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2018 Distinguished Achievement in Business

Joseph Fazio '83

Joseph Fazio ’83

At St. Norbert College, much is made of the distinction between a profession and a vocation. Students are encouraged to consider not just the kind of work they’ll do after graduation, but how that work will allow them to best serve the needs of others and the world.

Joe’s Fazio’s profession is banking, a field in which he has been abundantly successful. But his vocation is, fundamentally, helping people prosper – and in this, too, he has been abundantly successful.

Joe is co-founder and CEO of Commerce State Bank (CSB). When Joe and two partners established the bank in 2005, they had eight employees and a single branch in a strip mall. The partners took turns cleaning the offices after hours. 
Just 13 years later, they’ve been named one of the area’s fastest-growing firms, with four locations and assets in excess of half a billion dollars. The bank has received several “Business of the Year” accolades, and Joe himself was named 2017 Community Banker of the Year by the Independent Community Banks Association.

Outside of CSB, Joe tirelessly pursues his vocation. He is coauthor of the book, “This Might Be a Dumb Question, But How Does Money Work?”, created to promote personal empowerment through a fundamental understanding of money and finance.

He volunteers at Marquette University and at high schools to spread his message of financial literacy and donates the profits from his book to various charitable organizations, including a jail literacy program to help those from all backgrounds understand how to manage finances responsibly in pursuit of their life goals.

Joe is tireless in his commitment to the community. He volunteers at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, is the co-chair of the United Way of Washington County 2018 campaign and the past president of the Cedarburg Community Foundation that encourages private funding to promote quality of life in the area. He has also served as chair of the Park and Forestry board and as a member of the school board, the booster club, and the Rotary Club member, among numerous other community and professional organizations.

“To do good while doing well” is a goal to which many aspire; few do it as successfully as Joe Fazio, and for that we honor him with the Distinguished Achievement Award in Business.

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