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Our Executive Leadership sets the tone for how we do business

Our Executive Leadership team has over 100 combined years of banking and financial experience, and that knowledge and understanding sets us apart. We talk a lot about our core values and beliefs as a company, and we believe that starts at the top. We conduct ourselves and do business with these core beliefs in mind, our leadership teams sets the tone and leads by example.

 

Kent A Liechty
Kent A Liechty
President & CEO

Kent Liechty

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Kent Liechty has spent over 25 years in the banking industry, all but four of them at First Bank of Berne, where he now serves as president and CEO. A graduate of South Adams High School, Kent holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue in Agriculture Economics, where he graduated with highest distinction. He then earned his MBA from Indiana University. He also holds an advanced degree from the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin.

Kent is an advocate of community banks. That’s because working at a community bank enables him to see the direct result of how the bank’s work impacts a local community. He says that being a part of a financial services team who cares about customers continues to be a very rewarding career.

Kent is extremely involved in his community. He serves on the Board of Directors for Swiss Village, Youth for Christ and Berne Community Development Corporation. He is also involved in Junior Achievement and serves as a Sunday school teacher at the First Mennonite Church.

He enjoys working locally because of the people he interacts with every day and the ability to participate in a number of projects that allow our areas to grow and prosper. He says the best thing about his staff at First Bank of Berne is their strong work ethic and desire to take care of our clients.

“I believe First Bank of Berne is best positioned to serve our local community because we have the right employees and the products and service which all work to help make our clients successful.”

Kent Liechty has been with First Bank of Berne since 1997.

Sharon Neuenschwander
Sharon Neuenschwander
Human Resources Manager

Sharon Neuenschwander

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Sharon Neuenschwander has had a long, successful career at First Bank of Berne. She currently serves as the Human Resource Manager. She has served as a Bookkeeper, Teller, Trust Officer and worked in the Loan Department.

More than choosing a career in banking, Sharon chose a career at First Bank of Berne. She first joined the bank because she felt the values of the bank aligned with her personal values. She also looked forward to the opportunity to work for a well-established and respected organization.

Sharon believes the bank makes a difference in the local community by providing employment opportunities, encouraging employee participation in various groups, and establishing relationships.

She has stayed with First Bank of Berne because she enjoys working for an organization that values integrity and relationships. Sharon also enjoys working with the First Bank of Berne team, because the employees are dedicated and hard-working. She says they understand the value of teamwork and the importance of taking care of customers. She also points out that the team makes working at First Bank of Berne fun.

“I believe First Bank of Berne is best positioned to server our local community because there is a high level of employee expertise, an understanding of local markets and a history of exemplary service.”

Rick Gentis
Rick Gentis
Agribusiness Banking Manager

Rick Gentis

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Rick is a graduate of Southern Wells High School and continued his education at Purdue University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in General Agriculture.

Rick was raised on a grain and livestock farm in Southern Wells County and spent 20 years operating his own farm. He entered the field of agribusiness in 1993 after discovering a passion for ag economics and farm management.

Today, Rick is a board member and vice president of the Wells County Chamber where he will serve as president in 2021. He brings his financial knowledge to board positions with the Wells County Economic Committee, the Wells County Foundation and Bluffton Rotary.

Rick enjoys working locally because it gives him the opportunity to interact directly with farmers and small businesses. He is also impressed by the high level of teamwork at First Bank of Berne. He is happy to be part of a team that is committed to advancing the field of agriculture. In fact, he says that one of the best parts of his job is that he gets to work with so many people who were raised on farms and have a natural disposition toward hard work.

Over the past decade, Rick has observed an increase in the use of technology in farming. He expects this trend to continue and predicts a related increase in the overall efficiency and productivity of farms.

“First Bank of Berne is best positioned to server our local community because all of our staff, from the front-line teller to the bank president and board of directors, are closely connected to the ag community.”

Rick joined the First Bank of Berne team in 2014.

Deon Shoaf
Deon Shoaf
Chief Operations Manager

Deon Shoaf

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An experienced banking professional, Deon Shoaf has been with First Bank of Berne for 17 years and currently serves as the Chief Operations Manager. A graduate of Bellmont High School, Deon went on to Indiana/Purdue University Fort Wayne (now Purdue University of Fort Wayne) where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business-Accounting. Deon also graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in 2011.

Deon says that he didn’t choose banking, but banking chose him. He explains that he started working at a community bank during college to better understand the world of business. He quickly realized how important local, community banks are to the communities they serve. That realization led to a position at First Bank of Berne where Deon sees firsthand how the Bank supports the needs of both customers and the community as a whole.

Deon enjoys that his job with First Bank of Berne allows him to focus on strategy, innovation, digital transformation, risk and more. He also enjoys working with a team that aspires to do great things and treats each other with integrity and respect.

In his free time, Deon also focuses on the community. He serves on the Board and several committees within the Boys and Girls Club of Adams County.

“First Bank of Berne is best positioned to serve the local community due to our ability to make trusted and sound decisions. Before making decisions, we listen to local leadership and take into account both the culture of the bank and the needs of the communities we serve.”

Deon has been with the First Bank of Berne since 2003.

Kevin Gould
Kevin Gould
Chief Financial Officer

Kevin Gould

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After helping run a manufacturing business, Kevin put his financial background to work by joining First Bank of Berne. He currently serves as chief financial officer. A graduate of Norwell High School, Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne and an MBA from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne.

Kevin is involved in SCAN (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect), having served on serval committees and as president of the organization. He also spent three years coaching youth baseball.

Kevin was interested in working for First Bank of Berne because of the bank’s outstanding reputation in the business community. He thought his financial background would be a good fit for the bank, allowing him to help other area businesses.

He appreciates the First Bank of Berne team who are always willing to help others. He says all the employees are committed to making the bank and the communities around it better. He believes First Bank of Berne is a strong institution that provides a wide array of products to serve the community.

“First Bank of Berne offers our local community a strong financial position and a strong commitment from both the bank and all of its employees to improve the communities around us.”

Kevin Gould has been with First Bank of Berne since 2013.

Jenilee Bransteter
Jenilee Bransteter
Business Banking Manager

Jenilee Bransteter

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Jenilee Bransteter has been in banking for 15 years. She earned a degree in Agribusiness and Applied Economics from The Ohio State University before attending the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Banking.

Jenilee was drawn to First Bank of Berne because she was looking for a career that allowed her to serve others. She says First Bank of Berne is a perfect fit. She enjoys the teamwork at First Bank of Berne.

As the business banking manager for Berne, Jenilee interacts daily with area business owners who she describes as the most driven and inventive people in our communities. She appreciates conversations with business owners regarding strategies, opportunities, and successes. She enjoys the opportunity to share her perspectives on financial ratios and key drivers of cash flow while offering services to support them in achieving their goals.

Jenilee lives in Ohio where she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Rockford United Methodist Church. She is also involved with the Berne Rotary Club in Berne.

“I feel First Bank of Berne is best positioned to serve the local community because our customers have more than one banker in their corner. Every employee-owner carries a dedication to improving the financial future of our customers. We work as a team.”

Jenilee joined First Bank of Berne in 2007.

Kent Liechty

President & CEO

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Deon Shoaf

Chief Operations Manager

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Sharon Neuenschwander

Human Resources Manager

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Kevin Gould

Chief Financial Officer

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Rick Gentis

Agribusiness Banking
Manager

E-mail Rick

Jenilee Bransteter

Business Banking Manager,
Berne

E-mail Jenilee