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First Merchants Gold Shield Awards

Best of Gold Shield Awards 2020 Winners

Monday, March 9, 2020

First Merchants held our 2020 Gold Shield Awards on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie, IN. The day was focused  on recognizing our best and brightest, providing 40 awards  in the areas of Sales Excellence, Service Excellence, Cornerstone Excellence and Community Excellence.

The Gold Shield Awards Celebration was created in 2007 to encourage top performance and recognize those who excel and serve as role models to all of us. As we strive for excellence, some among us stand out as exceptional professionals who combine this critical blend of performance and attitude.

The Gold Shield Awards honor employees based on performance in any of these three main categories:

Service Excellence:

Recognizes employees that have an unwavering focus on their customers – internal or external.

Cornerstone Excellence:

Recognizes employees on our administrative support teams that demonstrate commitment to service and efficiency.

Community Excellence:

Recognizes employees who demonstrate commitment to our community heritage through volunteer leadership service.

Sales Excellence awards are also given to honor employees. For these, recipients are selected by the managers in each of the following lines of business:

  • Mortgage
  • Commercial Banking
  • Consumer Banking
  • Private Wealth Advisors


Our 2020 Award Winners




Consumer Deposit Growth – Sarah Hain, Banking Center Manager, Huntington Banking Center (Fort Wayne)

Sarah Hain Gold Shield Awards Winner


Top Lender, Consumer and Business – Robert Young, Jr., Banking Center Manager, Greenwood Park Mall (Indianapolis)

Robert Young Jr Gold Shield Awards Winner


Workplace Banking – Union City Banking Center

  • Susan Crank
  • Kaylene Thompson
  • Maryann Buis
  • Mckenzie Damewood
Workplace Banking Gold Shield Awards Winners


Banking Center of the Year – DeMotte Banking Center, Lafayette West Region

  • Melissa Gootee
  • Brittanie Chevrette
  • Sharon Miller
  • Deborah Hinchy
  • Megan Hinton

Banking Center of the Year Gold Shield Awards Winners



Timothy Diersing – Mortgage Loan Originator from Indianapolis (Not present, Kim Thomas accepted on his behalf)

 Janene Groft – Mortgage Consultant from Lafayette

Janene Groft Gold Shield Awards Winner




EAS Enterprise and Deposit Operations Team

  • Kimberlie Wright
  • Travis Reese
  • Carly Bowmer
  • Valerie Deckman
  • Brenda Bates

Enterprise Applications Systems Team Gold Shield Awards Winners


Tanya Goebel – Manager, Operations & Administration, Private Wealth/Muncie

Tanya Goebel Gold Shield Awards Winner


Jamie Wright – Portfolio Manager, Research Director, PWA Investment Services/Muncie (Not present; Michael Joyce accepted on his behalf)


Summer Gibson – Trust Advisor, PWA Personal Trust/Muncie

Summer Gibson Gold Shield Awards Winner


Baily Sons – Commercial Administrator, Lakeshore

Baily Sons Gold Shield Awards

Stephanie Badalamenti – Banking Center Manager, Michigan

Stephanie Badalamenti Gold Shield Awards Winner



Daniel Lewis – Senior Financial Advisor, Lakeshore
Daniel Lewis Gold Shield Awards Winner


Michael Daugherty – Wealth Advisor, Indianapolis, Not Present


Douglas White – Senior Trust Advisor, Muncie East 

Douglas White Gold Shield Awards Winner


Darlisa Davis – Private Banker, Indianapolis

Darlisa Davis Gold Shield Awards Winner



Timothy Kuhnen, Relationship Manager, Fort Wayne
Timothy Kuhnen Gold Shield Awards Winner


Kyle Newman, Relationship Manager, Fort Wayne

Kyle Newman Gold Shield Awards Winner


Kevin O’Rourke, Relationship Manager, Lakeshore
Kevin ORourke Gold Shield Awards Winner


Garrett Doan, Relationship Manager Indianapolis 

Garret Doan Gold Shield Awards Winner

Derek Rodgers, Relationship Manager, Muncie East
Derek Rodgers Gold Shield Awards Winner


Kevin Eckerty, Relationship Manager, Muncie East 

Kevin Eckerty Gold Shield Awards Winner

Joshua Riley, Relationship Manager, Ohio

Joshua Riley Gold Shield Awards Winner


Brent Talcott, Commercial Sales Manager, Lafayette


Brent Talcott Gold Shield Awards Winner


David Mongan, Team Lead, Merchant Card Sales, Indianapolis

David Mongan Gold Shield Awards Winner

Casey Spencer, Treasury Management Officer, Lafayette
Casey Spencer Gold Shield Awards Winner


Shane Miller, Relationship Manager, Indianapolis (Not present)



The Role Based Authority Management Team

  • Pam Miller
  • Morris Franklin
  • Angela Weis
  • Kimberlie Campbell
  • Rebecca Rees
  • Christine Alfery
  • Douglas Winchester
  • Nathan Maxfield
  • Sarah Paxson
  • Cynthia Holaday
  • Adam Souder
  • Melanie Cook
  • Philip Everts
  • Candace Shannon
  • Erin Sylvester

Role Based Authority Management Team Gold Shield Awards Winners


Cody Brooks, Manager, Credit Department, Fort Wayne

Cody Brooks Gold Shield Awards Winner


Enhanced New Hire Orientation Project Team

  • Jody VanBuskirk
  • Lora Ralph
  • Angela Thomas
  • Andrea Ridge
  • Lindy Vaught
  • Eric Segal
  • Abby Butler
  • Sharissa Ulrey

Enhanced New Hire Orientation Project Team Gold Shield Awards Winners


Teresa Ford, Director, HR Shared Services

Teresa Ford Gold Shield Awards Winner


Chelsea Hundley, Client Services Specialist, Private Wealth

Chelsea Hundley Gold Shield Awards Winner


Eric Segal, Assistant Manager, Learning & Development

Eric Segal Gold Shield Awards Winner


Julie Goforth, Lead Commercial Administrator, Indianapolis

Julie Goforth Gold Shield Awards Winner


Chris Thompson, Applications Analyst, Daleville

Chris Thompson Gold Shield Awards Winner


Nathan Coe, Manager, Retail Operations, Daleville

Nathan Coe Gold Shield Awards Winner


Angela Peckinpaugh, Consumer Operations Specialist, Daleville

Angela Peckinpaugh Gold Shield Awards Winner


Kory Benbow, Senior Applications Analyst, Daleville (Not Present)


CECL Implementation Team

  • Kevin Murphy
  • Shelby Lannan
  • Katelynn Lingle
  • Leonard Farnsworth
  • John Sutton
  • Brian Means
  • Melanie Bowling
  • Pam Miller
  • Stephen Rupsis
  • Adam Souder
  • Nathan Maxfield
  • Julia Crabtree
  • Sherri Nial
  • Robert White
  • Sarah Paxson
  • Michael Butler

CECL Implementation Team Gold Shield Awards Winner



Chelsea Essex, Service Associate, Market Square/Lafayette East

Chelsea Essex Gold Shield Awards Winner