I often get asked why I reside in Indiana given my daughter and family reside in sunny Tampa, Florida. I admit there are days I wonder the same (mostly December – March) but I always come back to the life I’ve created personally and professionally in Hamilton County, including my role with Community First Bank of Indiana. In my 30 years in the finance industry, I’ve aligned myself with locally owned, privately held institutions because I am passionate about the impact of community banks.
In 2014, when the announcement was made that Community Bank of Noblesville was being acquired, the management team and board of directors of Community First Bank of Indiana (CFB), based in Kokomo, recognized an opportunity to enter the fastest growing county in Indiana. By 2015, CFB had opened a loan production office in Noblesville and quickly followed that up with two full-service branches in
Westfield and one in Noblesville. The support we have enjoyed from the Hamilton County community has reaffirmed our belief that a truly community-oriented bank would be embraced here.
As executive banker and business development officer with CFB I am privileged to meet with many exceptional small to mid-size business owners in our community, onboarding to provide exceptional service and streamline systems. Additionally, I’m privileged to work with, serve, and learn about valuable non-profits in our county. So far in 2023, CFB has donated to more than 100 non-profits in Hamilton County and the surrounding area.
One story I never tire of sharing is the way our team stepped up for the betterment of our community amid the 2020 pandemic. Our bank president, Robb Blume, created an initiative to support every Hoosier nonprofit organization that entrusted us to process their Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan. In total, CFB donated around $100,000 to organizations in the communities we serve in central Indiana. Each donation was equal to the fee the bank earned for processing and funding each organization’s SBA PPP loan. The bank believed from the start that this was the right thing to do to truly serve its communities.
Recalling another highlight moment for me in October 2020, I had the joy of joining my team on a visit to the Forest Park Aquatic Center to present a $5,000 donation to the Friends of Central Pool for the renovation of their splash pad. It was the first time they were able to renovate since it had been added 10 years prior.
The past two years, CFB has also been a sponsor of the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Cool Creek Concert Series. I have enjoyed seeing my team interact with attendees as we witness Cool Creek fill with happy community residents on Friday evenings for music, food, games, and fun! It is ALWAYS a great time
I moved to Hamilton County in 2007 for what I thought would be one to two years and here I am, still enjoying our great community. If you are looking for ways to get plugged into Hamilton County, there’s so much reward in linking arms with those who aspire to make our communities better through their organizational service.
Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) and Invest Hamilton County have launched a new community ambassador program. The partnership, called HAMILTON CONNECTION will highlight personal stories of HCLA alumni and allow those Connectors to help personalize the things that make Hamilton County a great place to live, work, learn and thrive. Meet the Hamilton Connectors HERE.