Customer Stories

Horicon Bank and Community Savings Bank of Iowa

Seeking board agility and streamlined processes, two Midwestern banks have revolutionized their board management.


Horicon Bank

 Industry: Finance

Headquarters: Horicon, Wisconsin

Board Management Goals

  • A streamlined process for getting materials to board directors
  • Greater security handling board documents
  • Restricted access to certain documents for certain individuals


  • Increased communication between board directors and lenders
  • Ability to approve loans quicker, even  between meetings
  • Eliminated PDFs and the hassle of changing passwords

How Two Midwestern Banks Are Increasing Board Agility

An agile board is always prepared but flexible to handle changes when they arise. These boards have the technology that allows them to make decisions quickly. At Horicon Bank, the board was using protected PDFs and often needed to change passwords. Executive Assistant to the CEO Laurie Lotz knew they needed change, so in 2016, they switched to OnBoard and haven’t looked back.

“The directors love the new way of getting the materials in an easier fashion, quicker fashion,” said Lotz. She added they can get changes the morning of the meeting, and it’s easy to update.

Community Savings Bank of Iowa is newer to board management software. It converted to OnBoard about nine months ago, and was using file sharing and Microsoft SharePoint before that.

Bank President Luke Brady likes that he can view information securely and accurately and comment on items while staying within the board portal.

“We feel that makes us much more agile because we were dealing with lots of different ways of communicating before, and it’s more consolidated now and direct to devices where the OnBoard app is installed,” Brady said.

Using OnBoard has made voting on policy changes move a lot quicker. Most recently, with Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the news, there was a policy tweak they wanted to implement. The board was able to review the revised policy and vote to approve it within two days.

Before OnBoard, it would have taken a minimum of a week, or they would have waited until the next meeting. “It also would’ve been a lot clunkier,” Brady said. “It would’ve been a lot of calling and saving of emails. This has a nice voting function on it that we utilize.”

Being Midwestern banks, both banks have directors who go south for the winter. Being able to host meetings within OnBoard has been a game-changer for them.

Brady said they would spend 15 minutes at the beginning of every meeting getting connected using other meeting software. They also utilized it to capture signatures for their annual meeting when directors were physically away.

VIDEO: Watch Lotz and Brady discuss how OnBoard helps their boards excel.

Identifying Internal and External Threats to Board Agility

Security is of the utmost importance for banks, and Lotz and Brady utilize OnBoard’s two-factor authentication. Additionally, they both like individualized security settings to make sure the right people are seeing the right information, and it’s not just all open to everybody.

“I like being able to have the ability to open some documents to just certain individuals and not necessarily everybody,” Lotz said. “We had something that was to remain private even from particular directors, and it was very nice to have the fine-tuning that we could do for that.”

Another big security feature of OnBoard is the capability to disable all the downloads from their particular item, making sure they’re mitigating any documents that could be coming out of the system.

Email security is another issue that OnBoard helped solve for Community Savings Bank of Iowa. “One of the risks we had before is our directors would use whatever email they were most comfortable with, and I used switching to OnBoard as a reason to make sure they were all signed up for using our internal bank email,” Brady said. This immediately improved their security. 

Brady also likes that everything is documented within OnBoard. “I would say it’s nice in today’s world to show that we accrued accordingly, in the right manner, and didn’t wait, and I think that’s important, especially in the banking world for examiners, and I’m glad that we have done that.”

“We utilize OnBoard for having quick, informed votes. We can be confident that we can be secure in our communication back and forth between the board members and whatever other personnel might be involved.”

— Luke Brady
Community Savings Bank of Iowa

Tips and Best Practices for an Agile Board

After using OnBoard for a combined eight years, Lotz and Brady have advice for creating an agile board.

Utilize the Resources Section: OnBoard has a vast resources section for technical help. When a director is having an issue, Lotz will often send a screenshot from a training video and ask the director to watch it. She also uses the internal resources area to save bank policies, communicate with directors, provide training, and share documents securely. “We have a merger going on right now, so the other bank is able to communicate with me and send me the documents through OnBoard, and I can add it to the board meeting,” Lotz said.

Director and Lender Collaboration: Lotz likes that she can add lenders to OnBoard so the directors can communicate directly with them. It saves them time, and they can get approvals done without their being a middleman.

Don’t Forget About Onboarding: When Community Savings Bank of Iowa first implemented OnBoard, they showed directors how to use the software in a training session. It was especially important to train the directors who were heading out for the winter before they left. Also, the first time they used OnBoard for a meeting, they ran OnBoard and their old system side-by-side. “We put a focus on getting them on the right type of device and getting it set up correctly, and I don’t think any one of them would have turned back,” Brady said.

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