By: Evan Westlake
Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending
While she says she stays on top of the agriculture lending field by talking to her clients, there’s no doubt Dawn Hockett is an expert in her own right. After almost 30 years in this specialized field, she knows her business. In addition to her lengthy career, Dawn is the kind of person with which you can immediately connect. She’s able to make her customers and coworkers comfortable to be able to quickly build deep relationships. And that’s what makes it especially rewarding to announce that Dawn has joined INB’s Fairmount Branch in Eastern Illinois as our vice president of commercial lending.
With knowledge and experience, Dawn is able to provide exceptional customer service. “I strive to provide my customers with a lender who is knowledgeable, accessible, and responsive to their needs,” she says.
Dawn recently took the opportunity to join the INB team because she noticed we’re expanding our footprint in Central Illinois. “The bank continues to grow, while maintaining strong asset quality and a ‘community bank’ attitude, as well as a full-suite of technologically advanced banking services.” She also likes that she’s able to make a career move AND be able to continue to work in the community she loves. She’s a life-long resident of Sidell, nine miles from our Fairmount Branch, and began working at a Sidell bank as a high school senior. She says, “I continued working part-time while attending college. After graduating college, I accepted a full-time position. I have stayed close to home for many reasons, but primarily, I love serving the needs of my community and seeing familiar faces on a daily basis. I have learned over the course of my career that my clients choose to do business with someone they feel comfortable and confident with and it is rewarding to be blessed with so many loyal customers and friends.”
Dawn notes that her career evolved from part-time teller to lending because she had an excellent mentor/boss who used every opportunity to help her. With this tutelage as her foundation, she’s kept up on the rapidly changing field of agriculture by talking to customers, attending seminars and reading agriculture publications.
“Some of the more significant changes in ag lending over the years include the shift from crop share to cash rent, escalating input and equipment costs, technological advances, thinner margins, and variety of crop insurance and equipment leasing programs. In addition, the average farm size is increasing, while the number of farms diminishes. Competition from non-traditional financing sources, such as fertilizer/chemical companies and implement dealers has increased.”
And Dawn expects the field will continue to evolve. She’s looking forward to the next chapter in ag and in her career. She says, “I expect my career with INB to include developing strong relationships with our existing clients while building on that base.”