Horizon Bancorp Makes Promotions Across Commercial and Consumer Banking

Horizon Bancorp will promote Noe S. Najera to executive vice president responsible for consumer, mortgage and mortgage-warehouse lending, as well as CRA and fair lending programs. Najera will lead these teams upon company president James D. Neff’s retirement from the company and its wholly-owned Horizon Bank subsidiary on March 31.

In addition, Horizon Bancorp will promote executive vice president Lynn Kerber to chief commercial banking officer upon Dennis Kuhn’s appointment as Horizon’s regional president for southwest Michigan.

Both Najera and Kerber will assume these new roles on April 1.

On Jan. 24, Neff notified Horizon Bancorp of his intention to retire on March 31.

“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,” Craig M. Dwight, chairman and CEO of Horizon Bancorp, 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.”

Najera joined Horizon Bancorp in 2016 and has served as senior vice president of consumer lending and CRA/fair lending since then. In addition, he assumed additional responsibilities for retail mortgage lending in 2018. He has more than 20 years of consumer and mortgage lending experience. Previously, Najera played professional baseball for five years.

Kerber joined Horizon Bancorp in 2018 and has served as executive vice president and senior commercial credit officer since January 2021. Previously in her career, Kerber 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.

Kuhn, in his new regional president role, will be responsible for growth in southwest Michigan, where he has built commercial and community relationships during his 37-year career. He joined Horizon Bancorp in 2010 to establish its Kalamazoo, MI, office and has served as executive vice president and chief commercial banking officer since 2017. Previously, Kuhn was an executive in the southwest and central regions of Michigan with Portage Commerce Bank, Michigan National Bank and First of America Bank.

Dwight will assume the role of president upon Neff’s retirement until a new president of Horizon Bancorp is appointed. The company intends to retain an executive search firm to conduct a national search for a permanent successor to Neff as president and to advise the company’s board of directors on potential internal and external candidates.

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