Susan Guess believes she has the best job in Paducah; make that the two best jobs.
One she’s been doing since 1998. The other she assumed responsibility for a little over a year ago. And they are? One is as director of marketing and public relations for Paducah Bank. The other is being a mom for the first time at the age of 37.
“I have been very active in our community for several years and loved every minute of it. Now I’ve taken on the role of a first-time mother. For the past year, I have been committed to dividing my energy between my family and my work. I don’t want to miss out on the firsts with Morgan, and I want to make sure I help her build a positive attitude and to be confident and independent,” Susan explains.
But that domestic determination has not taken Susan completely away from her many civic contributions outside the bank and her home life. Currently, Susan is serving a six-year appointment on the Kentucky Council on Post Secondary Education and she’s a new addition to both the Lourdes Hospital Foundation Board and the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Board. She is a member of the Rotary Club, the Lourdes Hospital Strategic Planning and Project Review Committees, the Quilt Museum Board, and the USEC/DOE Task Force.
Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Murray State University and a master of public administration degree from the University of Louisville. She was the first Paducah woman to be named Kentucky Young Careerist by the Kentucky Federation of Business and Professional Women. She was only the second woman to chair the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce Board, and she received the 1998 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award from the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism for chairing the Heath High School Memorial Garden Committee.
She is a graduate of Leadership Paducah, Leadership Kentucky, and is a past president of the Leadership Alumni Association. In 1992, Susan received a National Community Service Award from the Housing and Urban Development Department for her work in starting Girl Scout troops in Paducah public housing developments. As is abundantly evident, service—to customers, to charitable endeavors, to the community at large—comes naturally to this hard-working manager and new mother.
“I have the best job in the bank,” Susan believes. “I get to tell our story—the new things the bank is doing to better serve customers as well as the wonderful things our people are doing to make the community a better place. I plan the bank’s community projects and oversee the bank’s advertising and image programs. This position not only is fun, but it also provides me immense personal satisfaction. Because I believe so strongly in the bank and the role we play in the community, it is an honor that I am entrusted with the image of Paducah’s only remaining community bank.”
Sharing her philosophy of professional pride and community volunteerism with her growing daughter adds a new dimension to Susan’s busy but now deliberately divided days. “I would love to see Morgan equally as involved as her father and I have been in the life of her community. After all, her parents (both former Chamber Board chairmen) got married after a Chamber of Commerce annual dinner. Maybe one day she’ll be chairman of the Paducah Chamber!”
But even if Morgan doesn’t grab the gavel in the years that lay ahead, Susan hopes that she will embrace at least one of her mother’s advocacies. “I believe when you expect good things to happen, they usually do,” Susan says, “and when you show kindness, you are paid back in a thousand ways.”
A good foundation for a growing girl. Not a bad one for a bank either!