Falbo serves as fall Executive-In-Residence
Executive-In-Residence Michael Falbo: "I never said 'no'"
Banking executive, University of Wisconsin Regent, and UW-Parkside alumnus Michael Falbo believes in taking calculated chances.
"Take risks," he advised the students attending his appearance as UW-Parkside's fall semester Executive-In-Residence. "Weigh them and make sure there's a return but take them. If you're not taking risks, you're not trying."
"The UW-Parkside School of Business and Technology Executive-In-Residence program brings high level business people like Falbo to campus each semester," said Dean Fred Ebeid. "During these 75- to 90-minute programs, guests talk with students about their business philosophies, their companies, and their careers."
Falbo's career underscores his willingness to take calculated risks. After serving in the Medic Corps in
, Falbo attended night school at UW-Parkside, and started working in the banking industry in 1973 as an auditor. A decade later, he was named the Chief Executive Officer of the State Bank of Hales Corners. Vietnam
"Someone asked me: 'How did you become a CEO at 34?' Well, I never said 'no.' I took every challenge handed to me," Falbo told the students.
As CEO, Falbo's risk taking soon turned the State Bank of Hales Corners into the $1.5 billion State Financial Services Corporation. From that single bank in suburban
Milwaukee, State Financial grew into a network of 30 branches spread evenly over Wisconsinand . State Financial was sold to Associated Banc-Corp. in 2004. Falbo called it a friendly take-over that maximized shareholder value. Illinois
Associated Bank retained Falbo's services by naming him president and chief executive officer of Associated Community Development Corporation. In this capacity, he lives his strong community service philosophy every day.
"You have to give back and you can never start soon enough. Giving back is a large part of a company's success. Don't wait for a cause to hit you," Falbo stated. "Whatever you do, make community service part of it. It will serve you well."
The long list of Falbo's board memberships, including his service on the UW-Parkside Benevolent Foundation, and his civic and professional memberships both current and past show he walks the walk when it comes to community service.
Along with risk taking and giving back to the community, Falbo advised students never to adjust their core values and urged them not to be patient in pursuing their career goals.
"When you?re my age you can be patient. But at your age, don?t be patient."
Falbo then added: "Remember UW-Parkside. Be supportive; be an alumni."