Michael Rechin has announced he will retire as president and chief executive officer of Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. after 13 years, effective December 31. The banking company says Rechin will remain on the board of directors and serve as an advisor. 

First Merchants Board of Directors Chairman Charles Schalliol says, “Mike’s retirement caps an outstanding period in which he led First Merchants Corporation to unprecedented growth and success. On Mike’s watch, First Merchants grew from $3 billion in assets to $13 billion, with income growth to match. Forbes has recognized and ranked First Merchants as one of the five best banks in the country in each of the last three years.”

First Merchants Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Mark Hardwick will succeed Rechin as CEO, while Chief Banking Officer Michael Stewart will become president.

Senior Vice President of Finance Michele Kawiecki will become CFO. The bank says all leadership changes will go into effect on January 1, 2021. 

“It has been a great privilege to lead First Merchants Corporation,” said Rechin. “The management team we’ve developed is well prepared to take First Merchants to the next level as Mark, Mike and Michele have all earned their next leadership responsibilities. My wife Debbie and I consider Indiana home. We plan to stay for the foreseeable future, and I will continue to assist the new leadership team.”

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