“I don’t live in Avondale Meadows, so I try to make sure I spend a lot of time there and that, when I am there, I am really visible,” Iesha shared. “I do my grocery shopping in the community, I go to the dollar store there, I buy
And everywhere she goes, Iesha makes connections.
“I’m constantly talking to people – and I’m in their business the whole time,” she joked. “I introduce myself, ask where they bank, ask if they need help getting a mortgage or you know, anything that might help them
meet their goals and dreams.”
“There’s a fast-food restaurant across the street from us, and I think three or four of the employees there now bank with us, just because I’m constantly in the drive-thru talking,” she added with a laugh.
But Iesha thinks she’s had success because she approaches every conversation with genuine interest – genuine care.
“I want to know how we can help – whether it’s a customer, a community member, or a neighborhood nonprofit,” she said. “I want to plant that seed – that if they ever need anything they can reach out. And if we ever
want to partner or volunteer or anything of that nature, we know who to contact, as well.”
Iesha also spends her time at monthly meetings between community leaders and area non-profits, further strengthening those relationships and letting local groups know about services like financial education that they can share with their own patrons.
“I want them to know that we’re happy to help,” she said.
But Iesha isn’t just involved in the Avondale Meadows community – she’s also heavily involved in First Merchants’ own Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
“I used to head ERGs at a previous job, so when I got here and saw First Merchants had them, I knew I was going to jump in feet first,” she said.
Iesha has taken on leadership roles, helped source speakers, and provided general support for First Merchants’ ERGs, and says she sees them as an opportunity.
“I think we should be a part of anything we can be a part of to bring each other together to bring each other closer,” she explained. “We all have something in common in the core of our everyday lives – we all work for First Merchants
– so why not come together and share our likenesses and our differences?”
In her free time, Iesha volunteers for events supporting those living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), including Indianapolis’s annual MS Walk, and volunteers at her local Special Olympics. Iesha is inspired every day by her two children Arie (25) and Trey (8).