When the Schrage family founded the Bank of Whiting (aka Centier Bank) in 1895, it was intended to benefit a growing community. 125 years later, Centier Bank prides itself on being a true community bank, improving the lives of people who live and work in Indiana.
From the moment associates begin their careers at Centier, they commit to the family-owned, community-focused values of caring, loyalty, integrity, friendship, and fun that the bank’s clients have come to trust.
Those values are exactly what drove La Porte Branch Manager, Mike Bober, to join the bank almost three years ago. He had past banking experience and wanted to work for a bank that valued personal relationships with its clients.
“Being born and raised in Northwest Indiana, I’d always heard how Centier was one of the best places to work and cared deeply about their clients,” Bober said. “When I spoke to prospective clients who were already banking with Centier, they’d tell me ‘thanks but no thanks, we love our bank.’ Now that I’m here, I can see why – banking isn’t just my job, it’s my passion.”
Bober gets to go to work surround himself with colleagues who embody Centier’s Servant Heart Culture, sharing the same values that initially drew him to the banking industry. Sarah Warrington is one of those colleagues. She is a universal banker at Centier Bank’s La Porte branch and joined the team two years ago.
“When I was hired, I had no prior banking experience and was nervous that I wasn’t going to be prepared to work in the branch,” Warrington said. “I received ample training and felt like I’d been banking for years. I’ve been given so many opportunities to grow with Centier as an associate and as a person, it’s unlike any company I’ve ever been with.”
Their branch is like a big family, and this feeling translates into client interactions.
“We know most of our clients by name and take an interest in their well-being,” Warrington said. “They’re like our extended family. We get to hear about their ups and downs and share in their excitement when they have an exciting life change.”
Brooke Christ, mortgage loan officer, is a 21-year veteran at the bank and still finds herself surprised at how much clients love to bank with Centier.
“We are at the heart of the communities we serve, and our team takes part in La Porte’s parade every year,” Christ said. “One year, we had 20 or 30 clients walk with us in the parade representing Centier.”
Centier’s presence in the community reaches far beyond its banking services and parade appearances. Just like every branch, the La Porte team is full of dedicated volunteers and philanthropic stewards. They are active in community organizations Pax Center, the La Porte County Small Animal Shelter, and several others. Centier associates donate their time and talents, as well as individually fundraise in some instances.
“It feels really powerful for me to be out there volunteering side-by-side in our community,” Bober said. “It’s really critical for us to be out there and visible. We may not have national TV campaigns with celebrities, but I think it’s more impactful for our local team to be out there. After all, no one’s calling a celebrity with additional questions.”
The La Porte associates are always brainstorming new ways to give back to their community—they never need to be asked to volunteer.
“The team is always looking for ways to help and identifying what they can do and who they can help,” Christ said. “It’s just second nature to go above and beyond for people when you work at Centier.”
Centier’s La Porte branch is located on 73 Pine Lake Avenue. To learn more about Centier Bank and to find your closest branch, visit www.centier.com.