Business Spotlight: Community First Bank
Community First Bank Welcomes Two New Board Members
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Born and raised in Noblesville, Monica Peck played soccer at Indiana University and graduated from IU’s Kelly School of Business in finance and management. She worked in IT for six years before joining her family business, Hare Chevrolet. In 2008, she and her sister, Courtney, bought the business from their parents. They owned and operated it until 2017 when an illness in the family prompted them to sell it.
“Since then I’ve been working on tying up loose ends of a business that’s been around for 170 years,” Peck says. “And also trying to figure out my next venture in life.”
A wife, mother and avid tennis player and golfer, Peck is married to Darren, owner of Indiana Restoration & Cleaning Services. Together they have two children: Alex (12) and Sydney (16).
“I’ve never been at home as a mom so that’s been a fun and challenging change,” says Peck, who recently was appointed to both the Noblesville School Board and the Board of Directors at Community First Bank in Noblesville.
“My husband and I have always been involved in non-profits in Hamilton County like Prevail and Riverview Health Foundation so when I was approached by Community First about joining the Board, it seemed like a good fit,” says Peck, who has a passion for growing companies.
“My sister and I started the Isuzu Truck Center from scratch and grew the dealership,” says Peck, the only woman on the board. “I like tackling the challenges the economy throws at you. It’s a rollercoaster.”
Peck has enjoyed having input on sharing who she thinks are the right companies and best people to collaborate within Hamilton County.
Pete Smith, a graduate of Bethel College, coached high school basketball for 35 years, 27 of those as a head coach, winning two state championships. Smith taught business, economics and accounting in five different school districts around northern and Central Indiana, including Noblesville High School (NHS) in the early 1990s.
Every time Smith moved, he went in search of a community bank.
“I liked knowing the tellers and the people I was investing money with,” says Smith, who upon returning to Hamilton County in 1998 was disheartened to see several small banks get bought out.
“When I heard Community First was coming to our county, I wanted to see it succeed and not get eaten up by bigger banks who view their customers as mere depositors,” Smith says.
Last spring when he was invited to join the bank’s Board of Directors, he jumped at the chance.
“I liked that the bank expanded as the economy improved and that they expanded into Westfield as I think this is an unbelievably neat place to be,” says Smith, currently a consultant at Business Development and Consulting Performances Services, Inc., an integrated design and engineering company.
Having spent so many years involved in high school sports, Smith is happy to see all the great youth activities in Westfield as well as the businesses that are developing and moving to Westfield.
“The schools are off the charts these past few years in terms of growth and success,” says Smith, who does public address announcing for the IHSAA in state football and track & field. He also provides color commentary for the IHSAA Championship Network during the season’s big games.
Married for more than 20 years to his wife, Vicky, the pair has three children and three grandkids. Smith’s hobbies include playing golf and attending concerts.
Fun fact: Smith taught at NHS the year Peck was a senior.
“I recall her being an outstanding athlete and student,” Smith says. “I was thrilled when she became a board member at Community First.”