“After 25 years at different banks, I came to First Merchants because I was sold on the Next Horizon Mortgage—I believe it is the best product on the market, and it enables me to achieve my goal of helping as many people as possible become homeowners,” she said. “I am proud to play a part in serving all populations. We are a community bank, and helping people prosper is more a purpose than it is a job.”
A big part of Sherry’s role is getting to know and counseling clients like the couple in her story. As First Merchants intentionally places new banking centers in under-resourced neighborhoods, team members like Sherry have the opportunity to provide a lot of education – including financial wellness classes, credit counseling, homebuyers' education counseling, and more to help the community thrive. As Sherry likes to say, “There is always lots of work to be done and relationships to build.”
Relationships are key to her work, both here at First Merchants and in the community. She is a member of several organizations that are dedicated to making homeownership and financial planning more accessible to minority populations, including the Central Indiana Realtist Association, which recently honored Sherry with its 2021 Above & Beyond Award. Several of these organizations are working to help those in the Black community get a head start on building savings and strategies to help close the wealth gap. A lot of that starts with being able to purchase a home.
“Something I tell clients is that it’s never too late to start, and that our team is here to help,” Sherry said. “This role fits so well with my passion and my mission in life. Corporate social responsibility is not just something we do. It’s the heart of the bank and it’s good business.”