Senior Vice President, Chief Experience Officer, and Community Reinvestment Act Officer
Mark Lemieux believes the fundamental banking question isn’t about interest rates and service charges - it’s “can I trust you with my money?” His passion for the human side of the banking business manifests in empowering his team and lifting up the local community.
What do you love most about Citizens Bank?
I love its story. In 1931, Mooresville Savings Bank folded during the Great Depression. Five families in the area understood that if the bank were to permanently disappear, their community would suffer greatly. So they came together and formed what was known as Citizens Bank and we’ve been operating under the “Citizens” name ever since—never bought, never sold, staying true to our mission of being here to take care of Mooresville and the surrounding areas.
The national banks may come and go, but we make sure the money our depositors put in our bank remains here in our community. When you become part of the bank, whether as a customer or shareholder, you are helping us take care of our small section of paradise right here in central Indiana.
Can you describe your current role?
As the Chief Experience Officer, my role is to make sure that our customers have the best possible experience with our bank. Several departments report to me, including marketing, retail, operations, customer care, and our transactional fraud and treasury management service. It brings me great joy to lead these departments. I have found some really great people who are really skilled in what they do, and I am here to support them however I can.
I also serve as the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Officer. In this role, I analyze how we are delivering on community responsibility—asking the question: are we taking care of the communities we serve? From volunteering to donating money to acceptable organizations, that’s where I get to roll up my sleeves and ensure we’re making a difference in the communities we serve.
How do you determine what is an ideal partner or recipient of the bank’s generosity?
CRA focuses on geographies or individuals who are considered low to moderate income—anyone whose income is 80 percent or less of median income in our CRA area. We look for organizations that focus their efforts on helping people in that income area. Our overall giving philosophy focuses on the continuum from homelessness to homeownership and all points in between. We’re continually looking for opportunities where we can be supportive and make an impact along that spectrum.
We work to be part of systemic change and work against the things that create a caste of poverty. For example, there are people with bankruptcies in their financial past who may have landed there due to circumstances that were completely out of their control. For example, if you get ill and can’t pay your bills and your credit suffers, we take time to understand the circumstances and are here to help.
Why do you think community banks are so important?
As a community bank, we’re dedicated to keeping funds local, giving back, and serving our residents with local loans funded by local deposits. This means we use the deposits from the local community and give them straight back to helping our communities. If you want a better place to live, a more educated workforce, or a more vibrant community as a whole, supporting a community bank helps to strengthen the region it serves.
How do you like to be involved in the community?
I spend a lot of time with local refugee families because my wife is an Immigration Attorney. It’s something we do together and there’s a lot of fulfillment there. I grew up all over the world as part of a military family and I get a thrill out of that kind of connection.
On weekends you’ll find me refereeing youth soccer, which I love. Not only is it great to see the kids improve over the season, but it’s great exercise!
I also serve on the United Way of Central Indiana Board of Directors, serving on the Investment Subcommittee. They’re instrumental in fighting poverty throughout the country. In Indiana, we have the Basic Needs Fund and Social Innovation Fund that address the immediate concerns of poverty and also help people lift themselves out of poverty.