German American honored for women in leadership

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

When the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana looked for a winner of this year’s Advancing Women Company of the Year Award, German American Bank rose to the top.

Next Friday, the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana will honor German American at the annual Women of Distinction luncheon in Evansville. Other award winners will be Shannon Frank of Kahn, Dees, Donovan and Kahn, who will receive the 2020 Woman of Distinction award; and Maureen Barton of the Evansville School Corporation Foundation, who will receive the Rising Star award.

Awardees can come from any of the 11 counties served by Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana and are nominated for the annual awards, and then a committee chooses a winner, Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana CEO Aimee Stachura explained. To win Advancing Women Company of the Year, Stachura said, companies must have mentorship programs that encourage women to take on leadership roles and show that they are flexible to allow for a work-life balance, especially for mothers. The companies must also have women in leadership roles.

“German American really showcased those attributes,” Stachura said.

Jane Balsmeyer, vice president and director of marketing for German American, said the Jasper-based company was surprised and humbled to win the award.

She said that in the last few years, German American has emphasized mentorship among all of its employees, which has included adding a Women For Success group that meets quarterly to discuss issues facing women in the workplace, such as motherhood, seeking leadership opportunities and taking control of their careers.

“That message has become more prevalent for women,” Balsmeyer said.

German American also tries to accommodate new mothers, offering flexibility in scheduling as often as possible and privacy rooms at most locations where mothers can go to take care of their babies, Balsmeyer said.
“Sometimes it’s just the flexibility they might need,” she said.

For German American, supporting women in the workplace is part of the culture, as the majority of staff is female. Balsmeyer estimated that 70% of German American’s total employees are women, and 65% of managers are women.

The awards luncheon next week will serve both as the presentation ceremony for the year’s Women of Distinction Awards and as the year’s main fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana. Funds raised during the luncheon support the Girl Scout Leadership Program, which helps place Girl Scout troops in low-income communities. Funds will also support the Financial Assistance for Girls Fund.

For more information about becoming a sponsor, or purchasing tickets or a table at the event, contact Mary Fee at mfee@girlscouts-gssi.org or visit www.girlscouts-gssi.org.




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