John Clauss Wins FHLBI 2017 Community Spirit Award

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John Clauss bio photoGerman American Bank Vice President Invests in Afforable Housing

John Clauss, German American Bank Vice President, Commercial Banking, received the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis 2017 Community Spirit Award August 16 at the Indiana Housing Conference for affordable housing professionals in Indiana. The Community Spirit Award recognizes efforts to revitalize local communities or increase the availability of quality affordable housing.

“FHLBI is pleased to recognize John Clauss’ dedication to affordable housing with the 2017 Community Spirit Award,” said MaryBeth Wott, FHLBI Community Investment Officer. “For more than a decade, John has helped bring needed affordable housing solutions to senior citizens in the Daviess County area.”

Clauss and German American partnered with Plainville Housing Corporation to secure a $191,500 Affordable Housing Program grant from FHLBI to renovate a small, rural senior housing project in 2004. Then in 2015, under Clauss’ leadership, German American and Martin County Senior Citizen Housing Inc. secured an AHP grant of $500,000, to help renovate 28 duplexes the agency owns in Loogootee, Indiana. FHLBI’s Affordable Housing Program encourages member banks, credit unions, and insurers in Indiana and Michigan to partner with local nonprofits, economic development groups, or developers to compete for funds to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate properties for use as affordable housing.

Clauss is encouraged by the successes he has seen, working in the affordable housing industry. “While affordable housing is a large problem—and my contribution may be small—if I am able to help a single person, it will have been worth it,” he said. “My involvement in affordable housing with FHLBI will benefit several generations of people.”

His desire to help and guide others comes from his parents. “Community service has always been, and continues to be, a family tradition,” Clauss said. “God has blessed me with the ability to help others. While I may not be able to drive a nail without hitting my thumb, I am willing to share the talents I do have.”

Jim McDonald, German American Bank Regional President, nominated Clauss for the award in recognition of Clauss’ deep desire to help others, his passion for lending, and his superb sense of customer service. “These traits make John an ideal consumer advocate,” McDonald said. “He meets the needs of our customers while providing them with the tools and education they need to be successful.”

Clauss contributes to his local community in other ways as well:

In 2013, he helped establish the local Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program, designed to prepare students for life in the business world after high school. “John had attended an annual Chamber of Commerce dinner at which he heard the founder of CEO speak,” McDonald said. “He immediately saw the applicability of such a program for the youth of Daviess County—and has remained involved in the program as a leader since its inception.”

In addition to his work with CEO, he also serves on the board of Power House, a Christian-based organization that provides numerous after school services to youth, many of whom are “high-risk” based on family or socioeconomic circumstances.

Clauss has an Associate of Science Degree from Vincennes University, a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana State University, and is also a graduate of Madison Graduate School of Banking. He previously worked for the State of Indiana as a Bank Examiner. He is married to Kelly Clauss.


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