CRE N Illinois Breck Hanson: The right person in tough times Breck Hanson hasn't lived a dull life. Far from it. The executive vice president and head of commercial real estate at Chicago's Associated Bank has served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He's fashioned a banking career that's stretches back to 1971. And now he's tackling a new challenge, leading Associated Bank's commercial real estate division through one of the most challenging times for the commercial industry.