Mike Eikenberry – a can-do guy with a stellar reputation – on Wednesday announced plans to retire after 47 years in local banking.
Eikenberry, 71, is PNC Bank’s northern Indiana regional president. He will retire April 12.
Since joining Fort Wayne National Bank in 1966, Eikenberry has had three employers without ever changing jobs. National City acquired the bank in 1988. PNC acquired National City in 2008.
Chuck Surack, president and owner of Sweetwater Sound Inc., said it’s a testament to Eikenberry that two new owners recognized his value to the operation.
He’s an amazing banker, Surack said. He’s got a stellar reputation with great credibility.
Reflecting on his career Wednesday, Eikenberry said he doesn’t know of anything more rewarding than helping others reach their dreams by lending them the money to help them get started.
The banker plans to continue serving on several boards of directors, including the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Lutheran Hospital, Lutheran Health Network, Junior Achievement and the Salvation Army.
Eikenberry also has been involved with the English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation and is responsible for getting the Santa Claus display returned to the side of the bank building during the holidays.
Surack, who also serves on Lutheran Hospital’s board, was relieved to hear that Eikenberry will remain active. They are two of only four directors who aren’t doctors. That can be intimidating, he said.
But Mike speaks right up during the meetings, and he’s usually right, Surack said.
Joe Dorko, Lutheran Health Network’s CEO, described the banker as a great advocate for the region.
I’ve used his advice many times to make better decisions for the hospital, he said. His enthusiasm is sometimes very contagious.
That generosity has included reaching out to rivals.
When Star Bank moved its headquarters to Fort Wayne 13 years ago, Eikenberry welcomed the Marcuccilli brothers and encouraged them to get involved in the community.
Mike’s been involved in about everything and anything that I’m aware of, Jim Marcuccilli said. I don’t know a more likable banker in town than Mike Eikenberry.
Surack sees Eikenberry’s imprint across the city, including in helping finance Harrison Square, which has helped revitalize downtown.
Mike bleeds Fort Wayne, Surack said.
Eikenberry, a father of three and grandfather of eight, plans to spend more time with his family and travel with his wife. Trips to Florida and Vancouver are already scheduled. He enjoys playing golf and driving his souped-up Corvette.
Doug Wood, head of commercial and middle market banking in northern Indiana, has been named Eikenberry’s successor.