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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ribbon cutting for West Lafayette Meijer branchMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, hosted a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Thursday afternoon to commemorate the grand opening of its second Tippecanoe County location inside of the new Meijer, located at 2636 US 52 in West Lafayette.  The new grocery store branch is a full-service banking center, featuring personal, commercial, and lending services.  The branch lobby is open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

This is Centier Bank’s second location in the Greater Lafayette region.  Centier first entered the market in 2009, with a commercial loan production office, and in 2010 relocated to its current location at 323 Columbia Street in Downtown Lafayette. Since opening, Centier has expanded its market team to include full-service retail, personal and commercial services, lending, and investment services.

“We are so excited to have our first venture with the Meijer corporation and to provide customers with convenient in-store banking services, making Meijer a one-stop-shop,” stated Centier Bank President and CEO, Mike Schrage.  “We are specialists in supermarket banking – we currently have 10 grocery store branch locations throughout our retail footprint.  Every one of them provides all of the same services of a traditional branch…customers can even apply for a loan on Sunday!”

The new West Lafayette Meijer branch features convenient, extended banking hours, an in-store  EZ Deposit ATM (which accepts check and cash deposits 24/7), four teller stations, and private offices for personal and business lending.  The retail branch manager is Stephen Walter and Operations Supervisor is Angelique Spracklen.

“Seven-day banking is a huge plus for people who cannot make it to a branch during the week,” stated Laura Demeter, Regional Branch Manager.  “Providing banking options to our clients, and to patrons of the West Lafayette Meijer, is just one of the benefits of banking with Centier.”

As an independently-owned community bank, Centier is promising a large community investment into the West Lafayette/Lafayette area. “We are pouring resources and support to a strong, local team of bankers,” stated Schrage.  “We are a good match for the energy and excitement of this city.  We can give residents a bank partner for generations to come.”

Centier Bank is growing steady and quickly in the Greater Tippecanoe region.  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).  Recently, Centier added a prominent Lafayette leader to its Board of Directors, John B. Willis, who is president and CEO of MBAH Insurance.  The bank also introduced its new community bank president, Joe Howarth.  A former banker with The Farmer’s Bank and Salin Bank & Trust, Howarth is a seasoned Lafayette banker who complements Centier’s current team of commercial and residential lending experts.

Centier’s expanded service options may be exactly what West Lafayette residents are looking for in a community bank.  Recently, Lafayette Savings Bank was sold, consolidating the number of locally-owned bank options in the region.  “Centier is well-known for its ‘Not for Sale’ promise,” stated Schrage.  “It’s my personal commitment that Centier Bank will remain independently owned and operated for years to come.  We will continue our family legacy of independent community banking for future generations in Lafayette and West Lafayette.”

Centier is a $2.4 billion dollar bank, with banking locations throughout Allen, Hamilton, Lake, La Porte, Marshall, Porter, St. Joseph, and Tippecanoe Counties.  In addition to its strong financial roots in the state, 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.

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, 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.

Schrage commemorated the grand opening with a ribbon cutting, with a donation to Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. The agency provides programs that work to eliminate hunger by providing food and essential non-food products to nonprofit agencies that serve low income Hoosiers.

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Carmel grand opening Michael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, hosted an evening reception on Thursday to introduce the newly renovated Carmel Banking Center, located at 568 E. Carmel Drive.  The retail space, formerly occupied by BMO Harris Bank, is Centier’s new full-service banking center, featuring personal, commercial, and mortgage services.  The office lobby is open Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the Drive-thru is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Centier Bank entered the Greater Indianapolis region in 2011 with a commercial loan production office in Carmel’s Meridian Mark business complex.  Since then, Centier has expanded its Carmel operations to include cash management and residential lending, and with its new office, is now a full-service retail branch, offering personal and commercial services, including lending and investment services.

“We always planned to expand our Carmel office, but we were taking our time to put the right team together,” stated Centier Bank President and CEO, Mike Schrage.  “In the past couple of years, we invited area bankers Dave Bowers, Bryan Traylor, and Laura Demeter to our team and assembled a strong residential and commercial lending team that can offer experience and expertise to our growing clientele.”

The nearly 9,000 square foot Centier Carmel Banking Center features convenient drive-thru banking services, a drive-up EZ Deposit ATM (which accepts check and cash deposits 24/7), night depository services, three teller stations, a self-service coin machine, and multiple private offices for personal and business lending.  The retail branch assistant manager is Liz Jones and universal banker is David Esala.  The Regional Branch Manager and Cash Management Officer, Laura Demeter, also has an on-site office.

“Our clients are thrilled to have expanded banking options with our new office,” stated Dave Bowers, Senior Vice President.  “We are located in the business corridor right off of Keystone Parkway and Carmel Drive, making us a convenient stop for a lot of folks on their way to and from work.”

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, 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.

“The Carmel business community has been impressed with our services and corporate culture from the start,” stated Bowers.  “Our customers appreciate the ease of working with our bank, for our creative, responsive, and reputable banking service, and most of all – that we are Indiana owned and have local decision-making.  With our expanded office space and retail services, we have a greater opportunity to ‘wow’ clients and the community.”

Centier is a $2.4 billion dollar bank, with banking locations throughout Allen, Hamilton, Lake, La Porte, Marshall, Porter, St. Joseph, and Tippecanoe Counties.  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.

“We are located in the middle of an area with lots of other banks, many of whom have been in Carmel for decades,” Schrage stated to guests during the reception.  “However, I doubt you’ll find a friendlier bank – in your personal or business ventures.  Centier’s personality – our corporate culture – is different.  The individuals we employ make banking an outstanding experience.  The heart of Centier is different than any other bank in town.”

Schrage commemorated the grand opening with a ribbon cutting, with a donation of $1,000 to Good Samaritan Network of Indiana.  Nancy Chance, Executive Director for Good Samaritan, received the donation, which serves Hamilton County residents by providing food and shelter, financial assistance, life skills and mentoring, and in-kind assistance to residents in need.

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Burzic Joins Centier

May 15, 2014

Ray-BurzicMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, announced that Ray Burzic has joined Centier Bank.   Burzic is Assistant Vice President/C&I Team Lead, overseeing the underwriting and analysis of commercial loan review.

Burzic joins Centier with a background in commercial lending and credit review.  He earned his Bachelors in Finance from the University of Illinois.

Burzic is a member of the Leadership County of the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship and the Treasurer of the Illinois Handball and Chicago Metro Handball Associations.  He resides in Chicago.

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Smerdel Joins Centier

May 15, 2014

Jacob-SmerdelMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, announced that Jacob Smerdel has joined Centier Bank.   His office is located at Centier Bank’s Carmel Banking Center, 11611 N. Meridian Street, Suite 175, Carmel, Indiana.

Smerdel joins Centier’s growing Mortgage Lending Division.  As a mortgage loan officer, his experience affords him a thorough knowledge of Hamilton and Marion Counties, and the central Indiana area.

Smerdel is a graduate of Indiana University and resides in Noblesville.

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Grant Joins Centier

April 22, 2014

Nikko-GrantMichael E. Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, announced that Nikko Grant has joined Centier Bank as Mortgage Loan Branch Manager/Mortgage Loan Officer.  His office will be located at Centier’s Carmel Banking Center, 11611 Meridian Street, Suite 175.

Grant joins Centier as a seasoned mortgage lender with experience originating loans across the United States. During his more than 10 years of banking, he has helped hundreds of families achieve their goal of homeownership.  Grant is responsible for mortgage loan origination, mortgage team recruitment, and training.

Grant holds his degree in Business Management from Stark State College.  He resides in Fishers.

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As a local community bank with strong roots in NWI, Centier Bank is always looking for ways to bring financial wellness to NWI communities.  The family-owned and managed bank has invested countless community efforts into promoting financial literacy throughout local communities, and employs a team of bankers who manage programs designed specifically to educate families and children with financial lessons.

Beginning in April, Centier is using public television to help spread lessons on financial literacy.  Centier has partnered with the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) to sponsor Money $ense, a television series designed to educate the public on personal financial issues and improve financial wellness.  The program premiers on Lakeshore Public Television on Fridays at 8:00 p.m., beginning April 11th. Click on the link below for more information on Money Sense. http://lakeshorepublicmedia.org/local-programs/money-sense/

Anthony Contrucci, Director of Investment Services, hosts the show and interviews up to two experts each episode on topics such as budgeting, financial planning, credit and debt, identify theft, and insurance.  “The series brings together experts who take a common sense approach to helping people better understand a variety of financial wellness topics,” stated Contrucci.  “Each episode, we meet and hear from industry leaders who explain the basic concepts viewers need in order to find their own sense of financial well-being.”

It is fitting that Money $ense makes its debuting during Money Smart Week, which runs through April 12th.  Money Smart Week is a national campaign dedicated to supporting financial literacy outreach to children from kindergarten through high school, and adults with programs conducted in both English and Spanish.

Five episodes of Money $ense have been planned for 2014, with the first episode scheduled to air at 8:00 p.m.C.S.T. on Friday, April 11th on Lakeshore Public TV.  The remaining four episodes will air on each of the following Fridays, concluding on May 9th.  The show will then be replayed on Lakeshore’s channel throughout the year and will be made available to other public television stations throughout the Midwest and the rest of the country.

“We all benefit from conversations regarding finances,” stated Contrucci.  “And now, Lakeshore TV viewers will have access to a professional dialogue that they can view in the comfort of their own homes.  I hope people will tune in and appreciate the importance of continuing education as it applies to financial wellness.”

Lakeshore Public Television is available on the air on broadcast Channel 56.1, Comcast Channel 17 or 21, RCN Channel 4, and Channel 56 on AT&T U-verse, Direct TV and Dish Network. It will also be available online at Lakeshore’s website.

Money $ense Air Dates

Friday, April 11, 2014 – “Budgeting” featuring guests Alejo Torres, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Senior Outreach Manager, and John Gibson, Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics.

Friday, April 18, 2014 – “Identity Theft” featuring guests Paul Ferron, Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Business Development at Ascente Business Consulting LLC, and J. Michelle Sybesma, Awareness Advocate and Business Consultant with Professional Skills Consulting, Inc.

Friday, April 25, 2014 – “Insurance” featuring guest Mark Bates, President of Pinnacle Insurance Group of Indiana.

Friday, May 2, 2014 – “Credit and Debt” featuring guests Jeff Sanson, Indiana Council for Education Executive Director, and P.N. Saksena, Indiana University South Bend Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Studies.

Friday, May 9, 2014 – “Planning for Retirement” featuring guests Bob Benish, Executive Director, PSCA, Dr. Marlena Lee, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and Liz Davidson, Founder& CEO, Financial Finesse.

For more information on financial literacy presentations, contact Dian Reyome, Centier Bank Financial Capabilities/CRA Relations Officer at (219) 755-6140 ext. 1832.

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