INB-Peoria Celebrates 10 Years
By Marilyn Titone Schaefer
AVP, Communications Director
Adam Lofgren was a little nervous about coming to INB as a Peoria mortgage lender. After all, his dad, John, would have the office next door. But INB was asking Adam to join the team and work day-to-day with his father. This might seem like an unusual move for most banks. But Adam saw it differently. “INB is innovative and is open to new ways of thinking. So they wanted to take a chance on someone like me.”
John says Adam was exposed to mortgage lending since he was born – John owned his own lending business at the time. Eighteen years later, Adam headed to the University of Illinois. After graduation, he went back to his hometown of Peoria but didn’t enter the mortgage business. John says, “I think that was a good move. He needed to see what else he could do.”
Since coming to INB in 2013, Adam and John have turned INB into a top mortgage lender in the area. Adam says, “It’s been exciting to be part of something that has grown in a socially responsible way.” Stacy Borho joined this mortgage duo in 2015.
When INB opened its Peoria Branch at 7535 N. Knoxville in 2007, mortgage lending wasn’t the focus. We opened a full-service branch, meaning we were able to take deposits from commercial customers who made up the bulk of our early Peoria business. According to Al Covington, recently retired commercial loan officer, when he and another colleague approached INB executives about opening a branch, INB was very receptive. “We recruited them,” Al says of INB. “They were highly thought of, and we knew we could make this work for them.”
Not long after, Al was leaving one employer and helping customers transition to INB. “One of INB’s smartest decisions was to open a full-service branch here immediately upon coming into the market.” He and a colleague were able to bring in $5 million in deposits the first month.
Al says the move into the building on Knoxville was seamless as the location had previously been a bank, and it came fully furnished.
Shortly thereafter, Pam Cain was hired to work the retail side of banking and Kim Turk joined to help with commercial accounts.
Pam, now our Peoria branch manager, says she made the decision to come to INB because she wanted to work for a bank that made decisions locally. “I wanted to be somewhere where we cared about customers and their families.” It was a bit of a homecoming as well; she had worked out of the Knoxville location when it was another bank.
While our Peoria Branch started with a strong commercial emphasis, mortgage lending came into the mix during the early years with John Lofgren leading the way.
John says one of the biggest misconceptions people have about Peoria is that it’ a rural community. “Peoria is really a big, little town,” he says.
Adam is more direct. “It’s not a farming town. It’s a city.”
Adam is happy to now be working as a mortgage loan officers for INB in this city. “We have competitive rates and low fees. You won’t get better service anywhere. We under-promise and over-deliver. We do the right things for people.” He adds, “I find joy in helping first-time homeowners. Pure joy.”
Al Covington has found similar joy. Working for INB for the last 10 years of his 50-year banking career, he looks back with pride as he turns day-to-day management over to Commercial Lender Trip James. Being interviewed in his new office – Al’s former office – Trip explains he’s now sitting where he was once interviewed from. “I remember telling Al about the difficulties I was having with my current employer. Al laughed and said he had the same experiences before joining INB.
In making his decision, Trip says it came down to how he wanted to be remembered at the end of his own career. “Did I want to be ‘Trip the good guy who couldn’t give us a loan?’ or ‘Trip the good guy who was able to make the loan we needed?’” He chose the latter, believing with INB he’d be able to say “yes,” more than “no.” He says he understood from the beginning going into the position he couldn’t just promise everyone a loan, but liked the idea that he would have a voice in the discussions.
“The sky’s the limit as to where we go from here,” Trip concludes. “I know I’ve found my calling. I like what I do.”