With three decades of banking experience, Jay Maddox knows a good banker when he sees one.
“When I came on board in April to serve as Market President in Fort Wayne for First Financial Bank, I was excited about the opportunity to build my own team,” says Maddox.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, First Financial Bank has been around for more than 150 years, but the Fort Wayne office opened two years ago this month and now serves as a regional hub for the financial institution.
“We have a beautiful, eight-thousand square foot office on the sixth floor of the Anthony Wayne building in downtown Fort Wayne for our commercial team, and our retail team is close by on the first floor in our banking center,” says Maddox. “I spent more than six months hand-picking our team members. During this time, I focused on building a team of local bankers -- people who have grown up here. I think this community really likes to work with people who have been here for a while. Everyone on the team, including myself, is local with strong ties to this community.”
There are nine members of the Fort Wayne team, including Maddox. He says being a smaller group translates into a plethora of advantages for its clients.
“What we try to do is offer our clients resources competitive with those of the large banks,” he says. “As an $8 billion institution, we have sophisticated solutions that are on par with many of the larger banks in the community, but we differentiate ourselves by maintaining a client focus and a community bank feel when delivering these solutions. Our team is small, so we really pride ourselves on taking time to meet directly with our clients, as well as having the autonomy to make almost all lending decisions at the local level.”
Drew Dunlavy/Senior Lender: I’m excited to be a part of an organization that focuses on bringing great tools to help area businesses succeed and grow. I’ve been in commercial banking, serving Fort Wayne, for 30 years. I’ve seen a lot of things in my career that, I believe, let me share my experience to help business owners and their people.
Aaron Campbell/Vice President of Commercial Banking: I have nearly 15 years of industry experience with my primary focus being commercial and industrial lending. I have experience in equipment financing, commercial real estate, SBA programs and working with capital financing. I have been very involved on community boards and local Chambers of Commerce and I look forward to bringing that same dedication to the Fort Wayne market.
Traci Bohdan/Small Business Banker and Treasury Management Officer: My passion is helping small businesses through my expertise in treasury management services and small business lending. I’ve been working in this field in Fort Wayne for 20 years.
Jessica Lehman/Director of Agribusiness: I come from a production agriculture background with ten years of experience in the agriculture industry, most recently the Farm Credit System. My in-depth knowledge of the agricultural industry and agriculture finance will help our team to understand the unique needs of each farm operation and provide a banking relationship that helps farmers be successful in today’s agriculture environment.
Kim Henschen/Retail Banker:With 28 years of financial experience, I strive to meet our clients’ needs. We like to ensure our clients are aware of and understand all of our products and services as well as know how to use them to the fullest.
Kevin Hockaday/Banking Center Manager: I am a Fort Wayne native with more than 10 years of banking experience. I am dedicated to providing excellent customer service and I am focused on always doing the right thing by keeping the client first.
Kyle Lunford/Retail Banker: Kim, Kevin and myself combined have 50 years of experience in the banking industry. I am delighted to go the extra mile to make the client experience spectacular and I’m always looking for solutions to client obstacles.
Cristy Baumle/Administrative Assistant: I am dedicated to providing excellent customer service to our clients. I have a strong background in customer skills which I am now applying to clients in the banking industry.
“Our current team is strong. I believe we have the right people to successfully serve our clients in Fort Wayne, as well as provide support for a large part of our footprint in northern Indiana and northern Ohio,” says Maddox. “In the future, we will continue to expand our team as our commercial client base grows. We also look forward to further developing our ability to offer full-service relationships to clients by adding team members dedicated to delivering residential mortgage, wealth management and private banking solutions.
Maddox emphasizes that although First Financial is based in Cincinnati, the organization’s community banking model is what lends the Fort Wayne office the ability to deliver authentic, hands-on, local service.
“My team and I have decades of banking experience, but most importantly, we understand Fort Wayne. We know the people who live here and we know the history of their businesses. This is essential when it comes to helping our clients because we are able to utilize this knowledge to recommend the best solution to help achieve their goals. Our team genuinely cares about seeing our clients succeed. We are excited to be an integral part of Fort Wayne and we look forward to continuing to serve.”
Address: 203 E. Berry St. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
Phone: (260) 918-7313
Years in Business: 153
Number of Employees: 1,400 (company-wide)
Products & Services: Banking solutions for you, your business and your employees