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Officers & Directors

Executive Officers
Mark K. Hardwick
Chief Executive Officer
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Mark K. Hardwick currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of First Merchants Corporation and First Merchants Bank.

Mark joined First Merchants in November of 1997 as corporate controller and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in April of 2002. In June of 2007, Hardwick also assumed all leadership responsibilities related to operations, technology, and risk management for the corporation. In 2016, Mark’s title expanded to include Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the leadership responsibilities for finance, operations, technology, risk, legal, and facilities for the corporation. In 2021, Mark was promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining First Merchants Corporation, Mark served as a senior accountant with BKD, LLP in Indianapolis.

Mark is a graduate of Ball State University with a master’s in business administration and bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is also a certified public accountant and a graduate of the Stonier School of Banking.

Mark is a trustee for Ball State University, serving as the chair for the Audit Committee. Mark is also a member of Next Muncie. Mark was inducted into the Ball State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012. He was also the recipient of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “CFO of the Year” in 2012.

Mark and his wife, Cathy, live in Yorktown and have two children, Halie and Bryce.

Michael J. Stewart
President
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Mike is President for First Merchants Corporation and First Merchants Bank, headquartered in Muncie, Indiana The Bank also operates First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors. Mike oversees the Commercial, Private Wealth, and Consumer Lines of Business for the Bank.

Mike has a Masters in Business Administration from Butler University and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Millikin University.

As an active leader in the community, Mike currently serves as a director and past chairman of Bosma Industries, Board of the Indiana State Chamber and board member of the 2nd Presbyterian Foundation. He is also an advisory board member of Oxer Capital Corp. and Centerfield Capital Corp. His past involvement includes service as a director for Westminster Neighborhood Services, Park Tudor Planned Giving, and Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, Inc. Mike also previously served as chairman of the Seton Society (St. Vincent Hospital Foundation Organization) and an alumnus of the Diversity Leadership Group of Greater Indianapolis.

Michele M. Kawiecki
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Michele M. Kawiecki

Michele Kawiecki currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for First Merchants Corporation and First Merchants Bank. Her career with First Merchants began March 2015 as Director of Finance. In 2017, Michele assumed responsibilities for facilities. In 2021, Michele was promoted to Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to joining First Merchants, Michele spent 11 years with UMB Financial Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri. Her roles at UMB included having served as Senior Vice President of Capital Management and Assistant Treasurer for 4 years; Director of Corporate Development and the Enterprise Project Management Office for 3 years; and, Chief Risk Officer for 4 years. Prior to UMB she worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP as an Audit Manager.

Michele is active in the Indianapolis community serving as a director for Children’s Bureau, Inc. and IU Health Suburban Hospital Region. Her previous service in the community includes Financial Executives International Indianapolis Chapter, MOCSA, and Ember Hope.

Michele earned both a Master of Science in Accounting and an Executive Masters in Business Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Bachelor degree in Business and Accounting from Dakota Wesleyan University.

John J. Martin
Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer
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John J. Martin is Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of First Merchants Corporation. Martin joined First Merchants in 2007 as Senior Manager of Lending Process in the Credit Division, was promoted to Deputy Chief Credit Officer in 2008 and to Chief Credit officer in June 2009.

Martin is a graduate of Indiana University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration in finance from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

Stephan H. Fluhler
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
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Stephan Fluhler is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of First Merchants Corporation. Prior to joining First Merchants, his banking career started in 1992 with Deutsche Financial Services. His roles there included serving as Field Auditor, Credit Manager, Senior Portfolio Analyst, and Chief Technology Specialist. Fluhler earned his undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance from Barry University in Miami, Florida, and his Masters in Business Administration from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Steven C. Harris
Senior Vice President and Director Of Human Resources
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Mr. Harris joined the company in March 2016 as Director of Talent Development. He was promoted to Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources as of November 2016.

He is a graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and a master’s degree in Adult Learning and Education from Indiana University. He is also a graduate of Purdue’s Continuing Ed School of Agricultural Banking and former faculty member for the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Banking.

Chad W. Kimball
Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer
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Chad W. Kimball is Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of First Merchants Corporation. Chad has more than 20 years of risk management experience. Throughout Chad‘s career he has held risk leadership positions with KPMG and EY where he had the opportunity to work with many financial services organizations including US Bank, Huntington Bank, First Financial Bancorp, Park National Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Old National Bank, Republic Bancorp, Provident Bank, and more. He also spent time at GE Aviation, where he served as the Global Director of Regulatory Risk and Compliance.

Most recently, Chad served as Senior Vice President of Risk with Huntington Bank where he led the risk teams for several key Basel aligned functions including Internal/External Fraud, Third Party Risk, Destruction of Physical Assets, Business Disruptions and System Failures, Employment Practices and Workplace Safety. He also led other areas from a second line risk perspective such as insider threat, records management, and the build out of both the operational resilience function and the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning risk management framework.

Chad earned his BS in Accounting with a minor in computer science from the University of Rio Grande and is a certified Information System Auditor and Certified Internal Auditor.

Brian T. Hunt
Secretary and Legal Counsel

Brian T. Hunt’s legal career has been distinguished in the corporate environment after having served as General Counsel and Secretary for ATA Airlines, Inc. for nineteen years and Chief Compliance Officer, General Counsel and Secretary for Pinnacle Airlines Corp. for five years. Mr. Hunt had also worked for Salin Bank and Trust as General Counsel, Chief Credit Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Risk Officer for two years.

Brian earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Dayton and his Juris Doctorate (with honors) from Indiana University School of Law.

He is a member of the American, Indiana and Indianapolis Bar Associations and the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Board of Directors
Michael R. Becher
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Retired Managing Partner of the Indianapolis Office of Deloitte & Touche (Deloitte) having had responsibilities for marketplace activities and growth. Audit partner for over 25 years serving public and private companies in industries such as financial services, retail, manufacturing, and tax-exempt organizations, including experience with Sarbanes-Oxley and its implementation. Held global, national and regional leadership positions at Deloitte while serving local audit clients and overseeing significant growth as an Indianapolis marketplace leader. Experience in corporate governance as both a board member and as a service provider.

Susan W. Brooks
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Susan W. Brooks is an accomplished former Congresswoman and former US Attorney who has driven key legislation to reform emergency response, healthcare, manufacturing, technology innovation, higher education and public safety. From 2013-2020, she served as the U.S. Representative for the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight diverse counties throughout the central part of the Hoosier State.

As a former member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Susan held subcommittee roles in Health; Communications and Technology; Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade; and Oversight and Investigations. She helped shape legislation to improve the health security of Americans through reforms to mental health programs addressing the national heroin and prescription opioid abuse epidemic. Susan also co-founded the 5G Caucus which propelled the United States as a 5G thought leader, driving economic growth and digital innovation. As a former Chair of the Homeland Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, Susan co-authored the reauthorization of the Pandemic All Hazard Preparedness Act (PAHPA) which strengthened our country’s biodefense response to natural or terrorist related attacks.

Prior to Congress, Susan served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. In 2001, Susan was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve for six years as US Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, acting as the chief federal law enforcement officer for most of the state. Prior to her appointment as US Attorney, Susan practiced law at Ice Miller in the Government Services Practice Group. Susan also served as Deputy Mayor for the City of Indianapolis under Mayor Stephen Goldsmith overseeing public safety operations and helped manage law enforcement and emergency response efforts. Previously, she practiced criminal defense law in state and federal courts throughout Indiana.

Patrick J. Fehring
Patrick J. Fehring

Patrick J. Fehring, retired President and Chief Executive Officer of Level One Bank and Level One Bancorp, Inc., served in this position since the founding of the bank in 2007 until their merger with First Merchants in 2022.  Before the founding of Level One in 2007, Fehring spent 27 years with Fifth Third Bancorp and its affiliates, most recently as President of Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan.

Mr. Fehring is an active leader in the local community, where he is engaged with the Entrepreneurs Organization and serves as a Board Member of Ascension Health Michigan and as Board Chair of Catholic Foundation of Michigan.  Fehring received his Bachelor of Science in Business from Miami University in Ohio. 

Michael Justin Fisher
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President and Chief Operating Officer of Ball Brothers Foundation located in Muncie, Indiana. Mr. Fisher joined Ball Brothers Foundation in 2003 after working in administration for Old National Bancorp. In addition to his duties as president and Chief Operating Officer of Ball Brothers Foundation, he serves on the boards of several regional and statewide organizations including the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation, and Delaware Advancement Corporation. A Michigan native, Mr. Fisher has an undergraduate degree from DePauw University and a graduate degree from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

F. Howard Halderman
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President of Halderman Farm Management Service, Halderman Real Estate Services and Halderman Real Asset Management located in Wabash, Indiana. Mr. Halderman is an Accredited Farm Manager with the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and holds real estate broker’s licenses in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Honeywell Foundation in Wabash, IN and the Wabash County Hospital Board of Trustees. He currently resides in Wabash, Indiana, one of FMC’s long standing rural marketplaces and has served on the FMC Eastern Region Advisory Board since 2010.

Mark K. Hardwick
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Mark K. Hardwick currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of First Merchants Corporation and First Merchants Bank.

Mark joined First Merchants in November of 1997 as corporate controller and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in April of 2002. In June of 2007, Hardwick also assumed all leadership responsibilities related to operations, technology, and risk management for the corporation. In 2016, Mark’s title expanded to include Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the leadership responsibilities for finance, operations, technology, risk, legal, and facilities for the corporation. In 2021, Mark was promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining First Merchants Corporation, Mark served as a senior accountant with BKD, LLP in Indianapolis.

Mark is a graduate of Ball State University with a master’s in business administration and bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is also a certified public accountant and a graduate of the Stonier School of Banking.

Mark is a trustee for Ball State University, serving as the chair for the Audit Committee. Mark is also a member of Next Muncie. Mark was inducted into the Ball State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012. He was also the recipient of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “CFO of the Year” in 2012.

Mark and his wife, Cathy, live in Yorktown and have two children, Halie and Bryce.

William L. Hoy
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William L. Hoy, a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration, is Vice President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner of the Columbus Sign Company, a custom sign and graphic fabricator, as well as M & B Properties, a real estate partnership, both located in Columbus, Ohio. In the local community, Mr. Hoy has served on the governing board of the YMCA, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce business advisory board and is a long-time board member of The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, having previously served as president and chairman of the board. Mr. Hoy is a founding director of Commerce National Bank and is a current regional advisory board member of First Merchants Bank's Ohio Region. He has served on the boards of First Merchants Corporation and First Merchants Bank since 2007.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson

Kevin D. Johnson is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the city’s leading inclusive economic development driver. He has served as president and CEO since June 2018.

Under Johnson’s leadership, the organization focuses on job creation, capital investment and small business growth for the City of Detroit. Access, inclusion and financial growth for all Detroiters form the foundation of all DEGC work.

As president and CEO, Johnson spearheads DEGC’s economic development initiatives, including business attraction and retention, neighborhood small-business growth and international investment. In this role, Johnson builds upon 40-plus years of positive impact the DEGC has had on Detroit. Most recently, Johnson was integral in bringing Fiat Chrysler’s/ Stellantis $4.5 billion investment to Detroit, and with it thousands of Stellantis and supplier jobs.

A veteran of the industry, Johnson has served in both public and private economic-development positions throughout the U.S., including roles in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. In his most previous role at Invest Atlanta, Johnson led the economic development program for the city, helping to create jobs and generating billions of dollars in new capital investment.

Johnson began his career nearly 30 years ago as the assistant county manager and Director of Economic Development for Caswell County (NC) Municipal Government. Throughout his career he has held a variety of leadership positions including president of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, vice president of business development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and vice president of business development for Research Triangle Foundation in North Carolina.

Johnson received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Pre-Law from South Carolina State University. He received his Certified Economic Developer designation from the International Economic Development Council and has received numerous professional and community awards. Johnson was named one of the Top 50 Economic Developers of 2019 by Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants. He also serves as a member of the International Economic Development Council. He is also on the board of directors with the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Tech Town, and the Economic Development Leaders of Michigan.

Clark C. Kellogg Jr.
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Mr. Kellogg brings to the Board of First Merchants Corporation extensive leadership skills and experience from his time on and off of the court as a professional basketball player for the Indianapolis Pacers and a College Basketball Analyst. Mr. Kellogg resides in the Columbus, Ohio, metropolitan area. He has served on First Merchants Columbus Advisory Board since 2001 and The Ohio State University Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2019. His involvement with many Columbus-area organizations makes him a recognized Columbus civic leader.

Gary J. Lehman
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Mr. Lehman is a Managing Director of The Cannelton Group (“Cannelton). He co-founded Cannelton in 2002. From 2012 to 2014, he was the President of Oerlikon USA Holdings, Inc. which is part of the Oerlikon Group (“Oerlikon”), a leading global technology company based in Switzerland. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Lehman was the CEO of Oerlikon’s Drive Systems segment. This segment includes Fairfield Manufacturing Company Inc. (“Fairfield”), Lafayette, Indiana, the largest independent gear manufacturer in the United States, which Oerlikon acquired in 2007. When Oerlikon acquired Fairfield, Mr. Lehman was Fairfield’s President and CEO, and he continued in this position until 2012 and as Fairfield’s Chair until 2014. Prior to co-founding Cannelton in 2002, Mr. Lehman was President and CEO of Philips Lighting Electronics NA and Advance Transformer, a wholly owned subsidiary of Philips Electronics NV; and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations and General Manager of the Body Systems Division of ITT Automotive. Mr. Lehman is currently a member of the Boards of SCP Limited, Inc. and Ash Access Technology, and Chairman of the Board of Greater Lafayette Commerce. Mr. Lehman is a member of the Purdue University Board of Trustees and has served on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education from 2008-2010.

Michael C. Rechin
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Mike Rechin currently serves as a director and consultant for First Merchants Bank. Mr. Rechin joined the company in 2005 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer in 2007, retiring from the company on December 31, 2020. His prior experience includes serving as Executive Vice President of Corporate Banking for National City Bank, managing its Indiana operations. He began his career with BancOhio National Bank in Columbus, Ohio, in 1983 as a corporate banking trainee and joined National City upon the acquisition of BancOhio in 1984.

Mike is a graduate of Miami University with a MBA in Finance and a Bachelor’s degree in English. He has completed numerous banking schools during his career.

As an active leader in the central Indiana community, Mike has been or is a director of the Lynx Capital Corporation, OneZone, The Center for the Performing Arts, Connor Prairie Museum, and the Sheehan Family Foundation.

He also previously served as a director of the United Way of Central Indiana, The Arts Council of Indianapolis, Junior Achievement of Indianapolis, Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trustees at Minnetrista and the Indy Partnership.

Charles E. Schalliol
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On June 1, 2007, Mr. Schalliol left his job as Indiana's Chief Financial Officer to return to the private sector joining a large Indiana law firm, Baker & Daniels, of Counsel. He is also pursuing private equity and venture capital opportunities.

Mr. Schalliol was named Director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget and Chief Financial Officer for the State of Indiana, as Governor Mitch Daniels’ first appointment, immediately following the November 2004 election. In this role, he had direct responsibility for the Administration’s budgets and financial organizations, including the State's two pension funds, as well as agencies with 2,000 state employees. He was also responsible for the State's efficiency efforts for all state institutions. He was active for the administration in all financially based legislative efforts. He led the financing of the billion dollar Indiana stadium and convention center project and was responsible for both the planning and implementation of the four billon dollar leasing transaction of the Indiana Toll Road. He led the Administration's effort to license the Indiana Lottery. Under his leadership, the State achieved it’s first balanced budget in eight years, passed four years of balanced budgets, and received credit upgrades from major rating agencies.

Prior to assuming his responsibilities with the State of Indiana, Mr. Schalliol served as the first President and CEO of BioCrossroads, the Indiana-based life sciences initiative. In that role, he led the effort to create a comprehensive strategy for Indiana’s life science sector and the formation of several new businesses and two venture funds: the Indiana Future Fund 1 and Indiana Seed Fund 1.

Preceding BioCrossroads, he held a variety of executive positions at Eli Lilly and Company, principally in strategic planning, investment banking, and business development. Most recently, he was Founder and Managing Director of Lilly’s three venture funds and Executive Director of Corporate Finance and Investment Banking. Mr. Schalliol led the purchase and sale of companies for Lilly including the formation of Guidant Corporation. He has held senior operating positions in a San Diego medical device company, IVAC Corporation, in operations, quality assurance, product testing, engineering, and regulatory. He previously worked in both public accounting and law firms.

Mr. Schalliol holds a business degree with high distinction from Indiana University and a law degree from Yale University. He is active on several boards of directors of both for profit and not-for-profit corporations.

Jason Sondhi
Jason Sondhi

Jason R. Sondhi is the founder and CEO of Sondhi Solutions, a leading IT consulting and staffing firm located in the heart of Indianapolis. An expert in the business, Jason has grown Sondhi Solutions to multiple markets and has topped the IBJ Fastest Growing Companies list in 2015-2016 and landing on the Inc. 5000 from 2014-2016. With a focus on supporting his employees, Sondhi Solutions was honored with the Top Places to Work award in 2018, 2019, and 2021.

As a leader in the community, giving back has been a top priority for Jason over his career. He sits on the board of Weaver Popcorn Fundraising, an organization that empowers individuals and organizations in need by fulfilling a goal through technology and products. He created IT Equipment Round UP which provides gently used IT equipment to non-profits and he started Jingle Books, a yearly Holiday fundraiser providing Indianapolis children books to inspire and educate. To date, 8,000+ books have been collected. Jason has been an active donor and volunteer with the Christel DeHaan Foundation and sits on the Park Tudor Alumni Board.

  • First Merchants Corporation

    200 East Jackson Street
    P.O. Box 792
    Muncie, IN 47305-2814

    (765) 747-1500

  • Investor Relations Contact

    Nicole M. Weaver
    765.521.7619 or
    800.262.4261, Ext. 47619

    nweaver@firstmerchants.com

  • Shareholder Relations Contact

    Cindy Holaday
    765.741.7278 or
    800.262.4261, Ext. 27278

    shareholderrelations
    @firstmerchants.com

  • Transfer Agent

    Broadridge
    PO Box 1342
    Brentwood, NY 11717-0718
    (888) 401-4448

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