Jones Joins Centier Bank

September 17, 2014

Ben JonesMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, announced that Benjamin Jones has joined Centier Bank.  Jones serves the bank as Mortgage Loan Officer.  His office is located at 568 E. Carmel Drive.

Jones joins Centier as a seasoned mortgage loan officer, with former experience as a regional sales manager and as Chief Operating Officer.  Under his leadership at Choice Mortgage Funding, the company expanded operations throughout Indiana, Kentucky, and Florida with over 100 employees, earning him a partnership within the company.  Later, Jones sold his interest in the company and started an independent mortgage brokerage company in Indianapolis.  Most recently, Jones held a mortgage banker position serving Hamilton County since 2011.  His past accreditations include real estate agent, auctioneer, and principle mortgage broker.

A resident of Noblesville, Jones is a graduate of Vincennes University, alumnus of Sigma Pi Fraternity, and father to two children.  Ben is a former collegiate and Junior A hockey player who still plays in a men’s league for competition.  During his spare time, he has worked tenaciously and creatively as an inventor and has obtained a United States patent.  He also has served as a volunteer for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, United Way, and the Humane Society.

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All educators, in areas where Centier has a presence, are invited to attend the FREE 9th annual Financial Literacy Fair for Educators scheduled to be held at Centier’s Corporate Centre on Thursday, October 9, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Space is limited to 100 attendees.

Teachers will receive financial literacy materials that can be implemented directly in their classrooms and have been correlated to state standards.  The first ten schools to register will receive a $50 check at the conclusion of the fair to help subsidize the cost of their substitute.

Educators from community organizations will also find the materials interesting, easy to follow and very valuable for their clients.  All will leave with free financial capability materials that can be taught to their students or clients.

Each presentation will conclude with a question and answer segment, and the day will also offer opportunities for one on one discussions.

To register or to receive more information email Centier’s Financial Capabilities Officer, Dian Reyome, at dreyome@centier.com.

 

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Jackson Street of Dreams ProjectCentier Bank associates joined community members from Gary, and across the country, to support the Jackson Street of Dreams events held August 24-29, 2014.  Jackson Street of Dreams is a revitalization effort taking place in Gary to restore homes and engage community members in the renovation of homes on the street where Michael Jackson lived as a child.

The project is hosted by The Fuller Center for Housing of Gary, a nonprofit organization and affiliate of The Fuller Center for Housing.  The Fuller Center is a Georgia based organization started by a Habitat for Humanity founder, Millard Fuller.  Pastor Chet J. Johnson, Sr. leads the New Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, and helped coordinate other local pastors and volunteers to organize a local chapter of The Fuller Center. Their mission is to end poverty housing.  The five-day blitz is in coordination with the City of Gary, NIPSCO, Indiana Department of Corrections, Majestic Star Casino & Hotel, CrossRoads Mission, and Centier Bank.

In addition to volunteering to help work on three of the houses under construction during the construction blitz this week, Centier Bank also made a $10,000 donation to The Fuller Center, in support of its community projects.   Dakita Jones, manager of Centier’s Midtown branch sits on The Fuller Center for Housing of Gary’s board of directors.

“We are thrilled to be part of such an important project in our community and support efforts of The Fuller Center in Gary,” stated Jones, who joined associates from Centier offices in Miller, Glen Park, and Merrillville to volunteer.  Also present was Art Russell, Centier Vice President, Lake County Community Development/CRA Officer.  “Our goal is a successful revitalization campaign that will inspire other projects come to fruition throughout the entire Gary community,” stated Russell.

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Walia Joins Centier Bank

August 19, 2014

Walia Joins Centier BankMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, announced that Pooja Walia has joined Centier Bank as Vice President of Internal Audit.

Walia joins Centier with 14 years of audit experience, specializing in finance, IT, and enterprise risk management.  She previously worked for Baxter International, Sears Holdings, and Grant Thornton LLP.  In her leadership role with Centier, Walia will offer support and guidance to the bank’s senior management and audit committee.  In addition, she will be responsible for reporting on operational, financial, regulatory, and compliance related audits for Centier Bank and its related entities.

Walia received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola University of Chicago with a double major in Finance and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  Walia is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and Information Systems Audit and Control Association.  She is Six Sigma Green Belt certified and certified in risk management assurance.

Walia is married and resides in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

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Centier Bank Promotes CampbellMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, announced that Christopher Campbell has been promoted to Senior Vice President.  Campbell serves as Market President of Porter, La Porte, and Marshall Counties.

Campbell joined Centier in 2006 as a management development trainee.  As part of the management team, Campbell received on-the-job training in all banking fields and frequently toured branches throughout the Lake and Porter County area.  Since then, he has worked in Centier’s credit department, served as manager of the bank’s residential builder division, and most recently served as vice president and group manager of business banking.

Campbell, whose office is located in Downtown Valparaiso, also serves on the senior loan committee and board loan committee for Centier.

“During his eight years with Centier, Chris has demonstrated his commitment to community, business, and family through various roles within the organization,” stated Schrage.  “I am looking forward to his continued leadership as one of the 5th generation of Schrage family management and ownership.”

Prior to joining Centier Bank, Campbell was first vice president of Institutional Equity Trading at Legg Mason, Inc.  He is a graduate of Wittenberg University and received his MBA from Valparaiso University.  He is a 2010 graduate of the Cox Graduate School of Banking at SMU and a 2013 graduate of The Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Wharton.

A resident of Valparaiso, Campbell and his wife, Laura Schrage Campbell, have two children.  He is a very active leader in his community, serving as Chairman of the Board for The E.F. Wildermuth Foundation, Chair of the endowment committee for the Valparaiso Parks Foundation Board, Chair of the finance and investment committee of the Porter Starke Services Foundation Board, Treasurer of the Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events Board, and Secretary of the Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation.

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Jones Joins Centier Bank

July 11, 2014

Liz Jones joins Centier as Assistant Manager in Carmel, IN

Michael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, announced that Elizabeth Jones has joined Centier Bank as Assistant Manager. Her office is located at Centier Bank’s Carmel Banking Center, 568 E. Carmel Drive.

Jones has serviced the Greater Indianapolis area since 2008. As a member of the Carmel banking team, she will oversee daily operations management and customer service.

Jones is a resident of Indianapolis, where she lives with her husband. She is an active supporter of the local Knights of Columbus.


About Centier Bank

Since 1895, Centier Bank has transformed from a small community bank into the largest independently-owned and operated bank in Indiana. For nearly 120 years, each generation of the Schrage family has contributed a lasting legacy that has created a company built on family values, community partnership, business relationships, and a corporate culture unsurpassed in today’s community banking.  For more information on Centier Bank services, visit its website at centier.com.

 

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john b willis joins centier bank board of directorsMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, is pleased to announce that John B. Willis has joined Centier Bank’s Board of Directors. Willis joins a dozen business leaders from throughout the state to serve on the board of the $2.4 billion dollar Centier Bank, with locations throughout Allen, Hamilton, Lake, La Porte, Marshall, Porter, St. Joseph, and Tippecanoe Counties.

Willis is President and CEO of MBAH Insurance of Lafayette, where he has worked for more than 23 years.  An active member of the Lafayette community, Willis has volunteered his time to serve many non-profit agencies, including past service to the United Way, Boys & Girls Club, and American Heart Association, to name a few.  He currently serves as Chair of the Lafayette Family YMCA Foundation, Chair of Facilities Management Committee of the YWCA of Lafayette, and is a member of the Finance Committee at St. Mary Cathedral.

“Centier Bank will have four banking locations in the Greater Lafayette area by the end of the year, so it was very important to invite a Lafayette leader to our board,” stated Mike Schrage, Centier Bank President and CEO.   “John possesses the knowledge, leadership, and talent that is important for our growing bank.  He is an asset to the Centier team and we welcome him to our family.”

Centier Bank is growing steadily and quickly in Tippecanoe County.  Centier Bank has a Downtown location at 323 Columbia Street in Lafayette, and just opened inside of the new West Lafayette Meijer, 2636 US 52.  Later this year, the bank will open two new locations, in Lafayette at 1921 Veterans Memorial Parkway South, and in West Lafayette at 1020A Sagamore Parkway West (in the strip mall by Payless Foods).  Centier has also announced longtime Lafayette banker, Joe Howarth as Greater Lafayette Market President.

About Centier Bank

Since 1895, Centier Bank has transformed from a small community bank into the largest private, family-owned bank in Indiana.  For nearly 120 years, four generations of the Schrage family has contributed a lasting legacy that has created a company built on family values, community partnership, business relationships, and a corporate culture unsurpassed in today’s community banking.

Centier was named among the top “Best Places to Work in Indiana” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for the eighth consecutive year and was named “Best Bank for Business” by the Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly magazine for the 12th straight year.

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michael d cahill joins centier banks board of directorsMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, is pleased to announce that Michael D. Cahill has joined Centier Bank’s Board of Directors. Cahill joins a dozen business leaders from throughout the state to serve on the board of Centier Bank, a $2.4 billion dollar bank with banking locations throughout Allen, Hamilton, Lake, La Porte, Marshall, Porter, St. Joseph, and Tippecanoe Counties.

Cahill is a C.P.A. and CEO of the AWS Foundation. A career banker with more than 30 years of banking experience, Cahill is former president and CEO of Tower Bank.  He is an active resident of the Fort Wayne community, serving as board member and treasurer of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., Board Member of Indiana Bankers Association, and Board Member of AWS Foundation, in addition to numerous other non-profit agencies.

“Mike Cahill has strong roots in the Fort Wayne community and broad leadership experience in banking, investing, lending, insurance, and real estate,” stated Schrage.  “As we expand our Fort Wayne presence, his input and expertise will be valuable in sharing the Centier experience with a broader market.  It is because of our board of directors, associates, and clients that Centier remains the ‘bank of choice’ preserving independent community banking in Indiana.”

Centier Bank is looking forward to continued growth in the next 18-24 months.  This year, Centier will open multiple banking centers across the state, including Carmel, Mishawaka and three new Greater Lafayette locations.

About Centier Bank

Since 1895, Centier Bank has transformed from a small community bank into the largest private, family-owned bank in Indiana.  For nearly 120 years, four generations of the Schrage family has contributed a lasting legacy that has created a company built on family values, community partnership, business relationships, and a corporate culture unsurpassed in today’s community banking.

Centier was named among the top “Best Places to Work in Indiana” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for the eighth consecutive year and was named “Best Bank for Business” by the Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly magazine for the 12th straight year.

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small business breakfast on social media at centier centreCentier Bank hosted its Smart Start Business Breakfast, the first in a series of seminars tailored to small business owners and covering topics that relate to small business promotions, growth, and support.  The series was developed by Centier’s Small Business Banking division, and is managed by business bankers Christopher Campbell and Jonathan Hildebrand, along with a team of retail and business calling officers who specialize in small business.

The request for an active support group for small business came directly from client feedback.  “We asked our clients how we could provide the best banking relationship and one of the things they asked for was classes to help move their business forward in the market,” stated Campbell.  “We asked because we wanted to develop a small business platform that adds value to our clients,” Campbell continued.  “There are lots of small businesses that need our support, so we added 10 retail calling officers to our team to effectively help.”

Recognizing the power of social media to promote and engage customers in small business ventures, Centier invited Suite, the LiveLab® Company, a Chicago marketing agency that helps brands become their own media channels.  Greg Winegar, Digital Optimizer, and Nick Cosentino, Digital Account Manager, led a discussion that included tips on identifying channels that are right for business, how to grow an online community and how to create social media content.

“Consumers want transparency, a two-way conversation, and real-time relationships,” stated Cosentino.  “There are conversations happening online that are relevant to your industry and you can be part of them.”  Guests included a cross-generational range of business owners from diverse industries throughout the Northwest Indiana region.

Cosentino explained the importance of formulating a social media plan, and sticking to it.  “Creating a social media calendar to manage all of your touch points and follow ups will help,” he said.  “Plus, active listening, to make sure that you are engaged in conversations with your clients.  Allow your business personality to shine through…people do business with people they like and value.  If your brand can cultivate trusting, entertaining, and educational dialogue with your customers, it will translate into more business.”

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Schrage Family Scholarship Recipients

Michael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, announced the 2014 Schrage Family Scholarship recipients at the Bank’s annual scholarship banquet held at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville.  Centier awarded a $2,000 scholarship to each of 20 college-bound graduating seniors.  Each graduate attended a high school in one of the numerous counties that Centier has a retail presence.  Guests at the dinner reception included Schrage Family Scholars, their parents and/or guardians, and each student’s most influential teacher.

The Schrage Family Scholarship was established in 1995 in recognition of Centier Bank’s Centennial Anniversary and its founder, Henry Schrage.  The scholarship program rewards school and community leadership.  Through educational enrichment, the program reaffirms Centier Bank’s commitment to the families and communities it serves.

For nearly 20 years, the Schrage Family Scholarship has provided assistance to hundreds of area youth.  To date, Centier has awarded over $500,000 to students throughout its service area. Each student will receive $500 payments per year every August for four consecutive years, providing that the student achieves a GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) each semester.

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