Scott Steinwart brings to First Merchants Bank and the communities they serve the same commitment to excellence that has been afforded to him by mentors over the years, especially now in his new role as Regional Chief Sales Officer.
Steinwart, recently promoted to the role, has been in banking for 32 years and still loves it because of the relationships he’s built both inside and outside the organization.
“Inside, I’ve had mentors throughout my career – frankly, every step of the way. If you are surrounded by the right people, the right culture, and the right process, it is amazing the help you can provide the community,” Steinwart said.
“Outside, I’ve always been impressed by business owners and entrepreneurs,” he continued. “I like the security of a steady paycheck; most business owners put all of their blood, sweat, and tears into their business without that guarantee. Sometimes they hit a home run—some even a grand slam—but sometimes they strike out. The stories, the philosophies, the lessons that can be learned from this group are incredible. To be able to be a small part their success provides a tremendous amount of satisfaction. It’s all about the relationships that you build.”
Steinwart is home-grown, having obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Valparaiso University and a master’s in Business Administration at Indiana University Northwest. Over the years, he said, he’s had the pleasure of serving on the boards of directors of Opportunity Enterprises, the Valparaiso Family YMCA, Crisis Center, and Campagna Academy, and has been an active member of Christ Lutheran Church.
Steinwart was drawn to First Merchants Bank (formerly known as Citizens Bank) in 2010.
“Our country was still in the midst of an economic crisis. I moved from the largest bank in the nation to a very solid community bank that was in the middle of a dramatic strategic and leadership change. It was exciting to become a decision maker and do my small part to help steer that change,” he said.
The culture is what keeps him there.
“It starts with the right people and I can’t say enough about the team at First Merchants Bank. I learn every day from them. Plus, we have fun together. That’s really important!” he said.
In his current role, Steinwart manages the commercial team at First Merchants Bank. The region’s team stretches from Darien, Ill., to South Bend, and comprises three sales managers and 12 relationship managers. They all work directly with commercial administrators and the credit team, and partner closely with the treasury management, private wealth management, and retail teams.
“Our responsibility is to bring banking solutions to the region’s businesses and business owners, especially as it relates to credit and deposit needs,” he said.
While banking is always interesting, this year has been a bit of an anomaly.
“It has been interesting times for sure! In the last downturn, banks and the financial industry were a big part of the problem. In this downturn, the banks are a big part of the solution. The Payment Protection Program, loan payment deferrals, and low interest rates have helped many of our borrowers. Again, it is all about relationships that have been built. We want to be a partner, a trusted advisor. We want to be part of the solution,” Steinwart said.
Those who are nervous while navigating uncertain financial times could benefit from a wise snippet of guidance from Steinwart.
“Pay attention to debt levels. Individuals and companies are more likely to survive an economic downturn if they are not over-leveraged,” he said.
When he is not banking, Steinwart is spending time with his wife of 32 years, and their pets.
“I love the Chicago Cubs and Bears, golf, warm weather, the outside, Sudoku puzzles, and close family and friends. I’m fortunate to have a college buddy that loves to ski and consequently I’ve been skiing at the top 30 ski resorts in the west. Pretty darn fun!”
For more information about the services of First Merchants Bank, visit them online at https://www.firstmerchants.com/.
First Merchants Bank, Member FDIC.