Campagna saves money with refinance aided by local banks

2013-09-06T07:00:00Z 2013-09-06T22:01:07Z Campagna saves money with refinance aided by local banksDiane Poulton Times Correspondent
September 06, 2013 7:00 am  • 

SCHERERVILLE | For more than six decades Campagna Academy, a nonprofit social service agency, has provided help and hope to troubled youth and their families in Northwest Indiana.

Now it is Campagna’s turn to receive assistance in the form of a $2.7 million participation loan agreement through seven local banks and a nonprofit community development financial institutions.

The loan refinanced the balance on an existing loan for the agency’s 41,500-square-foot Hope Center, which opened in fall 2008 and houses girls who are in residential treatment.

Campagna CEO Elena Dwyre said the new loan offers more favorable lending terms. The increased cash flow gives Campagna the ability to expand services by developing additional programs, Dwyre said.

“A combination of paying off the bond debt early and the terms of the new loan agreement results in $20,000 of additional liquidity each month, which allows us to add new programs, expand current services and enhance quality of care,” Dwyre said. “Like many businesses, municipalities and other not-for-profit social services agencies, Campagna felt the financial pinch from the deep and prolonged recession which led to reduced state funding and corporate giving.

"Despite those daunting factors, Campagna persevered by reinventing itself, diversifying its program offerings, increasing its geographic scope and rejuvenating its support base throughout the Northwest Indiana communities it serves," Dwyre said.

Peoples Bank was the lead bank for the refinance with American Savings, Centier Bank, Citizens Financial Bank, First Financial Bank, First Midwest Bank, First National Bank/Wintrust, and IFF, a nonprofit financial institution, also participating.

People’s Bank Executive Vice President John Diederich said he was glad to be involved in the restructure of Campagna’s loan.

“Campagna has long been recognized for their outreach and the programs and services they provide to the youth and their families of Northwest Indiana,” Diederich said. “Unfortunately, they were caught in a changing business model from DCS (Indiana Department of Child Services) and needed help. We were very impressed with the leadership team at Campagna and their ability to change direction, develop a sound business plan and begin the execution of that business plan over a number of months.”

Diederich said the lending institutions believed their efforts afforded a long-standing institution a stronger position to provide and expand much-needed services for local youth.

“When we support the growth and development of organizations such as Campagna, we are serving side by side with our friends and neighbors in a collective effort to invest in and sustain the well-being of our communities," Diederich said.

First Financial Bank Market President Michael Schneider concurred.

“It's a really great thing when a number of local institutions can work together for a good cause. There have been so many positive developments for Campagna recently and we look forward to their future successes," Schneider said.

Campagna Academy’s Chief Financial Officer David Cowser said the refinancing process began about a year ago.

“We started out with 13 lenders discussing the details and while participation loans are not unusual in our region, generally there are fewer lenders involved,” Cowser said.

Campagna Academy currently serves more than 500 at-risk children, youth and families.

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