Regional and national financial publications identify and applaud the creativity and initiative of Paducah Bank’s investment in Paducah’s Artist Relocation Program
Paducah Bank has long been an avid proponent of municipal and charitable efforts in its home-based community. But few projects have had both the local and national impact as the bank’s involvement with the revitalization of Paducah’s historic Lower Town neighborhood.
“We would never have envisioned the ripple effect of this program when we discussed the possibility with Mark Barone, the program’s first coordinator,” said Joe Framptom, Chairman and CEO of Paducah Bank. “We saw his original proposal as a good idea; one which could perhaps take a stab at rebuilding a residential area of our community which had seen continual decline for decades. We had no idea at the time that this program would be highlighted on national television, become a model for other American cities to emulate, and bring our bank’s partnership with it to the forefront of the financial industry as well.”
Following are two examples of that focus. Recent features on Paducah Bank and the Artist Relocation Program were included in The American Banker and ADVANCEMENTS, a periodical of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.
The American Banker, a national daily financial services newspaper, recently featured Paducah Bank’s Artist Relocation Program in its Community Banking segment
AN EXCERPT FROM THE FULL FEATURE:
In the 1940s and 1950s, Paducah, Ky., was a destination for jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington; the thriving port city at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers was an important stop on the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” a safe set of performance venues for African-Americans.
However, like many other small Midwestern cities, Paducah fell on hard times in recent decades. Lower Town, one of the first neighborhoods settled, became a center for the local drug trade and historic Victorian houses there were cut haphazardly into low-rent apartments, accelerating the neighborhood’s decline.
But Paducah, particularly Lower Town, has been enjoying a rebirth lately. Lower Town has emerged as a thriving artists’ neighborhood because of the efforts of Paducah Bank, and tourism is on the rise in Paducah as art lovers flock to the city to view their work.
Creativity Can Result in Success
Article reprinted from the publication ADVANCEMENTS, published by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati for members of the Fifth District
ON THE SURFACE, PADUCAH BANK, Paducah, Kentucky, is a $428 million-and-growing commercial bank that has been a town staple since 1948. It has five branches within McCracken County and 130 full-time employees. Less apparent, however, is bank management’s belief that creativity fuels good business. From the use of the FHLBank’s Advance products and housing products to its corporate culture and everything in between, this is one group that believes that creativity can result in success.
A CITY ON THE RISE
Approximately 30,000 people call Paducah home. “We’re located on the Ohio River, so the river industry is a big part of our community,” explained Joe Framptom, Paducah Bank Chairman and CEO. “We are also easily accessible from the highway so travel and tourism are big as well.” Joe is quick to add that one of the most forward-thinking—and profitable—aspects of Paducah these days is its Artist Relocation Program.
“Many people don’t know this, but our city boasts a vibrant arts district called Lower Town,” he explained. “Our bank partnered with the city a few years ago to bring artists from all over the country here.” Paducah Bank President Wally Bateman, a large fan of the arts, elaborated. “The idea was that artists would purchase homes at discounted prices and renovate them—typically a gallery on street level and living quarters above,” he said. “The concept caught on so much that the Artist Relocation Program and Lower Town were profiled on the ABC News at the end of last year. Our bank is proud to be part of this success.”
BEST PLACE TO WORK
One of the things Paducah Bank is most proud of is the corporate climate it has cultivated. The bank was named the 2006 Best Place to Work in Kentucky among Medium-Sized Companies (25 to 199 employees) by the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
This culture is due in no small part to Chairman Framptom, who has worked full time at the bank for 23 years, and President Bateman, a 13-year company veteran. “I’m a bit of a nonconformist: I’ve always been a creative person who sees a different angle when it comes to banking,” Wally said. “Joe and I decided in early 2000 that, in our opinion, the only way for a bank to differentiate itself is through customer service.” To learn more about exceptional customer service, bank executives traveled to Atlanta to attend the Ritz Carlton Leadership Training Program, which they said was outstanding. They brought ideas back to the bank and got every employee involved.
Joe stresses that Paducah Bank’s dedication to the community is another of the bank’s strengths. “We were happy to offer loans to the newly-arriving artists of the Artist Relocation Program,” he said. “Originally, we said we’d commit $1 million. That program has been so successful that the running loan total is $9 million and counting, with total development costs in Lower Town exceeding $20 million. We’re thrilled to be part of that kind of growth.”
GREAT PLACE TO BANK, TOO
The executive team agrees that its ability to utilize FHLBank Advances and housing products has helped Paducah Bank meet growth goals and become a better bank. “The FHLBank name comes up a lot,” said Joe. “We are proud to be a member, and it will always be a key component in our funding decisions.”
FHLBank system celebrates 75 years
When President Herbert Hoover signed the FHLBank bill into law in 1932, he created a system of 12 financial institutions across the nation that would become an integral part of the U.S. housing finance industry, serving through volatile economic cycles and industry changes. A cooperative enterprise, the FHLBank has always placed a premium on outstanding customer service.
The three basic parts of the FHLBank System are the 12 banks, the Federal Housing Finance Board that regulates them, and the Office of Finance, which acts as a liaison with Wall Street. Over 8,000 community financial institutions, including Paducah Bank, are member/shareholders in the FHLBank system.