Vol. 108 2024 Issue 4 (July/August)

2023 C2C Award Nominees

2023 C2C Award Nominees

The Indiana Bankers Association Commitment to Community Awards, presented annually at the IBA Mega Conference, tell the story of banking by showcasing bank community service provided the prior calendar year. Two awards are given, representing asset sizes under $500 million, and $500 million or more.

For the 2023 awards, Alliance Bank, Francesville, won in the category of banks under $500 million in assets, and Horizon Bank, Michigan City, won in the category of $500 million and above. Finalists were Fowler State Bank and Home Bank, Martinsville in the under $500 million category; and Community First Bank of Indiana, Kokomo, and North Salem State Bank in the $500 million and above category.

Each of the following 25 nominees answered questions that align with an evaluation rubric, and all entries were reviewed and scored by the Oklahoma Bankers Association.

Asset size: Under $500 million

Alliance Bank, Francesville

As a locally owned community bank, Alliance Bank is “all in” when it comes to supporting its communities. In 2023 the bank broke $100,000 donated to local nonprofit organizations for the first time in its history, and employees volunteered an average of 15 hours each. In response to local issues with childcare and housing, the bank made a five-year commitment of $25,000 to Appleseed Childhood Education in Jasper County, a $7,500 commitment for a grant match to the Childcare Coalition of Pulaski County and $5,000 to the Pulaski County Housing Taskforce. It is imperative for the bank to have a pulse on the most pressing needs of the community and prioritize outreach efforts for maximum impact.

Bath State Bank

In 2023, Bath State Bank’s 99th year in banking, the bank emphasized financial literacy outreach to high school students by partnering with a local rural high school and continuing its outreach with Junior Achievement. The bank operates an intermittent school branch facility to provide real-world banking experiences to high school students, in addition to financial literacy education. Financial education is of particular importance as personal finance has become part of the graduation requirement curriculum. Bath State Bank employees taught nearly 50 classroom presentations in 2023 from kindergarten to high school grade levels. Overall, the bank delivered support to more than 200 organizations, totaling almost $100,000 this past fiscal year.

Bippus State Bank, Huntington

Bippus State Bank measures its outreach by the impact it makes on the community. Giving back to the community is more than just giving out donations – it’s also about providing activities and opportunities to the community that they may not have without volunteers. The bank aims to give employees as many opportunities as possible to get involved, including during work hours, on the weekends and during the evening to ensure everyone has some opportunity to volunteer. Bippus State Bank believes it is vital to show the community that the bank stands with them and is here to support them.

Fowler State Bank

Fowler State Bank serves the three most sparsely populated counties in Indiana and considers the communities it serves to be like family. If someone needs help, all hands are on deck at the bank. From making donations to local 4-H programs and food pantries to volunteering at the local movie theater, the bank seeks to support the community at large, whether those who benefit are customers or not. Several staff members volunteer on various boards, and even more are involved in local organizations such as Rotary, Benton Community Foundation, Earl Park Fall Festival Foundation, Fair/4-H Board and more. Above all, the bank strives to uphold its motto: “Community Owned. Community Grown. Community Focused.”

Home Bank, Martinsville

Home Bank’s vision, mission and culture are focused upon service to others with the goal of improving quality of life for all in the bank’s community. In 2023 the bank focused on three major initiatives for outreach: financial support for local nonprofits, leadership by the bank with the Better Communities Coalition and financial literacy outreach. All three areas of outreach share a focus upon a group of core issues facing the bank’s market communities. Notably, the bank’s community gifting program allocates 10% of its net income each month for donation to local nonprofit organizations. The bank’s outreach efforts provide a platform to share how community banks care for and are engaged to serve and help others.

Logansport Savings Bank

At Logansport Savings Bank, being a community bank means that it gives time, talent and financial support to both its customers and local communities. In 2023 the bank gave over $60,000 in charitable contributions and donations that supported dozens of local schools, student athletes, kids and families, and various nonprofit organizations across multiple counties in north central Indiana. Outreach efforts include participation and volunteerism by more than 30 employees in and around the communities that the bank serves. The bank believes that banking is built on relationships, and the story of banking shines through when people see, know and trust their local bank as a community supporter.

Wayne Bank and Trust Company, Richmond

Wayne Bank believes that supporting the community means remembering the past, looking forward to the future and seizing the here and now. Since 1882 the bank has served its local communities and actively invests in people and projects that will serve to prosper the area for decades and beyond. In 2023 the bank donated over $100,000 toward targeted local initiatives and nonprofits that address local issues such as education, poverty, physical and mental health, and more. On any given day, staff can be found volunteering with nonprofits, rubbing shoulders with local businesses and entrepreneurs, and supporting their neighbors with kindness and generosity.

Asset size: $500 million and above

Busey Bank, Champaign, Illinois

Serving the community is in Busey Bank’s DNA as a culture. In 2023 the bank’s Indiana team joined forces with Gleaners Food Bank and served 400 families in just one service day to meet the needs of those encountering food insecurity. This partnership lasted the full year, with staff continuing to support Gleaners by providing more volunteers, financial investment and food donations collected at the branch. The bank offers various benefits around volunteering, including paid volunteer time off and recognition incentives. Throughout its 156-year history, the bank has been guided by a constant commitment and fixed focus on a promise to its four pillars – associates, customers, communities and shareholders.

Centier Bank, Merrillville

Centier Bank’s outreach strategically aligns with its mission of “Enriching lives through caring relationships and financial guidance for an even better tomorrow.” The bank’s engagement extends beyond traditional philanthropy, incorporating nonprofits into various initiatives, such as “casual for a cause” days and annual donation matching programs with organizations like the United Way. In 2023 the bank clocked approximately $1 million in donations to 600+ organizations and over 26,000 volunteer hours by 65% of associates. The bank’s priority isn’t just providing banking services; it’s about cultivating relationships, fostering financial growth and ensuring that everyone feels heard and supported on their unique financial journey.

Civista Bank, Sandusky, Ohio

Civista Bank has created a culture where community outreach is part of everyday life. The bank works closely with local organizations such as the United Way to better understand the needs of the community and coordinate outreach to respond to those needs. Additionally, the bank offers several internal giving campaigns and a PTO benefit that incentivizes participation. The United Way of Southeastern Indiana – Greater Cincinnati recognized the bank in their 2023 “Tremendous 25” list, which awards the highest per-capita giving companies. Overall, the bank believes that building trust, fostering positive relationships and contributing to the overall economic and social development of the community tell the story of community banking.

Community First Bank of Indiana, Kokomo

Community First Bank of Indiana celebrated two decades of business and community impact in 2023. The bank donated over $138,000 to 106 nonprofits, sponsored 70 local events and had 62% employee participation, racking up over 900 hours of volunteer time. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the bank donated $20,000 to the Carver Community Center and featured nonprofits that are 20-year partners in a billboard campaign. The bank also officially marked the milestone of $1 million donated as of November 2023. Internally, the bank offers several programs and incentives to encourage volunteerism. Simply put, community was the reason for the bank’s founding 20 years ago and remains at the center of all it does today.

First Bank Richmond

First Bank Richmond is committed to being an integral partner to the communities it serves. The bank has identified four key areas of need in its community: education, financial literacy, physical and mental health, and the fostering of local nonprofit organizations and their initiatives. In 2023 the bank proudly donated nearly $675,000 to nonprofit organizations, and 50% of staff served on nonprofit boards and committees. The bank cultivates a culture of service internally through volunteerism during operating hours, ongoing training and development in areas of interest, and various incentives. For 137 years, First Bank Richmond has told the story of banking through its commitment to fostering a flourishing community of physically, mentally and fiscally sound members.

First Federal Savings Bank, Evansville

At First Federal Savings Bank, commitment to the community is woven into the fabric of its banking philosophy. From executive-level leadership to tellers, the bank encourages staff participation in community outreach by providing volunteer opportunities during work hours, supporting employee-led initiatives and rewarding community involvement. Employees use personal and professional connections to listen to the needs of the community and are encouraged to submit sponsorship and donation requests. Organizations served in 2023 include Montessori PTO, Make-A-Wish, Knox County Life After Meth, Sleep in Heavenly Peace and more. By actively participating in local projects, supporting education and empowering small businesses, the bank contributes to the growth and prosperity of the community its employees call home.

First Harrison Bank, Corydon

First Harrison Bank’s philosophy has always been, “If the communities we serve grow and thrive, we will grow and thrive along with them.” The bank supports over 200 organizations in the community each year with financial support, time and talent. In 2023 the bank was recognized with the Business First Partners in Philanthropy Award, taking home fourth place for a medium-sized business in the Louisville metro area. One of the bank’s longest-running community efforts is serving breakfast to 4-H members and their families during fair week, which the bank has done every year since 2003. The bank has taken pride in being looked to as a community leader since its inception in 1891.

First Merchants Bank, Muncie

For over 130 years, First Merchants Bank has acted as a bridge connecting diverse communities in the Midwest with the resources they need to thrive. The bank’s efforts are guided by five community pillars: employee empowerment; community investments; financial wellness; community home lending; and diversity, equity and inclusion. In 2023 the bank donated over $1.2 million. Eight dedicated and paid community service hours allow employees to engage with the community, whether it’s volunteering at an event, representing the bank at a fundraiser or delivering financial literacy workshops. The bank believes that by bridging the gap to financial wellness, it empowers individuals, businesses, families and entire neighborhoods to prosper.

First Savings Bank, Jeffersonville

First Savings Bank takes “commUNITY” to heart – the bank is one with the people that it serves. In 2023 First Savings Bank provided $515,937 in financial support to 382 organizations and participated in 1,869 community events. Additionally, employees volunteered 5,593 community service hours. A highlight from 2023 giving was a $100,000 gift to develop Origin Park along the Ohio River in Clarksville, which will remediate and replenish degraded industrial landscapes with healthy, biodiverse forests, wetlands and trails. The bank’s employee-led charity committee, among other internal efforts, demonstrates a culture of servant leadership. The bank considers it a duty and privilege to do its part in making the community better and helping it thrive.

GBC Bank, Greenfield

GBC Bank is committed to the support and growth of its employees and community, with special emphasis on three pillars: education, arts and economic development. The bank also strongly encourages bank staff to be involved with organizations that are meaningful to them. On Giving Tuesday each year, employees choose 10 nonprofits in Hancock County to receive a monetary donation. The bank prides itself on its continued efforts in the community to support organizations and individuals that help the community thrive. Overall, the bank does not measure its success by dollars or volunteer hours, but by the impact it makes on the overall quality of life in the community.

Horizon Bank, Michigan City

Each year, Horizon Bank strives to serve its communities by volunteering, providing financial education, awarding community loans, granting scholarships to local students, and donating time and funds to charitable organizations. In 2023 Horizon Bank awarded more than $840,000 in charitable grants and donations supporting Indiana organizations. The bank incentivizes employee-led community service through a paid time off program and community outreach awards. Bank staff provided over 11,600 community outreach volunteer hours in 2023, working with organizations like Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. Horizon Bank celebrated 150 years of community banking in 2023, and throughout the years the bank has maintained the belief that banking is about people first.

JCBank, Seymour

In 2023 JCBank played a pivotal role in fostering community growth by prioritizing the wellbeing of local citizens. This was demonstrated by both community involvement and financial support. Overall, the bank contributed a total of $132,000 to local organizations within the communities it serves. The bank hosted or participated in 115 community events and financially supported 123 organizations, including shelters, schools, health care facilities, nonprofits and community foundations. JCBank encourages staff participation in these initiatives, and staff collectively clocked 7,986 volunteer hours in 2023. Ultimately, the bank measures its success by the tangible improvements in community well-being, the establishment of strong and lasting partnerships, and the positive reputation and trust earned within the local community.

Merchants Bank of Indiana, Carmel

Through time, talent and treasure, Merchants Bank of Indiana aims to carry on a tradition of banking excellence. The bank particularly focuses on affordable housing advancement, providing access to critical grant funds and financial education, and more. This includes dedicated community partnerships with Intend Indiana, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis and more to support the community at large by providing more affordable options and increasing financial autonomy for low-income families and individuals. Bank staff works with organizations such as accessABILITY Indiana and other community development organizations to offer financial literacy training. Whether through big monetary donations or small acts of kindness, giving back serves as a constant reminder of the people who make Merchants Bank of Indiana possible.

The National Bank of Indianapolis

The National Bank of Indianapolis’ vision of unmatched community involvement and trusted legacy of service is realized through three key strategies: civic leadership, community lending and philanthropic investments. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the bank partnered with three local nonprofits on initiatives that make homeownership in Indianapolis more accessible, gifting three $30,000 grants to the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, Englewood Community Development Corporation and JEWEL Human Services. All employees receive eight hours of paid volunteer time and are encouraged to engage in bank-sponsored volunteer events, as well as serve organizations that mean the most to them personally. In 2023, 137 employees volunteered 3,242 hours to 113 local nonprofit organizations.

North Salem State Bank

For 100 years North Salem State Bank has consistently embedded itself into the communities it serves and emphasizes its mission through the tagline, “Where Caring Still Counts.” In 2023 the bank proudly gave more than $500,000 by way of sponsorships and donated over $120,000 to charitable initiatives, with bank employees contributing more than 6,000 volunteer hours. In celebration of its 100th year in business, the bank made special monthly charitable contributions to organizations throughout its footprint deemed crucial for community betterment, such as fairgrounds, police departments, community foundations and more. North Salem State Bank believes that banking is not just about financial transactions but being deeply woven into the fabric of the community.

Northwest Bank, Warren, Pennsylvania

Northwest Bank fosters a strong sense of community by prioritizing local engagement and social responsibility. In 2023 the bank provided support to several community organizations throughout the state, including the Muncie Mission, South Bend’s Village to Village, Indianapolis Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Fort Wayne Boys and Girls Club and more. Through the Northwest Bank Foundation, more than $1.9 million was contributed to community organizations through charitable giving and sponsorships. The bank sees itself as a community partner rather than just another business in the area. Not only does the bank have the power to help people reach their financial goals, but it also recognizes its ability to improve lives through community service.

STAR Bank, Fort Wayne

STAR Bank is deeply committed to being good neighbors and supporting its communities in central and northeast Indiana by investing time and money in volunteer help and financial aid. Specifically, the bank’s philanthropy is focused on education, arts and economic development, with about 80% of the bank’s charitable giving falling within those pillars. In 2023 the bank committed more than $400,000 to over 80 organizations across its footprint. Employees are given eight hours of paid volunteer time per year to serve at local organizations in need; 111 employees volunteered over 645 hours to various area organizations in 2023. The bank operates on the core belief of “Growing by Serving,” both corporately and at an individual level.

WesBanco Bank, Wheeling, West Virginia

WesBanco Bank’s vision is to create greater economic opportunities for the communities it serves that will provide the dignity of affordable housing, the empowerment of financial inclusion, the strength of successful businesses and the sustainability of vibrant communities. Within its Indiana footprint, employees provided technical assistance or financial education totaling over 560 hours with more than 30 organizations, and financial literacy efforts reached 806 students and adults, providing critical education to promote financial inclusion. The bank also partners with governmental and nonprofit agencies to provide special financing programs for home ownership, including down payment assistance programs, as well as flexible funding options for small businesses.

Thank you to the IBA-member banks that participated in the 2023 C2C Awards program! Nominations are now open for the 2024 Commitment to Community Awards. Entries will be split across three categories instead of two:

  • less than $750 million in assets;
  • $750 million-$3 billion in assets; and
  • more than $3 billion in assets.

Learn more and nominate your bank at

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