Family and Finance: Local Mother Begins Legacy at Paducah Bank

jana and mother colorWhen you re a kid, even the most mundane tasks can seem magical.

More than four decades ago, around the age of 9, Jana Dawson says she followed her mother into a large, columned building to partake in a family tradition: opening a checking account at Paducah Bank.

“I thought it was exciting,” Jana says. “I felt like a big girl.”

Her mother, Martha Dawson, started teaching the concept of saving to her four children early—long before they held their first jobs. And she taught them to entrust their savings to Paducah Bank.

Martha became a Paducah Bank customer shortly after moving to the area with her former husband, James, in 1953. She says she chose the bank at random, since she knew little about the city, but she stayed there because of the service. She says even James’ mother became a customer when she moved to Paducah in the late ‘70s.

“They did everything that I would want from a bank,” Martha says.

Martha loves how the bank is a locally owned and steady business. She notes how it hasn’t changed its name in the roughly 63 years she has walked through its doors. She also appreciates the fact that it allowed her four offspring to open accounts as children.

Martha also clearly remembers that a former bank president helped her teach a financial lesson. A long time ago, one of her sons ran out of money, and she took him to the bank for a loan. The president sat him down for a discussion about responsibility.

“He talked to him [and gave him] a good lesson on banking—you know, just how to live a good life without problems,” she said, adding, “he loaned us the money, but not before he talked to my son.”

The years passed, and Jana absorbed her mother’s financial wisdom and applied it throughout college and throughout her career as a computer analyst for Baptist Health Paducah. During this time, the bank became a larger part of her life. When she built her two-story, brick dream home, she let Paducah Bank handle the mortgage, and the bank personnel became emotionally invested in the house along with her.

“When I received my primary financing through Paducah Bank, they were more excited than I was,” she says.

Now, as Jana lives and works in the area, she has become more and more ingrained in the community. She serves as a Paducah Ambassador, a Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce member, a board member for the Leadership Paducah Foundation, Inc., and more. As a devoted city resident, she’s also happy she can serve as a faithful customer of the local bank. Her business there has given her another way in which she can support her hometown.

And in return, Paducah Bank stays active in her life. After all, the relationship Jana has with the bank is part of a family tradition