20 Years: 20 Stories: Arena Serves Up Helping of Thanks

7/5/2019

By: Evan Westlake

Senior Vice President

NMLS #: 662918

Arena Food ServicesWhen the State of Illinois was dealing with a critical budget impasse from 2015-2017, the state’s owed payments to Arena Food Service suddenly stopped. That’s when INB stepped in to help.

“We were able to secure additional credit through INB, and they made the process quick and straightforward in what was a stressful time,” recalls Sherri Madonia, vice president at Arena.

Founded in 1985, Arena Food Service, Inc. has become the largest contract food management operator in Central Illinois. With corporate offices located in Springfield, Arena provides complete food service management customized to meet the needs of each facility or project, customized menu development, dietary and nutritional information, in-house vending, and equipment and kitchen design.

“Our mission is to provide a professional food service program with a personal touch,” Sherri says. “Every contract we have is different because each client has different clientele, expectations and desires.”

Looking for a Bank with Community Ties

In 2004, Arena Food Service was looking for a local bank with strong community ties. From the first meeting with INB CEO Sarah Phalen, Arena was confident they had found the ideal fit for a banking partner. 

“Sarah listened to our concerns and expectations, and transitioned our accounts. Our overall experience has been excellent,” Sherri says. “We appreciate the relationship we have built with INB.” 

Arena’s vision is to grow by providing efficient and affordable food service solutions to each of their clients, and they know they have INB’s support behind that growth. 

“We get the best customer service from INB,” Sherri shares. “They are always available to answer my calls about any question. When we had several fraudulent checks clear our account, INB helped us recover the money and set up procedures to prevent it from happening again.”

Community Important Aspect of Banking Partnership 

After 15 years of partnering with INB, Arena recognizes what a crucial role INB plays in the Central Illinois community – not only for their clients, but the greater community as a whole.   

“As a local bank, INB is very involved in our community by supporting local charities, sponsoring local Students of the Month and empowering their employees to give time and resources to causes they care about,” Sherri says.

“And from our standpoint at Arena, we feel lucky to have a strong relationship with an involved community bank. It is nice to develop this relationship and know the people you are working with on both business and personal levels.”

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