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First Merchants Bank announces dividend, new board member

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First Merchants Bank announces dividend, new board member

First Merchants Bank branch in Munster.

First Merchants Bank declared a cash dividend and named a new board member.

The Muncie-based bank, the second largest in Indiana with an extensive footprint in the Region, will pay 32 cents per share on June 17 for anyone who owned shares as of June 3.

First Merchants, the successor to First Financial Bank in Munster, named Patrick J. Fehring to the board. He is transiting away from his leadership roles as president and CEO of Level One Bank, which First Merchants acquired.

“The First Merchants Board of Directors is proud to welcome Mr. Fehring,” Board Chairman Charles E. Schalliol said. “Patrick’s financial services expertise and commitment to southeastern Michigan communities will serve our shareholders and customers well as First Merchants continues to grow and expand.”

Fehring ran Level One Bank since it was founded in suburban Detroit in 2007.

“Experienced bankers like Pat Fehring have always been an important voice in our board room. I'm thankful that Pat is willing to serve, and that Southeast Michigan will be well represented," First Merchants Bank CEO Mark K. Hardwick said.

Fehring also spent 27 years with Fifth Third Bancorp, serving as president of its operations in eastern Michigan. He's a graduate of Miami University in Ohio who is active in the community, also serving on the boards of Ascension Health Michigan and the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.

“I am honored to accept this position and join such a distinguished group of professional leaders,” said Fehring. “The merger with First Merchants is a strong match of corporate cultures, values and commitment to exceptional customer service. This development only reaffirms that compatibility. First Merchants’ current trajectory of performance and growth presents enormous potential, and I look forward to contributing to continued momentum and success.”

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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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