Thomas Prame will become the next CEO of Michigan City-based Horizon Bancorp Inc. and Horizon Bank on June 1. Craig Dwight, who has been CEO for more than 20 years, will retire.
Dwight will remain the chairman of both organizations' boards. Horizon Bancorp is the parent company of Horizon Bank.
Prame came on board in August 2022 as president and quickly proved himself a strategic leader. His experience at larger banks helped him advance Horizon's goals.
“The board has been extremely impressed with Thomas Prame who has quickly and seamlessly integrated with Horizon’s leadership and has shown an unwavering focus on our customers, advisers, local communities, shareholders and other stakeholders,” said Michele Magnuson, Horizon’s lead director, in a press release. “We believe his strategic leadership experience and deep understanding of our local markets will ensure Horizon’s continued success in expanding our client base in Indiana, Michigan and throughout the Midwest.”
Prame came from Chicago-based First Midwest Bank, where he served in various leadership roles for 10 years, according to his LinkedIn account. He also was an executive vice president at Colonial Bank in Montgomery, Alabama; and a national director for several CitiMortgage loan programs.
Dwight became Horizon Banks's president and chief administrative officer of Horizon Bancorp in 1998. He also served on both entities' board of directors since then. He became CEO of Horizon Bancorp in 2001 and chairman of the board in 2013.
The company grew from $400 million in assets to $7.7 billion during Dwight's tenure. He also is known for developing a people-first culture.
“Craig successfully guided Horizon through remarkable growth, as well as periods of economic turmoil, including the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Magnuson said. “Craig’s leadership extends beyond the success of Horizon, and he has also made significant tangible impacts through his involvement in the state and local communities that Horizon calls home.”
Prame said Dwight has mentored him during his time at Horizon.
“I thank Craig for his remarkable leadership and mentorship during my time thus far at Horizon, and I look forward to working closely with him during the transition period,” Prame said.
Dwight said he also plans to “work closely” with Prame during the transition.
“Since (Prame) joined Horizon last August, he has played a significant role in advancing many of the operational and strategic initiatives at Horizon,” Dwight said.
Prame is particularly interested in expanding Horizon's technological capabilities. He earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business and a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Rochester in New York.
Horizon Bank has more than 60 branches in Indiana and Michigan. It was founding in 1873 as a community bank in Michigan City. The bank's website says that, in 1974, it was the first bank in Indiana to open an ATM. It also reported record earnings in 2022, with commercial loans growing to a record $2.42 billion, up 13.4% year-to-date.