Written by former board member, Sharon Ketner.
The roots for the Central Indiana Chapter of RMA go back to the formation of the Ohio Valley Chapter of RMA on April 20, 1945 at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky. At that meeting, representatives from the following Indianapolis banks were in attendance: American National, Fletcher Trust, Indiana National, Merchants National, and Security Trust. The format of these early meetings included gathering on a Thursday night for a social hour, which was followed on Friday by a full day of business meetings. Meetings concluded with a tour of some local business or landmark on Saturday morning. In the early 1980s, the Ohio Valley Chapter divided into four group: Miami Valley Group (1981), Central Indiana Group (1984), Central Ohio Group (1986), and Bluegrass Group (1988).
The crown jewel of the Ohio Valley Chapter was the Loan Officer's Seminar held annually in March at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. This program began in 1976 and was a major source of revenue for the chapter.
The period from 1984 through 1993 was a time in Central Indiana banking with several bank mergers and acquisitions. Beginning in 1985, the three largest banks in Indianapolis were in an acquisition mode buying smaller Central Indiana banks following a change in banking laws that allowed bank ownership across county lines. However, eventually the three largest banks were acquired by larger out of state organizations. American Fletcher National Bank was acquired by Bank One of Columbus, Ohio in 1988. Indiana National Bank joined NBD Bancorp of Detroit in March 1992. Merchants National Bank joined National City Bank from Cleveland, Ohio in 1992. The Central Indiana Chapter continued the tradition of the Loan Officer's Seminar each spring at Ball State University. However, near the end of this period of mergers and acquisitions, the Chapter became inactive.
In 1993, the Central Indiana Chapter had a revitalization spurred on by Tom Kelly of NBD Bancorp and Helen Ward of National City Bank. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the board meetings were primarily held at National City and then Key Bank. Ultimately, the current practice of board meetings at the various board members banks emerged as more peopled wanted to host the meetings.
Since the early 90s, the Central Indiana Chapter has continued its strong history of educational opportunities. The chapter regularly sponsors 5 to 6 RMA HQ training classes each year. In addition, the board arranges various two hour educational programs to assist members in retaining their Credit Risk Certified (CRC) accreditation. The highlight of the year is the updated version of the Loan Officer's Seminar, now referred to as the annual Commercial Lending School. The Lending School today is a three day event on topics geared for junior lending officers and new credit underwriters. Today, the school is held in Indianapolis, most recently in the training facilities at Regions Bank.
In 2000, the Central Indiana Chapter created an affinity group called Young Professionals. While open to individuals of all ages, this group offers networking opportunities and presentations specifically geared for professionals rising in their career. In 2018, the chapter began a new affinity group called Commercial Loan Operations. Also open to all ages, this group offers best practices and tools for individuals working in this field of expertise.
Today, our chapter continues our focus to offer training classes, educational programs, and networking opportunities for the financial services industry and its supporters. A new initiative brings this focus to high school and college students through our Academic Program. We are gracious for your support as we strive to create value and lasting memories for you and your peers.