(Indianapolis, IN) Tuesday, May 2, FHLBank Indianapolis awarded James (Jim) Wolfington, Vice President, Chelsea State Bank with the Community Spirit Award at the 2018 Building Michigan Communities Conference. The Community Spirit Award honors individuals that show an outstanding dedication to affordable housing and community economic development. In addition to the recognition, FHLBank Indianapolis will donate $1,000 to the charity of Jim’s choice.

“Bankers like Jim Wolfington, who are dedicated to improving their communities, exemplify the Community Spirit Award,” said MaryBeth Wott, Community Investment Officer at FHLBank Indianapolis. “Jim’s strong commitment to affordable housing and his active partnership with nonprofits has had a major impact in Washtenaw County.”

Jim was nominated for the award by Ann Arbor, MI-based Avalon Housing – a nonprofit real estate developer, property manager, and support services organization. He has worked on multiple FHLBank Indianapolis Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant projects with Avalon, as well as one with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission, securing over $2.3 million for his community.

Each year, FHLBank Indianapolis members such as Chelsea State Bank partner with local nonprofit housing providers like Avalon to compete for AHP grants of up to $500,000 per project to finance the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of properties for families at or below 80% area median income.


With each new AHP project, Jim has grown his involvement with Avalon by helping facilitate construction loans, permanent loans, and establishing operating lines of credit with Chelsea State Bank. He has also engaged other lenders to get involved in affordable housing projects.

“Jim has been key to demystifying the financing process, making him an outstanding ambassador for community banks,” said Wendy Carty-Saxon, Director of Real Estate Development at Avalon Housing. “As a result of Jim’s efforts, there are nearly 120 units of new or preserved housing, occupied or in the pipeline.”

“We are very proud of Jim, and the strong relationship he has developed with Avalon Housing,” said John Mann, CEO of Chelsea State Bank. “There is complexity to these deals, and Jim has a great handle on them. He understands how to get things done for the benefit of the customer, the bank, and ultimately for hundreds of local families.”

Jim’s support for his community extends beyond his professional work. He serves on the Ann Arbor Community Board of Ele’s Place, a nonprofit that provides support to grieving children and their families; serves as treasurer on the board of directors of the Lurie Terrace Senior Apartments, a nonprofit senior housing community based in Ann Arbor; and is a member of the Ann Arbor Kiwanis Club.