Centier Bank’s Portage Branch deeply rooted in the community

Centier Bank’s Portage Branch deeply rooted in the community
By: Curtis Hankins Last Updated: October 18, 2019

When it comes to hiring, Centier Bank prides itself on considering candidates’ personalities, not just resumes. From its Corporate Centre in Merrillville to more than 60 branches across the state, Centier onboards associates into the organization with the intention of preserving its family-owned, community-focused mission since the Schrage family started the bank in 1895. And the associates at Centier’s Portage branch on Willowcreek Road are no exception.

“I’ve been here 16 years, and the biggest thing I can say is that it’s such a family-oriented company,” said Brandie Belstra, Portage Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President at Centier Bank. “Centier’s been a part of the Portage community for a long time, and we always try to treat our clients like family.”

Belstra and her team make an effort to learn the names of all their clients and have known some of them for many years. They make a concerted effort to keep up on clients’ family updates and other personable news. Belstra has even been invited to client’s weddings. For the Portage branch, each interaction is more than a transaction, it is a chance to make a lifelong friend.

“They become family,” Belstra said. “We see them all the time and get to know them and just stay connected. That’s the kind of culture we have here. When they’re in line at the counter, it’s not just saying ‘next,’ it’s ‘Hey Cindy, I can help you, how’s your daughter doing?’”

Sometimes, their closeness with their clients lets them step in to help when it is most needed. Holly Jones, Assistant Branch Manager at Centier Bank, met with a longtime friend and client first thing in the morning on Columbus Day, when many banks are closed.

“This client and I catch up frequently, and he opens up quite a bit,” Jones said. “He came here one day with a request that wasn’t typical of him, and I suspected something was amiss. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to withdraw that much money, and it ended up that he’d gotten a strange phone call that was actually a scam. He let us help him because he sees us like family.”

In addition to creating personal relationships, Centier associates foster community relationships through Servant Heart Culture. Having a servant heart means prioritizing the organization’s values of caring, loyalty, integrity, friendship, and fun. Often, this is reflected by a group of associates volunteering in the community. The associates at Centier’s Portage Branch on Willowcreek Road are active volunteers, giving back to a community where many of them have lived and worked for decades.

“We pick events that are near and dear to our hearts,” Belstra said. “We all want to be out there, making an impact, raising money, having fun, and enjoying that camaraderie. We want to be out there, helping out the community and all the different organizations.”

Centier branches in Portage are located at 3220 Willowcreek Road, and inside the Portage Strack & Van Til grocery store at 6046 Central Ave. To learn more about Centier Bank and to find your closest branch, visit www.centier.com.