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.

[caption id="attachment_12055" align="alignleft" width="210" caption="Breck Hanson"] Breck Hanson Executive Vice President, Head of Commercial Real Estate Associated Bank Chicago

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.

According to Hanson's peers, though, Associated Bank has the right person at the helm to guide the financial institution through today's rough economy.

"Breck has more than three decades of experience in commercial real estate lending in the Midwest. He's seen markets of every kind. And he knows what it takes to succeed in every market you can imagine," said one colleague who nominated Hanson for the Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame.

The results at Associated Bank certainly speak for themselves. Hanson is responsible for the bank's commercial real estate presence in six Midwest states. The team that answers to him is on track to secure $1 billion in new commercial real estate loan commitments in 2011.

And Hanson's success hasn't come solely at Associated. He also spent 20 years at LaSalle Bank/Exchange National Bank, where he grew that financial institution's commercial real estate practice until it became one of the largest commercial real estate bank lending groups in the nation.

Hanson also managed Bank of America's Midwest real estate group's $13 billion loan portfolio.

Hanson has also placed his imprint on the Midwest commercial real estate lending industry. Those who nominated him for this award said that Hanson has taken the time to mentor several individuals who today lead their own commercial real estate lending teams throughout the Midwest.

Even with all of this success, Hanson has found time to contribute to the community, too. He earned the Champion of Hope Award in 2005 and the Caritas Award in 2009 for his dedication and contributions to Rainbows, an international non-profit grief support organization for children. Hanson also serves on the boards of directors at the University of Wisconsin Madison's Graaskamp Center for Real Estate, Purdue University's Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and DePaul University's Center for Real Estate.