Banking is in the blood of this week's Valpo Life in the Spotlight, Matt Vessely. Since the time he was in high school through his journey to Valparaiso Regional President of 1st Source Bank, banking has been all about helping others.
“My banking career started in 1987, fresh out of high school, as a Teller at American State Bank in North Judson,” Vessely said. “My grandfather had retired from American State Bank after 40 years of service, so I knew a little about the bank and the people there.”
“I worked summers and breaks through college, and through that experience I began to understand and appreciate the important role that a bank plays in the community. This was a small bank where everything was under one roof in a small two story building; which made it easy for me, from my vantage point in the teller line, to get a sense for the bigger picture.”
This early experience allowed Vessely to see how essential the bank was to the community as a hub for commerce and a driver of local economy. That dynamic is, among others, what initially sparked his interest in the industry.
“More importantly, I could see, and I ultimately began to understand and appreciate, the many different ways that a bank can serve its customers,” said Vessely. “From buying a home or a car and putting crops in the field to saving and investing for the future and planning for retirement, it became clear to me that it wasn’t just about managing financial transactions. It was about bankers serving customers by helping them manage through life and pursue dreams. This was inspiring to me. This is really what got me to thinking about a career in the industry.”
When Vessely graduated from Wabash College in 1991, American State Bank offered him a full time position and he’s been in the industry ever since.
Vessely moved on from American State Bank to First National Bank of Valparaiso and then down to Fishers, Indiana where he worked at Huntington Bank in Indianapolis before returning to Valparaiso and the region.
“I was working in Indianapolis and was offered the opportunity to work for 1st Source Bank in Valparaiso,” said Vessely. “The Valparaiso Regional President was retiring and I was brought in to fill in that role and leverage my banking experience along with my previous connections to the community.”
Vessely reflected on his decision to move back to Northwest Indiana and join 1st Source Bank in saying, “I felt that 1st Source was a great fit for me. The culture of the organization resonated with my personal style, personal values and commitment to the community.”
“Everyone takes pride and pleasure in helping and serving others, myself included,” Vessely said. “At the heart of everything, helping others in the community is at the core of what I do. For me, being involved and making a difference for others through service is the recipe for success both personally and professionally."
In putting that service and community-minded outlook into action, Vessely now sits on the Board of Directors for the Valpo Chamber of Commerce, Porter County Community Foundation, and the Valpo Parks Foundation as well as a being a member of the Valparaiso Rotary Club.
“People aren't always aware of what banks do beyond the financial realm," says Vessely. "While financial matters are important, a bank's success is in large part a reflection of the success of the community. At 1st Source we understand that, and we consistently strive to have a positive impact on our community -- living our mission to help individuals, institutions, businesses and communities achieve security, build wealth and realize dreams.”