Lawrence Schools and Community Connect with Ameriana’s Jerry Gassen
It’s rare when a person is able to build their whole life around personal and professional passions. Jerry Gassen is such a person. As president of Ameriana Bank, Gassen didn’t start out to be a banker. In fact, he was concentrated on completing his master’s degree in English. While pursuing his master’s program, he took a job working in retail but left it for an opening at a bank in Wisconsin. He loved the job so much that he decided to add business courses to his studies. The business of banking found a place in his heart and he never looked back.
This career path, and his dedication to serving residents and companies in the communities where he lived, eventually led to his rise in the banking community. In 2005, he accepted the position of president of Ameriana Bank and became a Feather Cove resident in Indianapolis.
A chance meeting with Tom Britt at an open house for his newest Ameriana branch on Olio Road in Fishers led to a discussion of sponsorship for the Geist Half Marathon.
“It made sense to join in the sponsorship of this event as it so fit with the whole purpose of things we do as a community bank — giving back to the communities we serve. It was close to my heart, as I’m a runner and our family has always been involved in fitness. When I learned the race proceeds were being directed back to the schools in the area, it connected with my desire to get involved in solid community programs. My son and daughter went to Lawrence Central and our youngest son is a student there now, so that was a solid connection as well,” Gassen reflected.
His lifelong passion for fitness is shared by his wife, Carol, and his four children, Eric, Rachel, Alexandra (Allie) and Sean. Carol is a Masters Swimmer while his youngest son, Sean, runs track and cross country and is on the swim team at Lawrence Central. Fitness is indeed very important to this family.
Besides biking and running, Gassen also climbs mountains. Last fall he climbed five of the 14,000 peaks in Colorado. This year he is planning a trip to Nepal to walk to the Mt. Everest Base Camp.
When asked what he wanted us to know about Ameriana bank, he said, “Ameriana Bank was founded in 1890 in the town of New Castle, Indiana. Back then, as a building and loan, our main mission was to provide home loans to the residents and companies of East Central Indiana. Since that time, just like the towns and businesses we’ve worked with, Ameriana has grown, and while we now offer a full range of banking products and services, we’re still, at heart, a community bank. Our name, Ameriana, is a constant reminder to all of us to strive to combine the ideals that make “America” great, while remaining grounded in the Midwestern values that make “Indiana” special. All our employees are given time to work as volunteers within the communities we serve. They are dedicated to making a difference and it shows. We have a passion to be involved and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the fresh ideas and innovative products that a community bank like ours can provide.”
If you are watching the runners along the race route, look for Jerry Gassen to be in the front of the pack. How will you know him? Just look for the guy with a big smile on his face, fueled by the passion in his heart!