When Walt Disney designed the original Disneyland Resort, he famously emphasized two central themes— a family-focused experience, and a totally immersive atmosphere.
Mike Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank, invoked Disney’s vision in his celebratory remarks to the crowd gathered outside the company’s newest Michigan City branch Thursday evening, to illustrate what makes Centier thrive.
“It’s all about the experience,” Schrage said. “We hire people that have serving in their hearts.”
Over 10 years in the making, the opening ceremony at the Michigan City office marks the 62nd of such occasions in the bank’s 124-year history throughout the region. Henry Schrage, Mike’s great-grandfather, opened the first Centier Bank on April 21, 1895 in Whiting, IN.
"We're a hometown bank, a family bank for four generations, and that makes a big difference,” he said. "We're in it for the long haul and we're going to be here for the community for a very long time."
During the first two weeks of the branch’s soft open, Michigan City Branch Manager and Centier Bank Officer Pia Parrott said she has been overwhelmed by the welcome they have received from residents.
"It just warms my heart,” she said. “Centier's whole goal is to create that welcoming feeling, and for it to be reciprocated back to us is just the best feeling in the world."
The best part of her job, Parrott said, are the opportunities it provides to help people, and she is deeply honored to take on a leadership role at the new location.
To demonstrate Centier Bank’s dedication and commitment to their new neighbors, part of each new branch’s opening ceremony includes presenting a charitable donation to a local service organization. Brandi Lewis, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Club of Michigan City, accepted Thursday’s contribution to the city.
"Centier is so gracious,” Lewis said. “We're so glad to have them in our community. We just can't thank them enough. This money will help to ensure that our after-school program continues, and also that we're available on days when school is not in session."
With the upcoming expansion of Michigan City’s lakefront space, the opening of a new bank sends a strong positive signal to potential developers moving into the area, explained City of Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer.
“Centier Bank is an all-purpose banking institution. It's always good to have more of those in your community because it shows that the community is thriving,” Meer said. "The investment that they've put into Michigan City is great."
Together with Clarence Hulse, Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City (EDCMC), Centier Bank Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President Michael Bober worked hard to get the word out about the evening’s celebration and the new branch.
"It's amazing to see the community of Michigan City coming out to see Centier Bank," Bober said.
"We see a lot of opportunities that Michigan City has to offer, and being a part of that is going to be fantastic," he continued. "We're excited to be here.”
Centier Bank invites everyone to come visit its newest Michigan City branch, located at 5501 Franklin St., Michigan City, Indiana 46360. For more information about Centier’s banking services available around the Region, visit their website at https://www.centier.com/.