Shining Star 2022

Doing The Right Thing

Heisel emerges as community leader through her generosity

Caryn and Bob Heisel pose with their children.
Caryn and Bob Heisel pose with their children.

Caryn Heisel’s mission is simple.

To give back to the community she grew up in — making it a better place for her kids and generations to come.

Heisel, a North Montgomery graduate and lifelong Montgomery County resident, is currently a business development officer at Hoosier Heartland State Bank. A community driven banking position that she shines in. But, it’s all the effort that Heisel puts in outside of normal business hours that makes her standout.

Heisel is a Journal Review Shining Star for 2022.

A mother of three kids, a senior, a sixth-grader, and a third-grader, and wife to Bob, Heisel has used her role at Hoosier Heartland to her advantage in giving back to the community that has given her so much.

“It’s a juggling act all the time,” she said. “I am so thankful to work for a place that is so flexible, that pushes me to be a part of the community.”

At Hoosier Heartland, Heisel was originally hired as an assistant branch manager more than seven years ago. She has helped with the opening of the HHSB Success Center, employee training, and recently helped launch their branch at Nucor. She currently manages some of their larger accounts, and alongside co-worker Trey Etcheson, teaches financial classes that are open to the public.

Heisel though never hesitates to put her family first, while never forgetting about her customers.

“I’m always getting my hands in something,” Heisel said. “But if I have a sick kid or a kid that has a function, that’s what takes priority for me, is my family. Or a parent that needs something or my grandma needs to go to the doctor, that’s what takes priority for me. If that means I’m working late, working on the weekends, or answering customers in the evening, that’s OK with me.”

Outside of work, Heisel is involved as an ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Family Crisis Shelter board and Kiwanis board.

Heisel’s husband Bob is a full-time firefighter at Purdue University and serves on the Waynetown Police Department. She naturally has a passion for first responders, as her father, Lonnie Jones, served as a police officer for 34 years.

And the passion shows.

“I personally just have a huge passion for law enforcement,” Heisel said. “My dad was an officer for 34 years, my father-in-law was an officer, my husband is an officer. A lot of these men and women are friends of mine and when something so terrible happens, I think of the family, but I think of the first responders too and what they have to see.”

Heisel often provides a meal for first responders and Hoosier Heartland has stepped in with some of the same efforts.

Through the Waynetown Police Department, the Heisel family has also helped sponsor Christmas for families in the Waynetown community. A way for Heisel to pass her kindness down to her kids.

“Now that they’ve gotten older, they’re actually really interested in what I’m involved in,” she said. “So our kids get to get involved and they get to help, so I’m hoping that teaches them who they want to be one day, and to be a helper.”

In 2019, the Heisels had the opportunity to foster a child they knew that had been placed into the system. A tough experience, but one that made them better as a whole.

“It was a great and heartbreaking experience for everybody. It let our kids who had always been given everything, really get to know what it’s like to not come from a safe household and to come with nothing, and to really love on somebody,” Heisel said.

As Heisel progresses as a community leader in Montgomery County, she is reminded daily of her strong roots. Growing up next to her grandmother, Heisel has maintained a close relationship with her as she battles Alzheimer’s disease.

“My grandma still lives at home, and my aunt lives with her,” Heisel said. “She helped raise me. I have two loving parents, but we lived next door to my grandma, so going there was a daily occurrence. We have so many special things. My grandma watched my two older kids. My daughter has a really special relationship with her. We have maintained our close relationship, and we would like to keep her at home as long as possible, and I still see her as the lady she was when she watched my kids, even though some days she doesn’t even know who I am.”

Heisel has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. If there’s a need out there, she is ready to step up to the plate. Simply because she thinks it’s the right thing to do.

“I just want people to know that somebody cares about them,” she said. “I want to care about everybody and give most people the benefit of the doubt. I just want everybody to get involved if they can. It’s not about spending money, it’s about giving time.”