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American Banker named Centier, Peoples among best banks to work for in Indiana
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American Banker named Centier, Peoples among best banks to work for in Indiana

American Banker named Centier, Peoples among best banks to work for in Indiana

The Centier Bank headquarters in Merrillville

Centier Bank was named the Best Bank to Work For in Indiana and the 11th best nationwide by American Banker magazine, while Peoples Bank also was named one of the best banking workplaces in the country.

The trade publication covering the banking industry creates an annual list of the country's best workplaces that factors in surveys of workers, employee benefits and company policies. American Banker Magazine looks at leadership philosophy, recruitment, diversity, volunteering and charitable contributions. This year, it also looked at how financial institutions handled the coronavirus pandemic when naming the 85 top banks to workforce nationwide.

“Among other efforts, Centier Bank established a parent resource network over the summer in response to challenges many employees faced while adjusting to pandemic life," American Banker Magazine said. "Managed by human resources and hosted on the companywide intranet, the network gives employees a forum to request or offer help with navigating the sudden loss of childcare and classroom learning."

Centier Bank President and CEO Michael Schrage said COVID-19 derailed the bank's 125th anniversary celebration plan, but ultimately showed the "immense amount of strength, determination and camaraderie Centier Bank associates possess for one another, for clients, and the organization as a whole."

“To know that this recognition is in large part due to feedback from our associates means everything,” Schrage said. “We are working toward brighter days ahead — together — and are ecstatic to celebrate this recognition with gratitude.”

The pandemic has brought the bank's employees closer together to face unprecedented challenges, said Chrisanne Christ, senior partner in human resource development at Centier Bank.

“We made a commitment early on to show compassion and strength in supporting our associates with their unique needs around a crisis; they need to know their bank family stands with them no matter what,” Christ said. “We knew that family needs would come first, and flexibility would be essential. Our associates need to have job security and reassurance that we will be there with them, and sometimes all it takes is a manager asking, ‘How can I help support you right now?’”

Munster-based Peoples Bank also was named one of the three Best Banks to Work for in Indiana and the 73rd best in the country.

"Since the coronavirus outbreak began, employees at Peoples Bank can donate $10 to wear jeans for the week," American Banker said. "The company’s employee philanthropic organization then selects different charities to receive the funds each week. By mid-August, the bank had raised roughly $16,500 for organizations, such as food pantries, youth groups and shelters."

Gallery: Centier celebrates 125th anniversary

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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