Horizon Bancorp, Inc. (“Horizon” or the “Company”) today announced various changes to its senior leadership structure and made several executive leadership promotions and appointments for consumer and commercial banking, to be effective April 1, 2022.
Noe S. Najera will be promoted to Executive Vice President, responsible for consumer, mortgage, and mortgage-warehouse lending, as well as CRA and fair lending programs, leading these teams upon President James D. Neff’s retirement from the Company and its wholly owned Horizon Bank subsidiary on March 31.
In addition, Executive Vice President Lynn Kerber will be promoted to Chief Commercial Banking Officer upon Dennis Kuhn’s appointment as Horizon’s Regional President for Southwest Michigan.
On January 24, 2022, James D. Neff, the President of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Horizon Bank, notified the Company of his intention to retire from his positions effective as of March 31, 2022. “With Jim’s distinguished banking career of nearly 44 years and more than two decades on our executive management team, Horizon has benefitted greatly from his significant contributions, and we look forward to his continued friendship as we wish him the very best in retirement,” Chairman and CEO Craig M. Dwight said. “In naming Noe, Lynn and Dennis to their new roles, we are able to draw from Horizon’s deep bench of highly experienced bankers to ensure that all our talented advisors have the leadership and resources they need to serve growing numbers of consumers and businesses in Indiana, Michigan and throughout the Midwest.”
Noe Najera joined Horizon in 2016 and has served as Senior Vice President, Consumer Lending and CRA/Fair Lending and assumed additional responsibilities for retail mortgage lending in 2018. He has over 20 years of consumer and mortgage lending experience. Previously, Noe played professional baseball for five years with the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds. He earned his B.A. degree from Indiana University South Bend and attended Cypress College and North Carolina State University as a scholarship athlete. Noe is a volunteer mentor for Junior Achievement at Purdue Northwest, Unity Foundation of La Porte County, and a member of Horizon’s Diversity Business Council, Mortgage Bankers Association and Michigan Bankers Association.
Lynn Kerber joined Horizon in 2018 and has served as Executive Vice President, Senior Commercial Credit Officer since January 2021. Previously in her career, Lynn held leadership roles in commercial banking, credit administration, and enterprise risk management, having previously served as Executive Vice President, Regional Bank President and Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Chemical Financial Corporation. She earned her M.B.A. and B.A. degrees from Western Michigan University and also completed the Stonier Graduate School of Banking Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Lynn has been active in community and professional organizations throughout her career, and currently serves on the Board of Education for South Haven Public School District as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee.
Dennis Kuhn, in his new Regional President role, will be responsible for growth in Southwest Michigan where he has built strong commercial and community relationships during his 37-year career. He joined Horizon in 2010 to establish its Kalamazoo office and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Banking Officer since 2017. Previously, Dennis was an executive in the Southwest and Central regions of the state with Portage Commerce Bank, Michigan National Bank and First of America Bank. He earned his B.S. degree from Oregon State University. Dennis currently serves as a Board member and Treasurer of the Michigan City Economic Development Corporation, and has been active in numerous community and non-profit organizations throughout his career.
Craig M. Dwight, the Chairman and CEO of the Company and Horizon Bank, will assume the role of President upon Mr. Neff’s retirement until a new President of the Company and Horizon Bank is appointed. The Company intends to retain an executive search firm to conduct a national search for a permanent successor to Mr. Neff as President and advise the Board of Directors on potential internal and external candidates.