Message From The CEO - Pete Stickler, President and CEO
Business As Unusual
If you looked back just a few years ago,
the term “crisis management” might have
been a peripheral focus for some organizations. Certainly earthquakes happened
and PR mistakes were aplenty, but in
2020 COVID-19 caused all businesses
to re-evaluate their preparedness and
adjust their business model. For example,
over the course of a few weeks Inland
Bank lobbies became appointment only,
backroom staff started working from
home and employees throughout the
organization rallied to support the rollout
of the Paycheck Protection Program.
Throughout these rapid changes, Inland
Bank’s Crisis Management Team and plan
served as the cornerstone to maintaining
business as usual.
While I’m not a crisis management expert,
I thought it would be important to share
the building blocks of a good crisis
management plan and the lessons we’ve
learned as an organization.
Crisis management is the process of preparing for and managing any disruptive or unexpected emergency situations that affect your business, stakeholders, employees, customers and revenue. Crisis management is also an important component of public relations. The crisis management process involves much more than managing the crisis itself — although that’s arguably the most important part.
- Pre-Crisis The first part of crisis management is preventing any potential crises. This involves creating a crisis management plan, assigning your crisis management team and conducting practice exercises for implementing your plan. It’s important to remember that your crisis management team and your everyday management team are two different groups. Your crisis management team should be smaller and nimble, able to test plans and bring in experts as needed. Your plan needs to be comprehensive. If your business faces a crisis of any kind and isn’t equipped with a crisis management plan detailing how you’ll handle the situation, it’s likely you’ll experience serious and long-lasting consequences. These consequences might be related to various legal, operational and public relations issues.
- Crisis Management and Response The second step in the crisis management process is likely what you consider when you think of crisis management — the process of dealing with and responding to the different stages of a crisis. This stage is when your crisis management plan is put into action. Initial crisis management messages are released, employees and stakeholders are contacted and public and company safety is prioritized. Communication plays a critical role in keeping all aspects of your plan aligned and employees well-informed and customers in the loop. While planning is key, allowing your team to adapt nimbly is also essential. For instance, during COVID-19 many of our employees began working remotely for the first time and Inland Bank found Microsoft Teams became an indispensable way to keep our employees connected. In addition, the Bank recently rolled out a Sharepoint-based Intranet site that allows employees to access corporate communications, policies and more from their home laptop or smartphone.
- Post-Crisis When a crisis passes or subsides, your crisis management work is hardly finished. Work with your crisis management team to review and analyze your crisis management plan and how it played out during a real emergency situation. How did your crisis communications perform? Did you have access to the tools you needed or are there others you should be considering? How does the crisis effect business plans, budgets and more for the rest of the year? A good example of post-crisis considerations can be found with the current COVID-19 crisis. In Chicagoland, a phased approach back to business will have implications to retail foot traffic, office space use and policies regarding employees continuing to work from home. The important thing is to document changes and integrate any lessons you learn into your crisis management process for future planning.
Prepare Your Business for Crises Ensuring your business is prepared for any number of possible crises will allow you to maintain a positive and professional reputation with your customers and competitors as well as your employees. By developing a crisis management plan, considering the possible stages of a crisis and creating a team of people to help you through any unforeseen event or catastrophe, you’ll potentially prevent your company from long-lasting, negative repercussions.
Michael Corr: Senior Vice President – Manager of Business Banking
Michael CorrSenior Vice President
Manager of Business Banking
- What are your current responsibilities in your role with Inland Bank? I oversee the business banking department, which provides relationship banking services to privately held businesses across Chicagoland. I also collaborate across Inland Bank departments internally and work with lenders and centers of influence to spot new business opportunities to fuel departmental growth.
- How did you first become interested in the banking industry? I started my career in banking directly out of college as a credit analyst at a local community bank. I spent the past 20 years in commercial lending at First Bank & Trust, which was subsequently acquired by Byline Bank. A neighborhood friend and the Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Lending, Terry Velan, introduced me to Inland Bank and I joined the company in December 2019.
- What do you enjoy most about your job? The best part of my job is working with clients and being an advocate for small businesses. Most of all, I enjoy working with the people at Inland Bank, who have shown incredible dedication and hard work during this challenging and unprecedented time, as the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Favorite Hobbies: Coaching youth hockey and inline skating.
- Involvement with any charitable or civic-minded organizations: I have been involved in several non-profit organizations, most notably Infant Welfare Society of Evanston and Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center.
- Last book you read: The last book I read and highly recommend is “Beartown” by Fredrik Backman.
Tracy Weinrich: Senior Vice President – Risk Management
Tracy WeinrichSenior Vice President
- What are your current responsibilities in your role with Inland Bank? I am responsible for enterprise risk management, which includes process, product and service risk assessments. In addition, I oversee corporate project management and serve as Inland Bank’s Information Security Officer.
- What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy that I work on a variety of projects with individual departments. Working in Risk Management gives me exposure to various divisions and bank functions. Every day I learn something new.
- What has been your greatest success while at Inland Bank? My most recent initiative resulting in a successfully and meaningful impact to the Bank was managing the project to get the Bank ready to accept applications for the Small Business Administrations’ Payroll Protection Program. I worked to set up the Bank and administrators to access the SBAs systems, internal processes for accepting and approving loans and put together a group to input a high volume of loans in a short amount of time to ensure the Bank was able to get the funds to our customers.
- Favorite Hobbies: I enjoy reading, bike riding and crossword puzzles on weekend mornings.
- Last book you read: The last book I read was “City of Endless Night,” written by my favorite authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
- Best piece of advice you’ve received: Think before you speak, words can be hurtful and are not easily forgotten.
Cabernet & Company
Independently owned and operated specialty beverage retailer Cabernet & Company was founded in 1993 by Alixe Lischett. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the suburban Glen Ellyn shop swiftly transitioned to curbside operation, foregoing weekend wine bar offerings, tastings and in-store events.
Cabernet & Company has served Glen Ellyn and neighboring communities for over 25 years, consistently providing the quality, service, and curated selection of global wines and spirits clients have come to enjoy. As a small business owner, Alixe has made every effort to ensure continuity, while navigating through the sudden uncertainty.
Cabernet & Company’s relationship with Inland Bank began in early May, with the opening of a new account and inquiry into the Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”). Vice President of Business Banking, Illiana Ebbole, worked with Alixe throughout the newly implemented application process. Alixe credits her introduction and working relationship with Inland Bank to the individual and personalized guidance provided by Inland bankers. Receiving a late-evening, weekend call from Illiana to verify all documents were completed and ready for PPP submission, further affirmed the tailored care Alixe sought in specialized banking. Cabernet & Company is located at 434 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
E. Formella & Sons, Inc.
When E. Formella & Sons, Inc., a family-owned Chicagoland manufacturer of stock and custom recipes for food service and branded and private-label retail opportunities, began to experience challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Company did not hesitate to reach out to its Inland Bank account manager and Vice President of Commercial Banking, James Cox, for assistance and support.
E. Formella & Sons has enjoyed a three-year relationship with Inland Bank, in which they receive day-to-day banking services, wire transfers, management of the mortgage for its 34,000-squarefoot facility in Countryside, Illinois, and assistance in facilitating its business banking relationship in foreign markets for exports. However, more recently, the Company has turned to Inland Bank for guidance in navigating the ever-changing Disaster Recovery Loan guidelines.
“Jim Cox went above and beyond to assist us in this challenging time, and his knowledge and help in facilitating what was needed underscores their desire to understand my business and go that extra mile,” said Kathy Formella, president of E. Formella & Sons, Inc. “I greatly value the partnership, top notch service and professionalism our company receives from Inland Bank. It is clear they understand the roadmap, including obstacles and successes, of Formella Foods.”
Founded in 1909 by Enrico Formella, Formella Foods specializes in manufacturing giardiniera, muffuletta, pasta sauces and infused gourmet oils. Primarily serving customers in the Chicagoland area, E. Formella & Sons, Inc. is headquartered at 411 East Plainfield Road in Countryside.
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