Next Garton settles in at Great Midwest
By Mark Sherry
Mark Sherry photo
The Chilton office staff of Great Midwest Bank is comprised of (from left) Renee Meier, Tanya Russell, Paige Mueller, Heather Trowbridge, Tina Karls and Greg Garton Jr.

Greg Garton is looking forward to a long career of helping Chilton area customers of Great Midwest Bank.

No, not that Greg Garton—the other one...

By the end of this month, Greg Sr. will be officially retired after a 41-year career in the banking industry. Taking over as the manager of the Chilton branch of Great Midwest Bank is his son, Greg Jr.

Not surprisingly, Greg Jr. will remind Great Midwest customers and Chilton area residents of his father—not just in appearance but in the friendly, humble, community-first way they both look at serving Chilton.

Greg Jr. said he is excited to be back in Chilton and working for what he called a five-star bank. “It’s an opportunity to work for a good organization,” he said.

“Once again working for” Great Midwest Bank might be another way to describe this most recent career turn for Garton. He actually began working at Great Midwest Bank when it was at its previous location in Chilton. He was 12 years old and said he gladly took up his dad’s request to help with the lawn care around the building. Later he was promoted to helping with filing.

Off to Madison

When the 1987 graduate of Chilton High School headed off to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, however, he had no idea his career would be in finance. He had a double major in economics and communication, but as for his career path at that point, he said, “It was pretty wide open.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree, he took a job working for AAA’s Insurance and Financial Services Department in Madison doing vehicle loans and insurance while pursuing his master’s of Business Administration from Edgewood College in Madison. When AAA sold off that division to AAA Michigan, Garton chose to stay in Wisconsin and instead became branch manager of a bank in the Dane County community of Dane. “In that bank I did everything,” he said. “I did the teller line too.”

Garton continued to expand his financial knowledge and experiences by working at two different community banks as a commercial lender. He said he enjoyed those experiences, especially the broad range of ways he could help his clients—from startup mom-and-pop businesses to large, expanding corporations. He said he did a lot of Small Business Administration loans, some lending for the agriculture sector, and also worked with developers. He eventually became executive vice president of business development for a smaller community bank.

All the while his family was getting

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