When the opportunity was presented to Phil Ratliff to work at INB for a second time, he didn’t hesitate.

“I came to INB after a couple of years at another local bank because it was a chance to yet again work with people who I had been around in my seven years with First of America Bank and National City Bank,” said Phil, vice president of loan operations at INB. “It was an opportunity to remove myself from an environment that was somewhat oppressive to one that encouraged growth. . . .The culture at INB is one that encourages people to be themselves and to work together.”

For those celebrating their service anniversaries with INB in the 4th quarter of 2016, the culture of the company is what continues to come up in conversation as they reflect back on their years.

“INB has always had a culture of progressive thinking and forward movement,” said Mike Jones, ATM analyst. “I consider my coworkers as part of my family, and when you all work as a team, you can accomplish much.”

Mike and Phil are two employees celebrating 15 years working at INB in 2016’s 4th quarter, along with Donna Smith, Norma Conrady, and Kenny Taylor. William Roscetti, Hope McKenzie, Tony Gavin and Sheila Brackensick are commemorating 10 years with the bank, while Missy Rhymes, Dave Kienzler and Cayla Keyes are celebrating their 5th anniversary.

Looking Forward to Work

What exactly is it about the environment at INB that makes employees look forward to coming to work?

“I can honestly say that INB has been the best company I have ever worked for,” said Cayla, assistant vice president/branch manager at INB’s 6th Street branch. “They care, not only about their employees, but also about their customers. They stand by their mission and purpose, and they are generous to everyone involved. They invest in our customers, our communities, and most definitely our employees. INB is a company that other companies should strive to be, and I am forever grateful to be a part of such an amazing bank!”

A large component of culture is company leadership, and Tony Gavin, commercial loan officer/CRA officer, pointed to the growth he’s seen at INB during his 10 years of employment.

“When there was a change in leadership a few years back, some difficult decisions were made, and the new leadership recognized some key areas in which we needed to grow,” he recalled. “They brought in the necessary people to facilitate this, and the bank as a whole improved dramatically. It is notable to have the kind of leaders who consistently strive to learn, grow and ask for help for the betterment of the entire company.”

Dave Kienzler, credit analyst for INB, said he is thrilled by the remarkable growth at the bank over his five years.

“As the bank closes out another record year, I am excited to witness firsthand the commercial loan growth and am excited for the next five years,” he said. “It seems that every year is better than the last.”

Teamwork Makes Work Work

“I cannot recall a day that I have been here that we have not pulled together and worked as a team to accomplish any task that needed done,” agreed Missy, who serves as assistant vice president/executive assistant for portfolio management. “The work environment and the friendships made are what makes my days here enjoyable.”

Growth at the bank stems not only from a business focus but also from community involvement, Hope McKenzie pointed out.

“We are true leaders in the community from the churches and boards our employees serve on to the work we do every year with United Way,” she said. “INB has always been a world-class example of how important giving back is.”

For Hope, a loan servicing specialist whose nearest relative is a lengthy plane ride away, INB has become extended family.

“I felt the family atmosphere when I walked through the doors of the small town branch in Riverton. I have created lifelong friendships that last long after the 40-hour work week is over,” she said. “Whether it’s helping me fund a mortgage file, giving me directions to a branch, or help my daughter move into her first apartment, INB and its employees have become my extended family. I am thankful to my INB family who has stepped up whenever I needed them.”

“Being able to meet and know my fellow employees has been the highlight of my employment at INB,” agreed bank courier Bill Roscetti. “The success of any business depends on its people, and in this capacity, INB excels.”

Many employees have found that kind of close-knit community, especially within INB’s branches. Sheila Brackensick, senior teller at the Wabash branch, enjoys looking back at the expansion of the area around Wabash in the last 10 years – and the expansion of relationships.

“When I began at the Wabash branch back in September 2006, things here were still pretty quiet,” she recalled. “Over the years, though, we have had many businesses and new homes being built out here on the west side of Springfield, which has created a steady growth of customers. But the best part is that we are still a local bank, and our customers really like these personal relationships. Working at INB is like home when I come through the door every day; I have always been encouraged to use my strengths in a constructive way, and my coworkers have been like family.”

Employees Make a Mark from Day One

Donna Smith had spent years in corporate banking when the opportunity arose to work for INB as the branch manager of the newly constructed Dirksen Parkway branch 15 years ago.

“INB was new to the Springfield market, locally owned and cared about customers and the service provided for all aspects of banking. My years of banking had been spent working on the north end of Springfield, and this was a welcome challenge to me,” said Donna, now a vice president and branch manager. “I am very proud of the fact that there was a sizable deposit base established before the branch opened May 30, 2002. The management staff, as well as all employees of all departments, assisted me to develop this branch into what it is today.”

Along with Donna, Norma Conrady, now a recon specialist, also was part of the team to open the Dirksen branch, starting as a head teller.

“I had never helped set up a branch before or worked on that side of Springfield. I stayed there five years, and we all learned together and had a lot of fun,” Norma recalled. “I moved to operations, where I am now, ten years ago. I had never worked anywhere but retail in my banking career, and this was my chance to be a part of the operational support that goes into banking. I have learned so much here from recon to the wire desk. I have enjoyed being part the INB team and am looking forward to the years to come.”

Leadership, teamwork, and a growth vision have helped to develop the kind of culture at INB that instills pride and enjoyment in our employees. And that dedication from our team continues to propel INB to one of the top community banks in Central Illinois.

“I’ve seen the bank grow from 50 million in assets to the size it is today,” Mike Jones noted. “We have gone from one branch to the many branches and offices we have in the communities all over Illinois. The bank had two ATMs when I started; today we have 21. Where many other banks say ‘we can’t do it,’ at INB we – more times than not – say ‘why can’t we do it?’ No bank in this city has more innovation than INB.”