Marilyn Titone Schaefer has been promoted to vice president at INB. She serves as director of communications for the bank.
Marilyn first came to INB in 2014, managing all facets of INB’s communications strategies. In her time here, she has completed website updates, strategized ad campaigns, helped plan new branch openings, and started the INB blog alongside evolving social media strategies.
“We’ve taken some big steps in the last few years, getting the blog running and creating consistent content,” Marilyn said. “We’re getting out communication about what’s happening at the bank, and we’re building a community between ourselves and our customers and potential customers. We love to share stories about our staff and the people who make up INB.
“INB is a company founded on relationships, and our communications vehicles help reinforce that; it allows us to reach out to people in a way we weren’t able to 10 or 15 years ago.”
Marilyn joined INB after more than 30 years at Springfield-based insurance company Horace Mann. Trained in journalism, Marilyn still finds much of her background relevant to her career today. “I am still able to use my background in journalism because we’re able to use the INB blog as our own publishing vehicle. Our online communication is an opportunity to tell the INB story from the personal perspectives of our relationships,” Marilyn noted.
Though she laughs that social media can be a lot of work in a corporate setting and not just the fun of trying new filters, she points out that using social media for the bank has given her the chance to get to better know her colleagues. “Each one has a unique story to tell.”
Marilyn enjoys the autonomy given to INB employees at many different levels and appreciates the executive team’s willingness to try new things. “They’re open to trying different things, whether we want to try a sponsorship or an ad campaign and see how it goes – and then examine whether it was valuable to determine if it’s something we can expand into other communities,” she said.
When she’s not at the office, Marilyn enjoys Cardinals baseball, vacations with friends, any excuse for a party with her large family, and spending time with her kids. Marilyn is married to Jim Schaefer, long-time State Journal-Register employee, and the couple has two daughters and a son. They were very excited to recently welcome their first grandchild.
As INB has grown, adding locations in Peoria, Bloomington and Champaign in addition to smaller community branches, it’s been a challenge for Marilyn’s team to manage unique communication and promotion strategies in each new market. The growth, however, has been exciting, and Marilyn is already thinking about what’s next.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of the growth strategy that the bank has,” she said. “While it’s been a challenge to grow while still maintaining our small bank feel,’ we’re still making decisions at a local level, jointly in our communities. I’m excited to be part of that, to see and measure the successes we have. We’re part of a fantastic whole.”