.”
For Wintrust, customer relationships and local, community involvement matter. For Wintrust’s many business customers, that’s what matters, too.