First Merchants ranked # 1 major bank in Indiana two years in a row

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• For the second consecutive year, First merchant bank holds the # 1 spot for Best Large Indiana-Based Bank in Newsweek’s 2022 Best U.S. Banks.

Newsweek also ranked First Merchants Bank – Indiana’s second-largest financial services holding company – as a top bank in the United States for serving customers during tough times.

“We are honored to be recognized as Indiana’s Best Large Bank in 2022 and among the nation’s leading financial institutions,” said Mark Hardwick, CEO of First Merchants.

Newsweek has partnered with LendingTree to rank the nation’s top banks based on the quality of their savings and checking accounts, taking into account more than 50 different factors including fees, current interest rates and history, account conditions, consumer service features, satisfaction with mobile applications and banking profile, the statement said.

First Merchants has approximately $ 15.1 billion in assets and 106 banking centers in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

Jadira Hoptry, Director of Community Lending and Development for First Merchants Bank, was named the 2021 Indiana Bankers Association (IBA) Woman of the Year.

The award recognizes professional women who best demonstrate professional excellence, community service and a passion for helping other women reach their full potential, in banking or other fields, according to a statement.

Hoptry began her career in Indianapolis with Fifth Third Bank in 1998. She began her role with First Merchants in 2020.

Hoptry is a member of the board of directors of Prosperity Indiana, an organization that advocates for affordable housing, and chairs the organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She holds additional leadership roles at Bankable Powered by the Flagship Enterprise Center, Indiana Latino Institute, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and United Way.

Contestants for the 25th Annual Henry County Republican Club Speech Contest for High School Students on November 4 were (left to right) Seth Busby;  Dani Purvis;  Payton board;  Rajwinder Singh;  Jasmeen Kaurand Emma McDonald;  posing with pageant president Nate LaMar.

• On November 4, the Henry County Republican Club held its 25th annual high school speech contest. This year’s topic was: “How Afghanistan Was Lost? The results were as follows:

Champion: Seth Busby, senior, Shenandoah High School; son of Royce and Amber Busby of Jefferson Township.

Finalist: Rajwinder singh, second year, Blue River Valley High School; son of Balvir Singh and Beant Kaur of Prairie Township

Third place: Emma McDonald, second year, Blue River Valley; daughter of Jason and Jennifer McDonald of New Castle

Jasmeen Kaur, junior, Blue River Valley was also competing; Payton Plank, senior, New Castle High School, and Dani Purvis, first grade, New Castle.

• Muncie artist Tom heatherly won third place for Best of Show with his piece “Take Five” in the “Welcome Home” exhibit honoring veterans at the Anderson Museum of Art. The winners were announced at the Veterans Day opening reception on November 11. The exhibition will run until December 30.

Announcements of awards, scholarships and other honors awarded to residents and local entities can be sent to Robin Gibson at [email protected]