Nature, people, culture: what makes Michiana great according to 1st Source Bank

Nature, people, culture: what makes Michiana great according to 1st Source Bank

With locations in South Bend, Notre Dame, Elkhart, and beyond, 1st Source Bank has deep roots in Michiana. Getting to live and work in Michiana gives the 1st Source Bank staff the opportunity to explore all it has to offer.

The 1st Source Bank staff enjoys all the features that make Michiana the great place it is, and many of these great features can be boiled down to three categories: nature, people, and culture.


The unique topography of Michiana lends itself to many popular and niche spots where residents and visitors alike can enjoy walking, biking, and even fishing as they take in the nature around them.

“The St. Joseph River is my favorite attraction,” said Business Banking Representative Alec Fullenkamp. “Whether it be a walk along the riverwalk in Mishawaka in the summer or fishing for migrating steelhead and salmon in fall and spring, the river has something to offer for all.”

If you are looking to enjoy nature with friends and with kids without leaving the city, Howard Park in South Bend is the place to be.

“Howard Park is really the best hang-out spot in town,” said Administrative Assistant Sarah Johnson. “The park is always brimming with kids, and there are paths to walk on up and down the river. There is ice skating in the winter with fire pits for adults to sit around. There are always events happening there if you want it, but it is also a peaceful place to relax and meet up with friends.”


With all its amenities, Michiana has a penchant for attracting many people from surrounding areas. Whether they come for a fun day trip, for a business meeting, or to plant roots and call it home, people flock to Michiana.
“There is a lot of diversity across the different communities like South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart, and Goshen. So many different people call it home,” said Assistant Vice President Dan Riley.

Michiana encompasses an area stretching from Indiana to Michigan – it’s no wonder that the area and its residents are unique. With so many different things to do in Michiana, its appeal, like its land, stretches far and wide.

“Michiana is a unique blend of people: Notre Dame intellectuals, Midwestern families, and a whole range of people in between. There are musicians, social justice movements, hipsters, crafters, and outdoorsy folks. That's what makes us special,” Johnson said.

Central Region Admin Deenee Searfoss is proud to call Michiana home because of the great people she has surrounded herself with who also live in the area.

“I choose my happiness, and it is here with my family and friends in Michiana!” Searfoss said.


The reason so many people flock to Michiana is in large part due to its vibrant culture. With plenty of shopping and dining experiences at your fingertips along with a host of unique attractions, Michiana is rich with culture.

“Michiana is special because it brings many different people together,” said Client Services Associate II Senior Lender Jake Brentlinger. “You have beaches, apple farms, wineries, performing arts, baseball, golf, farming, etc. That doesn't even include one of the biggest universities in the country, Notre Dame, at the heart of it all. It is a special place, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Brentlinger is not the only member of the 1st Source Bank staff who believes Notre Dame is at the heart of Michiana. Vice President of Business Banking Tony Obringer also shared that attending football Saturdays at Notre Dame is his favorite thing to do in Michiana and Administrative Assistant Elizabeth Kruk praised all that Notre Dame contributes to the area.

“The campus of the University of Notre Dame is such a treasure. It has a college campus with museums, libraries, sporting events, and much more so available to Michiana,” Kruk said.

Beyond Notre Dame, the 1st Source Bank staff recalls a long list of favorite restaurants and stores, some of their favorites including Roselily, LaSalle Grill, Fiddler’s Hearth, La Esperanza, Kankakee Grille, Taqueria Don Chepe, Olivia’s Bar & Restaurant, Barnaby’s South Bend, India Garden, and Hacienda Mexican Restaurants 100 Center.

“Roselily in South Bend has the best fine dining with wine pairings ever. Blind Chef's tasting is also offered,” said Client Services Associate Bruce Burkart Jr.
In addition to cuisine, an extensive list of shopping options also makes Michiana’s culture stand out. The 1st Source staff is especially fond of the local stores—like Bamber’s Superette Food Market, InRugCo Studio & Gift Shop, Griffon Bookstore, Hardware Plus, and St. Clair’s Butcher Shoppe—and local pop-up markets.

“I love the local, fresh produce at South Bend Farmer's Market,” said Marketing Group Head Andrea Bullock. “I love Oh Mamma's On The Avenue, too. It’s the best cheese shop with a knowledgeable staff. It's my little slice of heaven.”

Between the beautiful nature, diverse people, and vibrant culture, Regional Sales Manager Graham Snyder believes Michiana is a gem in Northwest Indiana.

“Michiana provides the culture and commerce area for Northern Indiana,” Snyder said. “People do come to the area from surrounding areas of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. There are many festivals and great venues for large events.”

To learn more about 1st Source Bank and its locations in Michiana and beyond, visit