From Seasoned Staffer to Starting Out

Two Paducah Bank employee/owners share their perspectives

Pam Gipson

WHEN PAM GIPSON’S parents suggested she apply for a job at “their bank,” Pam took them up on the recommendation. That was 1973. Pam joined the accounting department at Paducah Bank. As she recalls, she worked every day with “a ledger, a calculator and a pencil.”

pamGIPSONAs Pam looks back on a rare 35-year career with the same company, she finds that more has changed than just the tools.

“When I joined the bank there were three banks in town,” she remembers. “There was Citizens Bank, Peoples Bank and Paducah Bank. And we were the underdog. We were the smallest of the three and the youngest. I don’t think we garnered the same level of respect that the other two did at that time. So that’s one of the big changes I’ve seen.”

Paducah Bank is, of course, now the only locally-owned bank in the community with more than 31% market share and was recently listed as the top deposit bank in the county as reported by the FDIC. My, how things HAVE changed.

In her monumental three decades as a seasoned member of the Paducah Bank staff, Pam has seen many ups and downs in the financial industry. “We have weathered some lean times at Paducah Bank. I think that’s a testament to the sound leadership the bank has always benefited from; that we have been able to grow to our present level and still remain independent.”

Pam points to yet another example of the way Paducah Bank has intelligently employed changes in technology. “When I started in 1973, we had basically the same number of people in the accounting department as we do today, and we were a tenth of the size that we are now. I think that says a lot about how we’ve managed to use technology wisely.”

A similar wise choice on the part of the bank’s directors was the selection of bank President Wally Bateman, Pam comments. “I think Wally brought a style of management to the bank that allowed us to truly become a team. It was then that we really started to relax the work environment. Wally instituted an open door policy. Actually, I don’t think Wally even has a door! But I really think his arrival at the bank was the beginning of many changes in our work environment and culture that has enabled us to become the award-winning bank we are today.”

Obviously, people like Pam Gipson, with a 35-year loyalty to Paducah Bank, represent exactly the kind of employee/owner that the bank would like to have and to hold. In Pam’s case, it’s clearly a working relationship made of mutual respect.

Justin Brown

JUSTIN BROWN knows what it means to serve customers.

He grew up in a family business with a legacy of more than 75 years in the furniture business in Caldwell County. He spent the last six years supervising the service of customers at the famed Driver’s Grocery, which still offers hand-made sandwiches from behind the store’s historic counters. Now he serves the many banking customers who frequent Paducah Bank’s Mid-City branch.

justinBROWN“Recently I realized that to further my career in some meaningful way, I needed to seek a new opportunity,” Justin explains. “While I was working at Driver’s I waited on a great many of the Paducah Bank managers and staff. I developed friendships with many of them over the years. They always seemed to have the same disposition. They were always friendly and in a good mood. I thought to myself, ‘Who wouldn’t want to work in such a positive environment?’”

Who indeed? So Justin applied for a position and has been working as a personal banker since the summer of 2008.

Justin has now seen that positive environment for himself. “Paducah Bank has a culture and it’s that culture that sets the bank apart,” Justin comments. “We strive to give the best customer service and create relationships that will last a lifetime. This can only be done by being committed to our customers, and by being committed to the bank and its principles. When we are all on the same page, we can soar to new heights.”

Justin has just those professional heights in his sights for his future growth and development and he sees the Paducah Bank workplace as good ground for growth.

“I’m so impressed with the owners’ meetings every morning, for example,” he explains. “This is a time to all come together and share the reason why we’re here. The bank couldn’t function without all of us, and that’s a feeling and a philosophy that comes through in these morning meetings. It’s a great way to gain knowledge and learn more about the bank and each other. The public probably has no knowledge of these meetings, but they truly help get the day off to a great start.”

Justin believes he’s off to a great start as well—as part of a Paducah institution that places just as much emphasis on respect for the staff as regard for the customer.

For as we all now know, it’s one of the Top Small Workplaces in North America!