Chatham Opportunity INB Couldn’t Pass Up
By Marilyn Titone Schaefer
AVP, Communications Director
INB’s Chief Financial Officer Brett Tiemann calls the bank’s move to Chatham in 2002 “opportunistic.” That same year, bank leadership PLANNED to build the bank’s south and north branches, but Chatham just sort of fell into their laps.
“We got a call from the CEO of Palmer (a Chatham bank). He was looking to do other things and wondered if we were interested in acquiring the business. The opportunity made sense. It was a natural extension of who we were and where we were going.”
At the time, Palmer Bank was located in a strip mall at 414 W. Main. Brett said, “We decided to build a new branch partly because we owned the lot at Plummer and Route 4. We thought it could serve our customer base and allow for growth.”
Personal Banker Becky Beadle was one of the Palmer employees who transitioned to INB. She added that the INB management team was very thorough and made the entire staff feel welcome. And as the new building was being constructed, they took a trip every Friday to the new location to see the progress. “It was very impressive,” she remembered. “A lot of people didn’t even know we were in the old location because it didn’t even look like a bank!”
She said of the experience, “INB gave us more opportunity and chances to do other things.” The staff was especially impressed with the technology updates like online banking and debit cards “And,” Becky added, “we didn’t have to roll our own coins anymore! We got a machine.”
Just as employees easily made the switch from Palmer to INB, Becky said customers who had lived in Chatham for years made the transition, too. “Customers were concerned when this new bank came to town,” she explained. “But INB was a community bank like Palmer had been. The employees were the same.” The change worked out well for everyone.
Branch Manager Kelly Raison assures everything continues to work well. “We have such wonderful customers,” said Kelly. “They are like family. We know their spouses and their dogs. They always ask what’s going on in our lives. We talk about their kids.”
Kelly said becoming “family” means going out of their way to help customers. “For example, we had an elderly client who could no longer drive. We picked her up and drove her to the bank so she can get the cash she needed for the month. . . She really became part of our family.”
Kelly said one customer routinely brings things in for her boys. Others share vacation pictures or simply let the staff know they’ve made it home safely from a trip. “And they call and check on OUR vacations. So they keep track of us as much as we keep track of them.”
As Kelly summarized it, “Our products and services may be the same as somewhere else, but you have to come to INB to get us. . .You just get a great feeling when you bank with INB.”
Our employees get a reciprocal vibe from the Chatham community. Chatham resident and INB Mortgage Lender Todd Weir often works out of our Chatham location. He said, “I’ve lived here 19 years, and new housing doesn’t seem to stop.”
Because of the service he provides to the community, Todd said he’s pretty well-known in the community. “My kids count how many people I talk to when we go out.” The number is understandably high when you consider Todd estimates providing the lending package to between 4 and 500 Chatham homeowners. Just days before this interview, he’d closed a mortgage for a 74-year-old and 75-year-old couple who were buying their first home ever. “The woman cried. It was hard not to shed a tear with her.”
He said, “I have a great job. I get paid to help people’s dreams come true.”
And he can do that right from his hometown of Chatham.