FHLBank Indianapolis announces 2022 Community Spirit Award winners in Indiana and Michigan

last updated on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 in Community News

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis has awarded the 2022 Community Spirit Award to Becca Murphy, Vice President of Affordable Lending at Merchants Bank of Indiana in Carmel, Ind., and Celeste Spivey, Vice President Community Development and CRA Officer at ChoiceOne Bank in Sparta, Mich.

Since 2007, the annual award has honored individuals at one of FHLBank Indianapolis’ member institutions in Indiana and Michigan who show an outstanding dedication to affordable housing and community economic development.

“We’re excited to present this year’s Community Spirit Award to such passionate champions and advocates for their communities,” said MaryBeth Wott, Senior Vice President, Community Investment and Underwriting/Credit Operations Officer at FHLBank Indianapolis. “Both Becca and Celeste truly embody the spirit of our award through their immeasurable dedication and commitment to improving the lives of those around them.”

About Becca Murphy, 2022 Indiana Community Spirit Award winner

With more than 35 years of experience serving low- to moderate-income residents in Indianapolis, Murphy has been an ardent advocate and supporter in helping area residents achieve financial well-being.

In her role as Vice President of Affordable Lending at Merchants Bank of Indiana, Murphy has grown the organization’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) loan portfolio exponentially, and she has been a key driver for sourcing candidates for the Homeownership Opportunities Program (HOP) and the Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) through FHLBank Indianapolis.

In 2022 alone, Murphy helped secure nearly $150,000 in down payment assistance and critical home repair support for multiple residents in Indiana through the FHLBank Indianapolis programs. She helped coordinate referrals from area community development corporations in sourcing eligible candidates and ensured applicants were pre-qualified for timely application for limited grant funds.

Over the years, Murphy has formed integral partnerships with Intend Indiana, the John Boner Neighborhood Centers, and others. During the pandemic, she helped develop IndyAMP, a program that helped many negatively impacted find resources to stay in their homes. She also assisted in the nomination of five Elevate Small Business Grant recipients: Ash & Elm in 2020; 8th Day Distillery, Indy Artsy and Super Micro Greens in 2019; and Rabble Coffee in 2018.

“Becca has built a legacy around supporting access to affordable housing across Indianapolis. She radiates passion for this community of homebuyers, building true connections, bonds of trust and, most importantly, respect,” said Jerry Koors, President of Merchants Mortgage. “We are beyond proud of Becca’s talent for developing solutions to housing finance challenges and are delighted to see her being recognized at the highest levels.”

Outside of her bank, Murphy also is active with Community Action of Greater Indianapolis, Hawthorne Center, Edna Martin Christian Center and several other local organizations.

About Celeste Spivey, 2022 Michigan Community Spirit Award winner

In 2021, Spivey joined ChoiceOne in Sparta, Mich., as Vice President, Community Development and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Officer. She is responsible for developing, implementing and administering all aspects of the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) programs while establishing and maintaining relationships with community-based, charitable and non-profit organizations.

For the past five years, Spivey has worked with FHLBank Indianapolis to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars for down payment assistance and home repair grants for residents across western and central Michigan, including through the Bank’s Homeownership Opportunities Program (HOP). She also is actively involved with the Michigan CRA Association, Black Wall Street of Grand Rapids, Habit for Humanity, Oakland Hope, and LINC UP, among others.

“Celeste has a never-ending passion for helping people, which is a perfect complement to her primary charge of providing financial education and seeking low-income housing for the individuals and families in our communities,” said Bradley Henion, ChoiceOne Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer. “Celeste has taken ChoiceOne’s CRA and Fair Lending involvement to the next highest level of performance in a short period of time,” Henion said.

Apart from her duties at ChoiceOne, Spivey is an active member of the community as a board member of the Hispanic Service Center of Imlay City and Lighthouse Community Ministries Center. She also sits on multiple non-profit and community committees, including the Kent County Tax Credit Coalition, Seeds of Promise, Housing Kent, Women of Habitat Kent, and Muskegon Community College.

In addition to the award, FHLBank Indianapolis will donate $2,500 to the nonprofit organization of choice for both Murphy and Spivey. More information about the Community Spirit Award is available on the awards landing page.