VP, Director of Communications
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Though Marilyn finds numbers challenging, she’s made the financial services industry her career. After working for Springfield-based insurer Horace Mann for more than 30 years, Marilyn came to INB in 2014 to lead the Communications area. “It was a relatively seamless move for me,” she says. I’d worked in or managed virtually all facets of Horace Mann’s communications department, and I came here to work in and manage all of facets INB’s communications.”
Marilyn’s first responsibilities at INB have included implementing a new brand strategy, finishing a website update and starting the bank blog as part of the social media plan. Each has involved lots of writing, something Marilyn was formally trained in at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale’s School of Journalism. “When I started corporate writing in the 80s, everything was print and very one-dimensional. Today we can take readers on quite a journey. They can stay on the path of strictly what we’ve written, or gain other insights by clicking or pressing a screen. They have so much control. Given that, writing has to be concise and to the point or extremely interesting . . . whether we’re talking about checking accounts on a bank website or our kids’ latest accomplishments on Facebook.”
Speaking of kids, Marilyn credits hers for her social media savvy. “I had to learn about Facebook to keep track of my son when he was in high school. Of course, once I joined, he immediately, secretly unfriended me. He’s now moved on to Twitter and Snapchat. I’m happy to say he’s old enough now that he actually helps me with my ‘technology’ issues.’”
Her kids have also taught her that the up-and-coming consumer doesn’t shop like she does. “My girls are all about starting on-line, researching, asking ‘friends’ for suggestions,” Marilyn says. “Oh, they like to go to department stores as much as I do, but they aren’t going to waste time when it comes to financial services. It’s about getting what they need when they need it at a reasonable price from someone they like.” Then it’s off to the mall. With mom.
Marilyn married Jim Schaefer, long-time State Journal-Register employee, in 1979. They enjoy any time with their kids, vacations with their friends, any excuse for a party with their parents and many brothers and sisters, and Cardinal baseball.
Marilyn shares some of her thoughts about banking and communications on the INB blog.