Interra Credit Union was among five Indiana credit unions and the only one operating in Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly’s reading area to make this year’s list of America’s Best Credit Unions in Each State published annually by Forbes magazine.

Of five Indiana institutions on a similar Forbes list for banks, those with operations in the region included Centier Bank, First Merchants Bank and Fort Wayne-based Star Financial Bank. First Financial Bank, which also has operations in Business Weekly’s reading area, was among five banks making the list for Ohio.

Out of more than 5,000 credit unions across the country, Goshen-based Interra was among only 182 making the list, it said in a statement. Out of about 5,400 banks nationwide, 149 made the list of America’s Best Credit Unions in Each State.

“We are once again humbled by the trust and confidence our members place in Interra,” Amy Sink, Interra CEO, said in the statement on the credit unions list. “The board of directors, management and staff focus on their needs, now and in the future, and work hard every day on members’ behalf.”

The market research firm, Statista, surveyed more than 25,000 U.S. residents about their banking relationships to help Forbes produce the lists, the statement said.

Respondents were asked 20 questions about their financial experiences designed to gather information about customer satisfaction, branch services, digital services, terms and conditions, financial advice and trust.

“Members-only credit unions typically have lower fees and offer better interest rates than traditional banks, and the nonprofit model also puts the customer first, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction,” Forbes said in an introduction to the credit union list.

It said the nation’s credit unions have about 117 million members.

Summit Financial opens in Marion

Fort Wayne-based Summit Financial Group has hired three employees to open an office in Marion.

“We are excited to not only grow our team in numbers, but to expand our services with a physical presence in Marion,” Randy Lehman, a founding partner at Summit Financial, said in a statement.

“We are honored to be joining Summit Financial Group — an established firm of Northwestern Mutual — and Randall Lehman who was recently recognized by both Barron‘s Top 1200 and Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors for 2019,” said Tom Gearhart, who will serve as financial advisor for the new office.

Gearhart’s will work primarily with executives, business owners and retirees to create financial security with a focus on multigenerational family financial planning.

Kiva Small has been hired as a client service manager for the office and is licensed in life and health insurance. Sharon Bunch has been hired as administrative assistant for the office and will do its internal bookkeeping.

Small and Bunch each have several years of experience in customer service and client relationship building.

Wells Fargo supports art museum

Wells Fargo & Co. has awarded a $75,000 grant to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art to support its socially responsible programs for underserved audiences in the community.

In addition to museum tours and orientation classes, students benefiting from the grant will have a chance to participate in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards exhibition through the Pre-K to 12 education programs or join the museum’s Hope Gap Project for creative inner-city high school students.

The grant also will support the facility’s fall Meet Me at Fort Wayne Museum of Art program and Day of the Dead activities. Meet Me enables adult patrons with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of early-stage dementia to experience the visual arts in a format that meets their needs.

The museum “adds so much value to our community,” Timothy Poppens, complex manager for Wells Fargo Advisors, said in a statement. “These programs continue to enrich the quality of life for so many while offering ongoing arts education for youth, seniors and everyone in between. We are extremely proud to support this important humanities icon in our city.”

“We are honored, again, to be awarded this significant support by our longtime corporate partner, Wells Fargo Bank,” Charles Shepard, president & CEO of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, said in the statement.

“Together, we will provide valuable and much needed programming to thousands of underserved children, adults, and seniors in the region.”

Indiana Bond Bank bill signed by governor

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law on June 24 House Bill 1473, which allows the Indiana Bond Bank to create a special purpose vehicle credit improvement program for local government units.

The program will allow communities to upgrade their bond ratings and lower their borrowing costs according to a statement from Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, who chairs the IBB board.

“We are so excited to have this opportunity to further the mission and purpose of the Indiana Bond Bank,” she said in the statement.

“IBB serves every corner of the state and HEA 1473 provides one more tool to assist local communities as they work to serve Hoosiers.”

Local units of government frequently use the bank as a lender of last resort, the statement said.

Veteran reporter Doug LeDuc joined Business Weekly in 2006 and primarily covers banking and finance and technology. You can send information for his weekly column to or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3309.

Veteran reporter Doug LeDuc joined Business Weekly in 2006 and primarily covers banking and finance and technology. You can send information for his weekly column to or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3309.

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