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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Small-Bank Charm

Mark Schroeder has spent a lifetime at German American Bancorp. Though it seems straightforward, he says it is a bit of an unusual story.

“I like to say I’ve been fortunate to have four different careers in banking, all within the same company,” he says.

In May, Schroeder marks his 45th year with the Jasper-based company. Now the chief executive officer and chairman of German American, he started as an entry-level vault teller when he was 18 years old. Fresh out of high school, his plans for college fell through, which led him to banking.

“I quickly found out it was a good fit; I enjoyed it very much,” says Schroeder.

He later would graduate with a bachelor’s degree in financial management from the University of Evansville through German American’s continuing education program, as well as complete many banking-specific American Bankers Association schools.

Under the leadership of Schroeder, German American has expanded its footprint to 50 offices in 19 counties in Indiana and one office in an adjacent Kentucky county, with more than 600 employees throughout Southern and Central Indiana.

“What I’ve gotten the most satisfaction from in the last 45 years has been helping communities grow, and seeing our customers achieve their financial goals and aspirations,” he says of his career.

Though the organization specializes in typical services such as banking, insurance, and investments, Schroeder says it’s German American’s relationship-based approach with customers that makes the company stand out. And it’s that practice which gained the attention of American Banker Magazine. In December 2016, the magazine named Schroeder one of three Community Bankers of the Year for his commitment to maintaining an effective community-banking model focused on customers.

To Schroeder, however, the honor goes to his employees.

“We have a tremendous team at German American with a lot of very hard-working people who are dedicated to the company and their communities,” he says. “There is nothing special or unique about the products we offer; it is how we deliver them.”

For more information about German American, visit germanamerican.com.

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