For Immediate Release Contact: Kevin Pesko/President
(618) 233-6400

Bank of Belleville Adds New Board Member

Claire Leopold to Serve on Board of New Community Bank

BELLEVILLE, Ill,  May. 9, 2006: Longtime Belleville resident and business leader Claire S. Leopold has been elected to Bank of Belleville’s board of directors. She is co-owner and president of Nester Realty, Inc.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are extremely pleased that Claire will be joining our board," said bank president and board member Kevin Pesko. "Claire's entrepreneurial spirit, community involvement and professional experience are skills that align with our bank's core values and we will all benefit from her insight."

Leopold began her career as a bookkeeper with Nester Realty in 1982. At the company, she accepted positions of increasing responsibility, learning first-hand every aspect of the business, including real estate sales and commercial property management. She became a real estate broker/manager and in 1997 became co-owner and president of the company.

She is active in many community and professional organizations. Currently she serves on the board of directors and the MLS committee for the Belleville Area Association of Realtors, as well as the Contracts Committee for Southern Illinois Regional MLS. She also is a sustaining member of the Junior Service Club of St. Clair County. Leopold holds a bachelor's degree in business from St. Louis University. She and her husband Michael have two children.

Leopold joins the following local business and community leaders on the bank’s board of directors:

Dennis E. Bielke Retired Banker/Community Volunteer
Michael G. Guignon, M.D. Private Practice
Gary R. Hoelscher President, Hoelscher Engineering
Edward A. Hoering III Principal/Ganim, Meder, Childers, & Hoering, PA
Kevin Pesko President, Bank of Belleville
Wyatt Rawlings III Owner, Wyatt Rawlings III CPA, LLC
George J. Renner III Owner, George Renner & Sons Funeral Homes, Inc.
Douglas D. Sitton SVP/Manager, Woolpert, Inc.

About Bank of Belleville

Bank of Belleville, is a full-service community bank focused on providing relationship banking to small and mid-sized businesses, their owners and management teams, as well as entrepreneurs and local residents. The bank offers the conveniences of an ATM and a courier service for business clients from its location at 720 West Main Street in Belleville. Hours are Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The bank, which opened in November 2005, is the first new bank to open in Belleville in more than 15 years.