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What about Bernie? Supporters say media gives Sanders short shrift

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 3:06 pm

When Bernie Sanders takes the stage Tuesday night for his first Democratic presidential debate, he'll be guaranteed something that hasn't always easy for him to come by: A national audience of millions.

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  • Who Says You Can't Have Fun at Work?

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

    If asked how you would describe where you work, what would you say? If you asked me I would say challenging, caring, and fun. Yes, I said fun. Sometimes work is a place where employees take a deep breath before walking through the door each morning reciting affirmations to simply get them through the day. Not me. When I walk through the door each morning of MutualBank, I think of how thankful I am for working at a great organization who challenges me to produce my best work.

    Core values of Class, Character, Compassion, and Competition are engrained in each MutualBank employee from day one. Somewhere in these core values you will find that fun is intertwined. Culture plays a big part in this. Top leaders know that a job needs to get done, customer relationships are vital, shareholders want to see a return, and employees are more likely to do these things well when they are having a little fun.

    It’s okay to talk about having fun at work – it’s not a forbidden topic. Heck, this past Monday was national “have fun at work day”. This national "have fun at work day" indicates that having fun at work is an important piece of the workday. So what do MutualBank employees do to have fun at work?

    To answer the above question in detail would take more than this blog will allow, so I’ll give you a couple examples, and pictures, of employees having fun at Mutual.

    The Bank has a dedicated committee to ensure all employees have opportunities to have fun. Mind you, managers in our organization understand the importance of the fun factor and make sure it happens in their department when there isn’t an organized event taking place.

    Let’s start with employee luncheons. Luncheons are held and some sort of activity is usually planned. Activities have included three-legged races, corn hole tournaments, cookouts, and even piñata busting. Recently, MutualBankers wore MutualBank UCrew shirts to celebrate our MutualMan Super Hero. Not only did employees wear the t-shirts, they took pictures as a department wearing the attire with an opportunity to win a prize for creativity. See our Human Resources Department below:

    At least once a month employees wear jeans with a donation to local community non-profits. Departments often take advantage of popular events like the Super Bowl to sport their favorite team’s colors and decorate their departments. The most recent took place in our Kosciusko County. In their annual United Way fundraising campaign employees created “Call Me Maybe” videos to tout the Call 211 feature of the United Way. This was cool and I guarantee they had fun making it! Check out the Syracuse Financial Center video where employees from different parts of the company were included. 

    The list could go on and on! The fun even extends outside of the workday and includes company parties, coffee and canvas events, and a picnic where employees had a chance to sink our Bank President in a dunk tank.

    The career I’ve had at MutualBank, going strong for 13 years now, has been and will continue to be, fulfilling because I like to have fun while getting my work done. Going to work shouldn’t be work – it should be fun! If you are interested in a career and having fun at it, then I would encourage you to check out our career opportunities. MutualBank is always looking for the brightest, most creative and fun individuals to help our customers live a better life. Now, ask yourself again how you would describe your place of employment. If you want to have fun while being challenged to get results then MutualBank just might be the place for you. 

  • The Mind of a Commercial Lender

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Have you ever wondered what it is that your banker is really looking for when they talk with you about a credit request?  Well, wonder no more, I invite you into the brain of a commercial lender (enter with caution as it is a scary place!) 

    1. Have you developed and maintained an ongoing business relationship with your banker?   Bankers need to have an ongoing dialogue with clients to best serve their needs.  We are here to provide money, certainly, but we are also here to establish a long term relationship whereby we can help our clients achieve their goals.  Whether it is remote deposit or online banking, ACH or wire transfers, your banker has the products and services that can help our customers grow.  But we cannot do that if we do not know what those goals are.
    2. Does your business need a loan -- or an equity infusion?  Banks are interested in making loans; they are not interested in being the owners of the business.  Equity is that device that helps a business weather a storm, loans are those tools that help a business grow and operate.  The two are mutually exclusive.  Banks are in business to make loans.  Equity funds should come from the business owners.
    3. Can you clearly explain your firm’s “value proposition?”  If you cannot explain why a business should do business with you then stop what you are doing, figure that out, and then resume whatever it was that you were doing.  Why should someone buy from you as opposed to your competition?  That question needs to be clearly (and concisely) articulated first!
    4. Do you have a plan that covers the good, the bad, and the ugly?  Things happen, and sometimes you have to figure out what that means for your business.  To always assume the “good” means that when the “bad,” or worse yet, the “ugly” happens the business isn’t prepared to handle the outcome.  So . . . what are you going to do in your company if it gets “ugly”?  If you can answer that question you will be in much better shape to help your banker help you.
    5. Have you developed at least two ways to repay the loan?  Bankers have an axiom that goes like this “only cash repays loans.”  There, that is our great big secret.  Now that you know that then you know how we view the primary source of repayment.  But how else can the loan be paid off if the cash isn’t being generated for some reason (see point #4 above).  If you can demonstrate how else the loan might be repaid you have helped the bank and they in turn can be more helpful to you. 

    So now that you have seen into the mind of a commercial lender I hope you will take away from this discussion that it isn’t too scary a thought process.  Indeed, the more certainty that the banker has that the loan will be paid “as agreed,” the more likely that you will not only receive a favorable loan decision, but also the best interest rate. 

    Your MutualBankers are here to help you accomplish your goal. Get started by contacting a MutualBanker near you!


    Chris Caldwell is Senior Vice President of Business Banking for MutualBank.

  • Giving is the Spirit of MutualBank

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    Winston Churchill said:

    “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” 

    Giving is the spirit of MutualBank. We have four values which guide how we do business: Character, Compassion, Class and Competition. MutualBank has had a long standing history of giving back to the communities we live and work in, but our Jeans Day program goes beyond a company gift. It’s an opportunity for MutualBank employees to ‘make a life’.

    Inevitably when you talk with someone who runs a nonprofit, they always say their greatest need is money. Our Outreach Committee found a way to meet the greatest need of the local nonprofits while giving our employees the opportunity to make a difference.  The Outreach Committee decided to incorporate a monthly "Jeans Day". Jeans days occur on the last Friday of the month and it costs an employee at least $5.00 to participate. The benefit to the employee is that they get to wear jeans to work. Bankers are typically traditional and conservative, so this is a step outside the box! The benefit to our community; however, is greater than we imagined.

    A bank of our size, $1.4 billion, typically has a plan for sponsorships and certain organizations they support year after year. The best part about the Jeans Days is that the beneficiary of the funds, for each of the counties we serve (Delaware, Randolph, Grant, Wabash, Kosciusko, Elkhart, St. Joseph counties) are local to each county. Some months, the funds go to a national effort, like the American Red Cross, but the funds stay local in each of the communities we serve. Other months, the funds are given to different nonprofits who serve a certain segment of our community footprint. Either way, the funds, with the exception of one Jeans Day in 2012, stay in the county in which they were raised.

    The one month I am referencing when funds did not stay in the counties we serve was in March 2012. In early spring, there was a horrible tornado in Southern Indiana, near Henryville, that leveled the town. It was one of the most devastating natural disasters our state has seen.  As a result, we had an “Emergency Jeans Day” to help our fellow Hoosiers in their time of need. Proceeds from this effort went to the American Red Cross to aid those Hoosiers in need.

    We believe by giving our employees the opportunity to show compassion, we are helping them ‘make a life’.  We are proud of our employees and the impact they have on the communities we serve.   It is our pleasure to share that in 2012, our employees have helped over 20 different organizations raising $14,264.03!

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