• One Community Bank Success Story

One Community Bank

The result of a successful merger between Oregon Community Bank and McFarland State Bank, One Community Bank’s (OCB) mission is to service clients, support colleagues, and invest in communities. The modern, forward-leaning organization takes a client-centric approach to services while bringing together traditional banking services and best-in-class digital solutions.

Business Challenge

Oregon Community Bank began the merger process knowing how important a smooth transition would be to the clients, communities, and teams from both Oregon Community Bank and McFarland State Bank. Oregon Community Bank CEO Steve Peotter, an alumnus of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison, has a strong belief in forming relationships with outside partners who bring real value to important projects. The complexities of bringing two similarly sized banks on two different core systems together warranted working with an external resource. Peotter wanted a resource that would bring objectivity and a holistic approach to the relationship. He said, “We valued working with someone that would put our needs and the needs of our stakeholders above all else.” Peotter was aware of the experience and expertise that the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development (CPED) would bring to the table.


The CPED consulting team, or Team Red has they became known by One Community Bank, helped identify solutions to challenges which included:

  • Converting the merger process into projects and tasks that could be assigned to sub-teams
  • Outlining a communications stragegy for colleagues and clients
  • Assisting with technical challenges associated with core conversion and system migrations
  • Performing merger-related tasks despite the disruptions of a global pandemic

Team Red was able to help OBC with these challenges by employing a project management framework and a variety of creative solutions. These solutions included:

  • Allocating colleagues from both organizations into 16 teams
  • Providing project management and change management training to project teams
  • Developing a project tracking tool which was updated through weekly project status reports
  • Creating a Colleague Change Network (CCN)
  • Distributing pulse surveys to increase colleague engagement across the organizations
  • Providing feedback and guidance on pandemic responses and the use of virtual meetings

The Colleague Change Network (CCN) became a conduit for the two-way flow of information between the project teams and colleagues across both organizations. The CCN was comprized of 15-20 colleagues with representation from all functions and an equal number of individuals from each of the merging organizations.

One of the most critical components of the solution was the use of pulse surveys. These tools helped the team learn how colleagues were thinking about different facets of the merger journey. This feedback helped the team shape and piviot their approach as needed, especially relating to communication.


Together, Oregon Community bank, McFarland State Bank, and Team Red created a successful leagal merger that resulted in the creation of One Community Bank. Through the merger, the team was able to integrate core systems and achieve strong employee retention through all levels of the organization. Additionally, One Community Bank saw strong financial resultes in 2020 including robust asset, loan, and deposit growth and is positioned to see continued grwoth in the years ahead.

  • #1 Mortagage Lender in Dane County in 2020
  • Top 100 Bank in the USA by S&P Global
  • Top Workplace for the 3rd year in a row
  • 5-star rated bank by Bauer

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“A key success factor we observed as we worked with senior leadership was the commitment to ensuring all team members felt informed and involved in the merger.”

Consultant, CPED

Solution Components

Mergers and Acquisition Consulting

Expert advising that will help you support your talent during a merger or acquisition.

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Project Management Training

Gain the skills needed to successfully deliver projects faster and with fewer surprises or problems.

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Change Management Training

Learn the strategies that will help colleagues adapt to new realities and adopt behaviors that support the growth and development of new initiatives.

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“We wanted to be treated the same way we treat our clients – with client interests coming first. CPED clearly demonstrated that their client service philosophy aligned with ours.”

CEO, One Community Bank