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Meet our Board of Directors

Board of Directors


Charles Thomas, Joined Board in 1966

Chuck is an "honorary" member and currently holds the honor for the member with the longest active time on the board – 51 years! He is an attorney employed with Hinshaw & Culbertson in Rockford and a long-term member of the OSF Hospital Board. Chuck has been extremely instrumental for advice and business guidance over the years to the bank.


Ben Barton, Joined Board in 1977

Ben joined the bank in 1976. He was president for 17 years and is now the Chairman of the Board. Ben graduated from the University of Missouri and earned his MBA from Southern Illinois University. His leadership skills have brought Byron Bank from $4 mm to over $240 mm. Ben’s ability to see the needs of the bank as we have grown has been amazing. He is a very hard worker who sets a great example for all the bank employees.


Gail Barton, Joined Board in 1977

Gail joined the bank in 1984. Gail graduated from the University of Missouri and earned a Master’s in Business Education from Southern Illinois University. She has been instrumental in the bank marketing, hiring of employees, and helping retain those “excellent” hires for over 30 years. Gail’s hard work ethic and knowledge of banking has helped Byron Bank become one of the leading community banks. She has been active in many volunteer organizations including the Byron Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Club and the Byron Foundation for Education Excellence.


Mike Kohlstedt, Joined Board in 1992

Mike graduated from the University of Platteville in 1981 with a BS in Ag Business. He is the Senior Vice President - Commercial Loans of the Bank. Mike’s extensive knowledge in commercial lending, and his many years of banking leadership have been instrumental in the continual growth of Byron Bank. Mike is well known in the community and has participated in several organizations over the years including the Byron Rotary, Byron Kiwanis, Byron Chamber of Commerce, Byron Fest Steering Committee, the Byron Museum District Board and the St. Mary’s Church Finance Council.


Jen Baker, Joined Board in 2008

Jen graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1998 with a degree in Business. She earned her CPA in 1999. Jen completed the Community Bankers of Illinois School for Community Bankers. She works at the Byron Bank as the VP-Finance. Her dedication to organization and her compliance and project management skills have helped bring Byron Bank to the next level. Jen is the third generation in her family to work at the bank. She serves on the Byron Chamber of Commerce Board as Treasurer.


Brent Baker, Joined Board in 2015

Brent Baker is the President of Byron Bank. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1992. Brent completed the Community Bankers of Illinois School for Community Bankers, and has been the Branch Manager for our Poplar Grove location. He has been an integral part of our commercial and mortgage lending areas for the past ten years. Brent has been active with the Byron Chamber of Commerce, Byron Fest Steering Committee, St. Mary’s Finance Council, and the Byron Boosters.


Craig Flynn, Joined Board in 2015

Craig joined Lundstrom Insurance in 1998 as a Commercial Insurance Producer and became a Partner of the Agency in 2002. Craig graduated from the University of Iowa in 1993 and earned his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation in 2001. He also serves on the District 100 Foundation for Excellence which oversees a grant process that enhances the educational opportunities for District 100 students and is a volunteer youth basketball coach. Craig lives in Poplar Grove and has brought a wealth of sales experience and knowledge to our board.


Jim Eisfeller, Joined Board in 2017

Jim retired in September 2016 after 35 years of employment with the FDIC. Jim served as an Assistant Regional Director in the FDIC’s Chicago Regional Office. Jim is looked upon for direction and guidance because of his extensive knowledge of banking. Jim has been active in various civic organizations including the Byron Park District Board for 15 years (1999-2014). He also served on various church council and committee capacities at the United Church of Byron.