“Everybody has their passion and their drive. My drive is financial literacy.” Mike Bober, Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President at Centier Bank, uses this passion every day as he helps individuals and small businesses achieve their financial goals.
A native of Valparaiso, Bober graduated from Valparaiso High School and went straight into the work-force. When deciding which field he should go into, he looked to his parents’ example. This led him to the retail industry where he found satisfaction in helping others.
One day, however, he looked around and realized that he could be doing more to help others. While knowing that what he was currently doing was important, he was ready to take the next step. With the advice of his fiance, he decided to enter the banking world.
Starting as a personal banker, Bober soon realized that banking was a good fit for him. The joy he received helping others got him through the tough financial year of 2008 and confirmed in his mind that this was his calling.
“When you realize you can help somebody who may not have been able to get a mortgage, or a credit card and need help with their financial goals, it becomes very, very powerful that you can help guide or change somebody's future.”
Bober was given the opportunity to work with small businesses and help them attain financial literacy and soon realized that he had a gift.
“It’s really awesome to see a business owner go from inception to exceptional. You become their financial partner. That’s what I enjoy the most,” he said.
Looking for an opportunity to be a part of a company that he felt aligned more with his passions and goals, Bober made a move to Centier Bank. This opened up a whole new world of volunteering and giving back to the community.
“I feel I’ve become a true community partner. The role I have now and the company that I work for, they encourage being a partner to your local towns and local cities. I’ve found a new passion in the past year. I ask myself, ‘how can I improve the community as a whole? How can I be a part of improving economic development, in improving community feel and neighborhood revitalization?’”
Bober enjoys working for Centier bank not only because he loves what he gets to do, but also because he’s found a place where the culture spurs him on.
“When I went through orientation two years ago, I felt like I was at Disney World. I felt warm and fuzzy, and I thought maybe after orientation it would change. Two years later, I still feel this way,” said Bober. “Everybody is supportive, they know you by name. It’s an amazing culture. The more employers look at what their culture is, as opposed to how you’ve always done things, I really see thriving; you feel valuable, you want to be there. You’re passionate, they’re passionate about you and you get passionate about your client, your product, or your customers.”
Currently you will find Bober helping those who come through his office as well as reaching out to the community to discuss the benefits of being financially responsible. Through “Centier to You”, he has been able to partner with local companies to host talks for their employees. He teaches these employees how best to use their money and save for retirement.
Bober has also had the opportunity to speak at different region schools. At Michigan City High School, he began doing lunch-time discussions with the faculty. The Economics teacher saw a need and invited him to come speak to the seniors. This is just another way Bober can share his knowledge and passion.
“I’ve realized once I joined Centier that I have so much more that I can give to the community outside of just individual banking.”
When Bober is not hard at work helping others become financially stable, you will find him at home wood-working, doing DIY projects around the house, playing sports, and spending time with his fiance and two children.
If you’re looking for a banker who has a strong passion and will partner with you to help you attain your financial goals, go see Bober at Centier Bank.