The Community Business Lending Team
Meet the Community Business Lending Team
Led by Alfonso PerezSotomayor, First Merchants’ Community Business Lending team is all about bringing people together, helping clients grow with financial education, and providing equal access to capital. This team is passionate about elevating women- and minority-owned businesses and working with entrepreneurs.
Their advice: Keep pushing. Don’t give up. Find a financial partner that will say yes.
(pictured left to right in video: David Watkins, Sherry Boudoin, Alfonso PerezSotomayor, Tiffany Whitner, Victor Lizano, Hussain Bhanpuri)
Meet David Watkins:
David helps businesses by leaning on the community connections he’s developed as a life-long banker.
“What’s most rewarding is when you can take a business that has been struggling and help them achieve great heights. We’re here to help serve the community, and we’re very passionate about it.”
Vice President, Community Business Lending Officer, Detroit Michigan
Meet Hussain Bhanpuri:
Hussain knows that running a business can be scary, but First Merchants is here to help – be it through funding or through partnerships with organizations that assist entrepreneurs.
“Don’t be afraid to hear no. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to come talk to a First Merchants banker. You’re not alone.”
Vice President, Community Business Lending Officer, NW Indiana / Chicagoland
Meet Victor Lizano (HABLO ESPAÑOL)
Victor’s work is about going beyond what people expect from a typical bank. Sometimes bankers and lenders start by thinking about what they can’t do to help a client. Victor’s approach is the opposite.
“Community Lending really is a way for us to bridge the gap between communities that have been underserved and their understanding of what a bank can do.”
Assistant VP, Community Business Lending Officer, Indianapolis
Oficial de Préstamos Comerciales Comunitarios, en Indianápolis
Meet Sherry Boudoin:
What does community mean to Sherry?
“Making sure that our communities are prospering. All of us coming together, engaging, and making sure that our customers have everything they need to create that generational wealth.”
Vice President, Community Business Lending Officer, Greater Indianapolis
Meet Tiffany Whitner:
Working with business owners is second-nature to Tiffany – her mother was an entrepreneur, and, as a career banker, she herself has helped more than a few achieve their goals.
“My mission is to create more economic inclusion that truly reflects our diverse communities. My focus in my role is to serve as a trusted Financial Advisor to Minority and Woman Owned Businesses and assist with access to capital, resources and financial wellness.”
Vice President, Community Business Lending Officer, Columbus Ohio
First Merchants Bank’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility compels us to invest in our communities by finding ways to reduce inequalities, improve the quality of our neighborhoods, and promote positive economic mobility though our five community pillars: Employee Empowerment; Community Investments and Charitable Giving; Financial Wellness; Community Home Lending; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This series features First Merchants teammates who embody the spirit and impact of the company’s Vision: “to enhance the financial wellness of the diverse communities we serve.”