Local Bank Grows, Adds New Position


Published on September 4 2012 3:16 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Washington Savings Bank President and CEO Claude E. Hudson has announced the addition of Michael J. Defend to the member-owned bank.  Defend fills the newly created position of Senior Vice President and Chief Loan Officer.

“Due to our steady and continued growth to more than $250 million, we have created this new
position at Washington Savings Bank,” remarked Hudson. “We are delighted to have Michael join us. His 24 years of experience and impeccable credentials will enhance the service and on-going financial strength of our bank."

As Senior Vice President and Chief Loan Officer, Defend will oversee the Lending Division.  His responsibilities include directing the bank’s entire loan program, promoting and developing new business and overseeing the bank’s $180 million loan portfolio. This position is designed to enhance the operations and support the existing officers and associates within the Lending Division.

Hudson said Defend brings a wealth of credit and bank management experience to the bank. Previous positions Defend has held include seven years as Regional Vice President and Senior Commercial Loan Officer for Midland States Bank, and five years as President and Senior Loan Officer at First Trust Bank of Shelbyville, Illinois. Prior to these positions, Defend held lending positions at Tuscola National Bank, Community Banks of Shelby County and First National Bank of Decatur. He began his career in 1988 with positions at Ford Motor Credit and later, Hyundai Motor Finance in St. Louis.

Defend, an alumnus of Shelbyville High School, graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a graduate of the Real Estate Lending School sponsored by the Community Bankers Association of Illinois. He is actively involved in community affairs currently serving as President of the Champaign County Community Development Corporation. He previously served as a member of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce Vision 20/20 Committee, and as a Director of Effingham Sportsbackers. 

Defend recently married Lori Murphy of Lafayette, Indiana and they reside in Effingham. He has two daughters, Alesha, a sophomore at Lakeland College and Brittany, a freshman at Lakeland College.

Washington Savings Bank, the second oldest and largest customer owned financial institution in Effingham County, offers a full line of personal and commercial deposit and loan products. The bank has received a 5-Star rating, the highest possible, from Bauer Financial for 23 consecutive years. Further information about the Company is available at its website at www.washingtonsavings.net.