1st Source Bank’s Specialty Finance Group: Serving the Next Generation of Leaders

by Jan/Feb 2024

Christopher Craft,
President and Chief Operating Officer,
1st Source Bank's Specialty Finance Group


The Specialty Finance Group (SFG) at 1st Source Bank follows “the 1st Source way of leadership.” This servant leadership philosophy is rooted in the values of integrity, teamwork, superior quality and outstanding service to others. It focuses on developing and inspiring team members to become the best they can be, while executing the company’s mission to help clients achieve security, build wealth and realize their dreams.

Leadership is a Team Sport
Each of SFG’s division leaders serve as role models, contributing expertise and thoughtful decisions while they communicate, coordinate and collaborate with their colleagues across the bank and the industry. SFG leaders take great care in and derive professional satisfaction from supporting their team members, coaching their continuous growth and expressing gratitude while celebrating their successes. Each member of the SFG team commits consistent and sustained effort to making a positive difference for the bank, their team members and across the equipment finance communities the company serves.

Investing in Aspiring Leaders
For aspiring leaders, SFG creates formal development plans that incorporate numerous continuing education and leadership course options. The company is particularly excited about STRIPES Leadership Program as a critical piece of SFG’s leadership development plans. SFG leaders invest in a significant amount of on-the-job leadership mentoring, often discussing real world leadership situations in addition to sharing books, articles, lectures etc., with the intent of helping aspiring leaders grow.

SFG strongly believes that leaders can successfully grow and develop over time through these intentional practices. While formal leadership might not be the course of choice for all, SFG understands that a leadership title is not necessary to begin to build and display leadership traits in day-to-day activities.

Continuous Learning and Growth as a Leader
Christopher Craft, president and chief operating officer of 1st Source’s SFG, is committed to an ongoing study of leadership through books, articles, keynotes and lectures, a practice that he continues to this day. “Through my educational and professional training, I give extra attention to the leadership elements of my studies and actively seek specific leadership training opportunities,” Craft says.

Through his career, Craft has carefully observed leaders for indicators of what to do and, importantly, what not to do. “I greatly benefited from the mentoring of several top performing seasoned executive leaders through the years and remain very grateful for their insights,” Craft says.

Serving on the board of directors for numerous non-profit organizations and church leadership activities contributed to the development of Craft’s leadership skills as well. He currently engages in ongoing leadership dialog with bank leaders, team members, his personal advisory board, clients and other equipment finance and banking industry executives. “I also strongly believe in giving back by reinvesting in our equipment finance industry through the sponsorship and/or participation in leadership speaking engagements, speaking to STRIPES classes and on college campuses while providing leadership mentoring to early and mid-career team members,” Craft says. •

Leave a comment