Steve Bechman, Johnson County Market President for Horizon Bank, has announced his retirement as of April 28, 2017.
Bechman started working in the banking industry, at Bargersville State Bank, in 1975. Throughout his first two decades, he worked his way through the ranks, holding positions in collections, commercial lending, and eventually market president.
In 1997, he and 3 colleagues took a big risk: they quit their jobs, and launched an all-new financial institution, known as Heartland Community Bank. He and his business partner, Jeff Goben were determined to provide local banking services that would maintain community ties.
Looking back on his career, Bechman says starting the bank was a key highlight for him. And when he and his business partner eventually decided to sell Heartland in 2012, he says Horizon was the right choice to take it over. “We could see the banking industry going to the bigger banks,” he says. “We thought it was time, and the market was good. And Horizon had the same philosophies as us, as far as community involvement and giving back to the community. Plus, they had a commitment to their employees, too— and to me, that’s number one. You have to have a good team around you and take care of them.” After selling to Horizon, he stayed on with the bank to help with its continued success.
Beyond his day-to-day work, Bechman has been a steadfast contributor to the communities around him. He has served as board member and president for both the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and the United Way, and was also on the Johnson Memorial Health Foundation board for 16 years. He’s currently serving on the board of the Franklin United Methodist Community, and has also served on the Board for the Indiana 4-H Foundation.
Bechman says the most valuable part of his career has been his ability to help others. “It’s always rewarding to run into people who say I gave them their first car loan years ago, for instance,” he says. “It’s exciting to help people, and see them become successful.”
As for his retirement, Bechman says he plans to take advantage of more time to be outside. He enjoys gardening, and is making plans for a small, one-acre grape vineyard at his home. He also raises bees, and will continue working with his hives to produce honey.
Horizon Bancorp is a locally owned, independent, commercial bank holding company serving Northern and Central Indiana and Southwest and Central Michigan through its commercial banking subsidiary Horizon Bank, NA. Horizon also offers mortgage-banking services throughout the Midwest. Horizon Bancorp may be reached online at www.horizonbank.com. Its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol HBNC.