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Centier Bank Senior Vice President Joe Erpelding to Retire After 37 Years

March 19, 2018

Centier Bank Erpelding FamilyWhen the books close for the 2017 fiscal year, Senior Vice President and Comptroller, Joseph Erpelding, will close his books on a 37-year career at Centier Bank. Many financial institutions have come and gone since Erpelding joined Centier in the 1980’s, and it is clear he is exiting a role that has had a tremendous impact on the success of Indiana’s largest, private, family-owned bank. 

“Joe has had an immeasurable impact on the success of Centier,” explained Mike Schrage, President and CEO of Centier Bank. “Thanks in large part to his financial stewardship, we have been able to accomplish a lot during his 37 years here at the bank. We look forward to what he does in the next stage of his life, knowing he will always be a part of the Centier family.” 

Erpelding joined Centier, then known as The First Bank of Whiting, in 1981 in order to bring his accounting expertise into the acquisitions of Southlake National Bank and First National Bank of Crown Point. As the bank continued to grow, so did Erpelding’s role, assisting with automating processes and playing key roles in the bank weathering tough economic times in Northwest Indiana during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, and the Great Recession of 2008. 

“I told Mike, I am not going anywhere. I did not just come to do the mergers and I am out the door.  I am sticking around,” said Joe. “As long as you keep me challenged, I’ll stay around. He definitely has done that, no doubt about it.”

As the bank continued to expand its footprint in Northwest and Central Indiana, Joe Erpelding assisted in identifying opportunities for new branches in Northwest Indiana, Michiana, Lafayette, and Indianapolis. 

Erpelding met his wife, Patricia (who recently retired from Centier Bank after 39 years of service in Data Processing) in 1982 at the bank’s annual Christmas Party. She joined Centier when the bank acquired First National Bank of Crown Point, one of the initial projects Erpelding was brought in to work on. In short order, Erpelding proposed in February of 1983 and the two were married in June of that same year.  

"My family connections to Centier have meant the world to me. It's been amazing," explained Pat. "Over the years, many members of my family have helped Centier grow.  We raised our family with Centier's support. Now, two of our sons have made their careers at Centier."

As Erpelding reminisces his favorite times, he reflects fondly on the Celebration of Excellence, the bank’s annual meeting, during which Joe announces the stock value of the bank. He has watched his audiences swell over the years, and now enjoys reporting an account of the bank’s financial health to over 800 associates. He also uses it as an opportunity to make everyone laugh. 

“Those are always my favorite moments. All these years, in getting through all the annual numbers – over 400 months of books – the annual meeting became one of my favorite things. I love having fun and, to me, those were fun times,” said Erpelding.

Though Joe and Pat are leaving the bank to continue on to the next stage of their lives, the Erpelding family’s legacy at Centier continues through their sons, David and Adam, who each work at the bank’s Corporate Centre. David is an Assistant Vice President and Finance Manager in the bank’s Accounting Department, while Adam is a Portfolio Analytics Officer in the bank’s Credit and Loan Review Department. They have been with the bank for 12 and 16 years, respectively. 

"When I think about Centier and what working here means to me I am filled with pride.  This organization is in so many ways a huge part of who I have become and who our whole family has become," said David. "Thankfully, I was given an opportunity and what could have simply been a “first job out of college” has transformed into a perfect fit for a career of my own!  I’m proud of my parents’ retirement milestones and am happy I can help carry on the family business of being a banker!"

For Adam, the ability to work side-by-side with his family as provided a special experience, especially for someone with a career in the challenging world of banking.

“My parents taught us the importance of family, community, and of course, banking.  It is truly special to have had the opportunity to work alongside them for 16 years,” said Adam.
The Erpelding family’s combined 100-plus years of service does not even take into account another 15 individuals of the Erpelding-Quillin extended family that have served as associates over the past 40 years. For Joe, though, the end of his career is drawing near. 

Everyone keeps asking me, ‘When is your last day?’” said Erpelding. “Well, it’s when the job is done.” 

It appears as though the job will be ‘done’ on March 23, 2018. When Joe officially retires, he will join Pat in seeking a more active role in his community, church, and of course, his growing family. 

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