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We are so proud of our employees. Many of our employees dedicate time to organizations and groups outside the walls of MutualBank to extend our vision of helping people live better lives. This past week, one of our employees was honored by the dedication, time and efforts he spent giving back.
Greg Binkerd, Financial Center Manager at MutualBank’s 15 North Financial Center in Warsaw, was named the Warsaw/Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year! Greg has been a tireless worker for the Chamber, lending a helping hand at everything from their special events to member outreach and retention.
MutualBank would like to take a moment to thank Greg for his dedication to the Warsaw and Kosciusko County community. We appreciate all you do to help people live better lives!
Pictured: (L to R) Greg Binkerd and Mark Dobson, Chamber President
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “culture” as the beliefs, customers, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place or time.
The MutualBank culture has always been one to support our community and particularly our local United Way agencies. You might be wondering “Why support the United Way?” or “Why not just support the non-profits directly?”
As a financial institution, we get asked for sponsorships and donations all throughout the year. There are many great causes in Indiana and especially within our footprint. Unfortunately, we cannot financially support each one of these efforts. Certainly we wish we could, but we cannot. It is because of this conundrum that we have a culture of supporting the United Way.
In short, United Way acts like a funnel for funds donated. It gathers and pools together as many of the resources that are available in the community. Then it takes a look at the areas of greatest need and distribute funds back out. While we are involved in our communities, we are not a non-profit who fills a void in the community. As economies change, so do the needs. As companies close, schools consolidate or demographics change, the needs in our community change. The United Way keeps a pulse on those changes, enabling opportunities for the needs of our direct community to be met.
MutualBank’s vision is to help people live better lives. We do that by helping our customers and communities receive banking products and services that align with their lifestyle. We help by living out our “Four C’s”: Character, Compassion, Class and Competition. But we also live out our vision by impacting the community around us in a positive way. In 2013, I think we did just that.
Across our footprint (Delaware, Elkhart, Grant, Kosciusko, Randolph, St. Joseph and Wabash counties), MutualBank is contributing $117,800 to the United Way! The donations came from MutualBank employee donations, MutualBank retiree donations and a donation through the MutualBank Charitable Foundation. This shows through each individual donation, we can come together with one purpose of helping people. Just like the United Way, we can join efforts to make brighter headlines and lasting impact.
A special “Thank You” to MutualBank employees from Pat Botts,
MutualBank President and COO:
“I am consistently amazed at the generosity our staff shows towards people who need us. Thanks for making this a great place to call home!”
Thank you for believing in the MutualBank culture of helping people live better lives. Thank you for being generous with your time and resources so that we can make a lasting impact on the communities where we work, live and play.
(From L to R): MutualBank Senior Vice President and United Way Campaign Chair, Chris Caldwell and CEO and Executive Director of the United Way of Delaware County, Jenni Marsh.
Scavenger Hunt was a very funny 1979 movie about settling the will of fictional game maker “Milton Parker”. Various groups of potential heirs- family, servants, and other acquaintances- had to play Mr. Parker’s final game, a scramble to find items on a scavenger hunt list to accumulate the most points in order to be sole heir of his fortune.
After many humorous adventures acquiring the items it looked as though Mr. Parker’s greedy sister would win but the other groups gave their items to the more deserving granddaughter who won and shared the fortune with all but the greedy sister.
It was a lesson in how people can come together under adverse circumstances, overcome greed, and be happier for it. Unfortunately in real life the loss of a loved one is very serious and settling an estate can often be very difficult for those left behind.
Administering an estate is a demanding and complex business that can take months or years to complete. Executors (also called personal representatives) must know how to locate and place a value on all of your assets such as bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, and personal property and to determine and pay all debts and claims against your estate.
The executor must work with your attorney to open the estate, manage, maintain and protect your property and investments while the estate is being settled, calculate and pay all taxes and file tax returns, distribute your assets as directed and give an accurate final accounting if required.
Your executor should not be emotionally involved in the situation. For an already distraught relative or friend the job can be overwhelming. In addition, a relative or friend acting as executor might create family conflicts, jealously, or mistrust. Appointing a neutral, unbiased third party eliminates the potential for this type of trouble.
Your executor must be competent and experienced in settling estates and should be trained in investments, tax law, business, and accounting.
Your executor must always be available. Will an individual executor be in good health and nearby when needed possibly many years later? An executor who lives in a different city or co-executors who live in separate states will find it difficult to complete the tasks on a timely basis.
Your executor is held legally and financially responsible and must have the resources to correct or compensate for any errors.
MutualWealth Management Group will always be available to carry out your wishes as expressed in your will efficiently and effectively unaffected by inexperience, biases or family pressures.
In order to have the professionals in our MutualWealth Management Group administer your estate, contact your attorney and have MutualBank named as your executor or personal representative; or contact us and we will help you gather the information you need before visiting your attorney.
This blog was brough to you by David Riggs, Vice President and Trust Investment Officer with the MutualWealth Management Group.
Not too long ago I saw a post on MutualBank’s Facebook page of a picture of three deer at our Bethel Financial Center in Muncie and the caption read, “Deer need banking, too.” I thought this was a pretty neat picture and post. I know it’s the time of year for deer to be out and about. Deer have been on my mind recently, believe it or not, and the above-mentioned Facebook post was just one of the reasons. And no, I’m not a hunter. You see, I just turned 36 and I remember 20 years ago finally snagging my driver’s license. My Dad gave me a lot of advice but not necessarily about driving. I grew up in one of ‘those’ families who let their kids drive at an early age, dating back to sitting on Dad’s lap and him working the pedals with me at the wheel. Looking back, I’m sure Dad probably had a hand ready to take the wheel, but he chose to give me that experience and showed me trust even at an early age.
You’re probably reading and thinking what in the heck does this have to do with banking. Well, not much, but it does have a lot to do with experience, advice, and learning. The advice Dad gave me at 16 still runs through my head today. One piece of Dad’s advice was, “When it starts to rain, oil raises to the top of the pavement and the road will get slick.” Another was, “Keep an eye out for other drivers. At night, don’t rely on looking for headlights, look harder and make sure there are no cars coming when you turn on to a busy road.” Receiving my license in a rural town in Indiana during harvest season led him to give me one additional piece of advice, “When it is harvest season, deer are scared because of all of the farm equipment. Many deer are in the fields and will run across the road to get away from the tractors. Keep an eye out for deer.”
I recently told Dad as we were driving late at night, “Dad, you know one thing I never forget is you telling me during this time of year, keep an eye for deer.” We chuckled and had a moment that is kind of cool for a young man, at one time a little boy, to share with his father. It was special to let him know that his seemingly insignificant advice wasn’t insignificant at all. Just a few moments later as we approached a curve there stood three deer right beside the road. We both emphatically said – “look there, right there they are!” We again chuckled at my coincidental earlier comment. I listened to my Dad’s advice.
A few weeks later I was teaching a customer service class at MutualBank. A piece of this two-day training is lunch with our COO the first day and our CEO the second day. During our CEO’s presentation he talked about experience as a key component to growth and development. That’s when he made a comment that struck me and it brought all of my driving experience and my Dad’s advice to the forefront of my mind. Dave, our CEO said, “I had a mentor, the President before me, who said, ‘Dave, you can only get 10 years experience in 10 years’.” This comment, this simple truth, was profound. It’s true. Dad had several years of experience that he imparted on me as I started driving. As simple as it may be, it made a difference to me. Sometimes we need a mentor, someone to guide us and give us advice to help us grow personally and professionally. I’ve had several influential individuals, like my Dad, my previous managers, current manager, co-workers and friends who have given me great personal and professional advice. I’m thankful after 14 years of working at MutualBank for the advice, experience, and opportunities I have been given.
If you are looking for a great organization that believes in its employees and gives them opportunities to gain experience, then I would encourage to look at working at MutualBank. We are defined by core values of Character, Compassion, Class, and Competition. I can relate each of these to my personal and professional life and even to that great advice my Dad gave me as young driver hitting the road for the first time alone. Ready to grow, learn, and work for a great organization? MutualBank might be the right fit for you!
This blog is brought to you by Chase Batt, Assistant Vice President and Training Manager at MutualBank.
Well, yes, technically, it IS a four letter word. But I think you know what I mean.
In today’s world, people cringe at the word “budget”. It is synonymous with “belt-tightening”, “frugalness” etc. All words that make the American consumer love for spending groan. Insert eye-roll here.
A high percentage of the American people live paycheck to paycheck. Some don’t know what most of their money is spent on.
With a little planning and budgeting, looking ahead and making solid changes can be pretty simple to do. Here are a few tips to help in this process.
The key to this is making it work for you. Not all budgeting programs work for everyone. Make sure you give yourself some grace. Changes to lifestyle don’t happen overnight. Allow yourself some “free” money. Get your kids involved. Make it a game. There are lots of things to do with this so you can get a better handle on your finances.
Remember, planning may not be something that comes naturally to all, but it can be learned.
This blog is brought to you by Debra Jones-Price, Financial Center Manager at MutualBank's Bethel Financial Center in Muncie, Indiana.
There was a book written in 1995 entitled The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do about It. The author premises that many businesses fail due to a lack of proper management of the company. This comes as a result of the owner being pulled in too many directions while trying to help his or her business truly succeed. At its core, the author suggests that more companies need someone who will work "on" the business instead of "in" the business.
So, what does this look like?
For many companies this means that the owner needs to find good partners to work with. Does the company have a trusted CPA advisor that he or she can turn to with accounting questions? Is there good legal advice that can help in situations whereby good counsel can ultimately save a company money through better contracts? And, does the company have a good relationship with a Business Banker?
What can your Business Banker do for you?
For starters, the Business Banker can provide a wealth of knowledge. Often, the lender has had experiences with others who may be in similar lines of business. As such, he or she can use the past to help the business owner by asking some tough questions. Tough questions, such as:
Business Bankers have access to a variety of resources as well that can help the company owner understand how his or her company compares to others in the same industry throughout the country with the same sales volumes or history. This comparative data can help drive additional analysis of process, procedures, and sales tactics, all good discussions to be having with your banker.
And that's not all your Business Banker can do for you. He or she can introduce you to other clients that might have synergistic opportunities. For example, if they have a body shop client, they might be able to introduce that client to all of their various insurance agents with whom they work. "I'd like to introduce you to Bob. He has a great body shop business and I know that he can help your clients with their car repair needs." The body shop client benefits, the insurance agent has another good source for taking care of his or her clients, and of course, the additional business ultimately benefits the bank's client which is good for the bank. When was the last time that you asked your Business Banker for a referral?
Finally, the Business Banker ultimately has his or her clients' interest at heart. If the relationship (and I use the word "relationship" intentionally here) is not beneficial to both parties, then ultimately, it is not good for either. It is in the bank's and the client's best interests to have a "mutual admiration society" between each other. When a bank's client is happy and feels good about the service and advice he or she is getting from the bank's lenders, then they win. And if the bank's client wins, then ultimately, the bank wins as well. Both should feel this is a great relationship and that they are mutually looking out for one another's interests.
So, as a business owner, do you have the right banking relationship to help you focus "on" and not "in" your business? If not, then ask the tough questions of your banker.
This blog is brought to you by Senior Vice President and Business Banking Manager, Chris Caldwell.
Autumn always represents a time of change in Indiana. Leaves change colors, temperatures cool down, and the humidity finally drops to a tolerable level. For many companies, autumn also brings changes in health insurance. Open enrollment opportunities provide employees the chance to explore new health care options to maximize their benefits and protect against hardship. In addition, changing health care laws have brought the topic of health insurance to the forefront of many consumers’ minds.
One health insurance option that has steadily gained popularity over the years is the Health Savings Account (HSA). In fact, research conducted by wealth and investment management company Devenir showed that HSA numbers across the country reached 9.1 million accounts in July of 2013. Paired with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), the HSA presents a more affordable option for employers and an excellent way for employees to save money for healthcare expenses.
Thinking about opening an HSA? Here are a few tips and benefits:
High Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts are great options for many consumers, but the choice of health insurance should not be made alone. Excellent resources include your employer’s Human Resources department, an insurance representative, or a professional tax advisor.
This blog was brought to you by Jared Matchette, Deposit Product Analyst at MutualBank.
Scammers are everywhere. It's easy to be tricked into sharing personal information with someone who shouldn't receive it. We have learned that customers of some banks and credit unions in Indiana are the target of scammers. Currently, MutualBank customers are not targeted, but it's important to be on guard.
What you need to know is that we will never call or email you asking for you to identify personal information. This includes information about your accounts, your personal identifying information, your debit or credit card information. If someone is calling or emailing you asking you to take action or provide information, please hang up immediately.
These kinds of scams are often called "Social Engineering". Check out our blog from 2012 called "Social Engineering...Don't Be Fooled and Keep Your Information Safe". This will help you protect your information and bank accounts if scammers target you.
If you have accidentally provided information about your debit or credit cards or your bank accounts to someone, please contact us immediately.
Call us at (800) 382-8031 or stop by a Financial Center near you.
Whether you own a small business or use your home computer for financial activities, you need to be aware of Email Phishing which can ultimately lead to identity theft and corruption of your small business and home computers.
What is Email Phishing?
Phishing emails are crafted to appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These emails often attempt to entice users to click on a link that will take the user to a fraudulent website that appears legitimate. – United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)
Common forms of Email Phishing
Phishing emails are becoming very personalized posing as your cable company, utilities, credit cards, mobile phone carrier, banks, and many more entities that you do business with on a regular basis. The most common threat of Email Phishing right now is malware. If you click on a link inside of an email that was intended for phishing; your computer can become infected with malware. The malware will attempt to steal your personal information, usernames and passwords to systems such as online banking.
Trigger events that can lead to Email Phishing
Here are some trigger events that fraudsters may try to leverage with Phishing Emails.
Here are some steps to take in order to protect you against Phishing.
Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concern for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog is brought to you by John Mickle of Risk Management and Compliance with MutualBank.
It was an ambush! As soon as I hit the top of the stairs, a flying set of bouncing pigtails sandwiched around a Cheshire Cat smile hit me with all of the boundless enthusiasm a third grade girl can muster. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” she beamed as she stuck out her tiny hand and vigorously shook mine. “I love the Boys & Girls Club! It’s my favorite place!”
The energetic greeter was representing the Boys & Girls Club of Elkhart, which the MutualBank Foundation helped launch with a seed grant. This past school year there were more than 500 young people enrolled in after school programming.
I am proud to say I was a part of the start-up team and Kathy Sears, a
Business Banker in our Elkhart office, currently serves on the board of directors.
There are many things I enjoy about my career with MutualBank, but one thing stands out above all the others. When we say "Go ahead … live a better life!"
- we mean it. No matter how big we grow or how far our footprint expands, we remain a community bank.
I came out of the non-profit world to join the MutualBank team in Elkhart County nearly six years ago and I still have a heart for service. I quickly discovered I was not alone. Our team is blessed with a bevy of servant leaders.
Many of us are in places you have come to expect to find your neighborhood bankers. We have board representatives with the chamber of commerce,
economic development committees and community foundations. MutualBank has a strong financial and volunteer presence with the United Way in all of our
Financial education, especially for young people, is a growing passion for our team. Chrystal Hurd, a Financial Center Manager at Western Avenue, leads an innovative program for grade school students in South Bend. Myra Nissley, a Teller Team Leader at our Syracuse Financial Center, visits schools in Syracuse. Georgette Miller, Financial Center Manager at Baldwin Avenue in Marion, volunteers with Jobs for America’s Graduates in Marion.
We are helping communities Go ahead in health and welfare. Chris Caldwell, Senior Vice President and Business Banking Manager, is board chairman for the Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana. Robyn Palmer, Client Relationship Manager for Elkhart County, holds the same position for
Combined Community Services in Kosciusko County and Jim Tinkey, Vice President and Business Banker is a long time member of the
K-21 Health Foundation in Warsaw.
Many more of our Mutual teammates roll up their sleeves and work behind the scenes. Among them, Jaime Faulkner, Communications Coordinator, cooks for the Muncie Mission and Martha Oprea, Trust Compliance Officer with MutualWealth, is a regular in the kitchen at the South Bend Center for the Homeless.
We have an appreciation for the arts. Chuck Viater, North Region President serves the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Gary Kern, CIO for Information Systems is active with the Muncie Civic Theatre and Lila Piper, Area Manager in Grant County, lends her time and talents to the Community School for the Arts in Marion.
There are many, many others. MutualBank volunteers have helped build Habitat homes and have braved cold winter nights in a tent with the local Boys Scouts. They have walked in the Relay for Life and driven for Meals on Wheels. You will find them at college football games and at the local little league park.
Go ahead … live a better life! And when you need us, we will be there.
This blog is provided by Vince Turner, Regional Manager for Elkhart and