Indiana banker earns ABA lifetime achievement award


The American Bankers Association has named Indiana community banker Joseph F. Kessie as the 2021 Bruning Award recipient. 

Kessie, senior vice president and commercial regional manager for Warsaw, Ind.,-based Lake City Bank, will be recognized in November during the Agricultural Bankers Conference in Cincinnati.

Awarded since 1997 in honor of Nebraska banking icon Frank Bruning, the Bruning Award is considered a top ABA lifetime achievement for “bankers that demonstrate outstanding leadership and dedicated service to providing credit and guidance to farmers, ranchers and their fellow agricultural bankers.”

“I am truly honored to be named this year’s recipient,” Kessie said. “My goal as a banker has always been to be a trusted advisor to all of my clients. I’m very fortunate to be working at one of the top performing banks in the nation and view this award as a testament to what the whole team does every day at Lake City Bank.”

Kessie, whose career started in 1983 during the depths of the farm crisis, was an ag lender for the Albion Production Credit Association and the National Bank of Warsaw before joining Lake City Bank as vice president of commercial banking in 1997. Kessie has managed the bank’s entire agribusiness loan portfolio and led Lake City Bank to become one of the largest ag lenders in Indiana. He serves on the Farm Financial Standards Council and was the 2017-18 chair of the ABA Agricultural and Rural Bankers Committee. Kessie is the current president of Huntington University’s agricultural studies advisory board.