Born and raised in La Porte, Mike Riehle knows a thing or two about how important it is to make his customers feel at home. As Commercial Loan Officer Vice President at Horizon Bank, Riehle feels an affinity for the closer ties to those with whom he does business.
In October, Riehle will celebrate his eighth-year anniversary with Horizon Bank. The personal, more intimate bank perfectly aligns with Riehle’s professional personality.
“I worked at another bank prior to this and it was a large bank,” Riehle said. “So one of the things that attracted me to Horizon Bank is that it’s the opposite; it is a community-based bank, and I’m very involved in the community.”
Riehle’s current area of focus in commercial lending is the medical industry and manufacturing industry; he describes the market and Horizon’s presence in the field as aggressive, and he’s excited to grow and find new ways to connect to those types of professionals and business owners. Riehle can see the advantages of being a commercial lender for a smaller, more localized company from both an occupational and individual perspective.
“From a business standpoint, it is more of a local decision process, as opposed to my prior experience where I’d be dealing with people making decisions for local businesses that are states away,” Riehle said. “I get to talk to people that are actually involved with our company at Horizon, and they understand the type of customers that we’re dealing with.”
Riehle feels that the familiarity between La Porte customers and himself adds a certain edge to his work performance.
“It all correlates with my visions and goals about being a lender that’s involved locally,” Riehle said. “Being involved in the community adds to that because they understand that we’re not just here for a transaction—we’re here to develop a relationship.”
Not only does this propel Riehle and his goals—he quite enjoys the work, as well. Horizon helps hone in on the end goal in positive ways.
“I guess it’s dual,” Riehle said of why he enjoys his work. “Being able to work directly with customers is key, getting to know different customers, trying to attract new customers, and being responsive to their needs, as well as being an active member in the community that I live and work in… It’s a dual-prong effect.”
As mentioned, Riehle is a La Porte native, and the familial ties he has personally to the city also act as kindling to his success with Horizon Bank.
“I left and went to school and then came back and raised a family here, so it’s grown on me; I feel like a vested member [of the community,” Riehle said. ”When you’re young, the first thing you want to do is get out of the community you’re in. I guess I shouldn’t say everybody, but I was one of those: I went down to school at Indiana State, met my wife down there, and then brought her back here because I didn’t have a job yet. But then you start to realize that are some things of value in your local community, and it gives you a feeling of purpose.”
The best part about working for Horizon Bank beyond the location and commercial ties?
“It’s sort of cliché, but I think the people,” Riehle said. “The people that work here live here, and that’s the way it is in most if not all of our locations in Indiana and Michigan. You’re going to get people in your backyard that you’re familiar with, and I think from the top down, that sets the tone. It’s been set that way and that’s what draws me back every day.”
For more information about Horizon Bank, please visit their website.