We’re facing an enemy we can’t see and being asked to change our way of life to something totally contrary to the American way of life. Without a doubt, the abrupt change has been jarring.

INB employees are faced with the need to help keep the bank operating and obligations to our families. How are our employees managing? Here are a few, early stories.

A New Definition of ‘Normal’

By: Amy Barnes

Assistant Vice President, WealthBarnaby with a phone

My husband and I are both considered “essential workers.”  So far things have remained very normal . . . get up, go to work, come home, make dinner, go to bed, and repeat.  However, we have very special family members who are considered “vulnerable”: our 7-week old grandbaby, our daughter with epilepsy, my mom on chemo, and my sister who is in healthcare and is serving the community at the clinic on Sixth Street.  I feel both stressed and blessed, but mostly very grateful to all of those serving the public so fervently to keep our vulnerable loved ones safe.

At work, my husband and I are very grateful for the efforts both of our employers have put in place to do their best to protect us.  Our leadership team at INB has been very agile and proactive to put procedures in place that allow us to continue to serve our communities, while also protecting both our employees and customers by limiting our face-to-face encounters to reduce everyone’s potential exposure to COVID 19.  

For now Barnaby is hanging close by and helping me man the phones while I remain working in the office.

Banking by Day, Masks by Night

By: Caeri Chiaro

Vice President, Lending Compliance OfficerComputer and sewing maching together

I’m all setup in my dining room, which is also my sewing room as I had started to make cotton masks this weekend to help some of the facilities in need of protection while the N95 masks are diverted to the critical staff at the medical centers. Unfortunately, my sewing machine died after only four masks,  but I have another sewing machine on the way and hope to go back into production later this week if they’re still in need. It’s a bit quieter here than it is in the (Chatham) branch so, luckily, one of my kids or my husband walks through from time to time for a quick chat or a hug. I’m grateful to have my whole family home. My oldest is attending online college classes since campus closed last week. My youngest is touring museums and zoos online. My middle “child” has senioritis, so he’s not too sad to be missing school, just hoping that he’ll get to graduate in May. My husband, well, he’s going a bit stir crazy so we take walks every little bit to get out of the house.

Family Matters Most

Dee Pedersen

Vice President, North Dirksen Parkway Branch Manager Dee Pedersen has Barnaby next to her computer

I am working from home, trying all things possible to be as effective as when I am managing inside the branch.  I am relying heavily on emails and conference calls with my employees.  My husband is considered essential also; he works in a prison. He has experienced changes in his workplace almost daily, is required to have his temperature taken before entering the door to help prevent exposure from the outside, among other safety precautions.

Together, we have five young-adult daughters all of whom are being affected in one way or another.  As parents, we feel our part no matter how hard it can be at times is to remain positive for them, letting them know we are here for them, and listening to their fears and concerns.  We have two college seniors who are struggling with the possibility of not having their graduation ceremony.  The oldest is in the process of selling and purchasing a new home along with the challenges of keeping twin 2 year old’s hands washed and healthy.  Our two youngest daughters are both in healthcare, one of them being the frontline of “testing” as patients come into the emergency room.  I am sure the girls get tired of me saying, “Be Safe,” but I figure they are old enough by now to know they need to wash their hands!  LOL!

Now more than ever, we need to be strong as a family . . . helping each other, encouraging each other and just being there for each other.  For my husband and me, FAMILY is what keeps us focused from day to day.