To a business, money is money, right? Or is money more effective and productive when it is accompanied by financial expertise on how to make it, how to use it, how to preserve it, and how to share it? Enter Alan Sanders, Paducah Bank’s newest addition to its commercial lending group and Tom Clayton, a veteran lender at Paducah’s hometown bank. If it’s expertise you’re after, you’ve come to the right place!
“Commercial lending to me is part of the success of small and middle market businesses,” comments Alan Sanders, senior vice president in commercial lending. “Through providing advice, support, and financial guidance, we can support the financial needs of businesses and help them reach financial security and stability.”
Tom Clayton seconds that emotion. “In personal lending, you basically look at income, debt, credit history, and collateral; once the loan is made, it generally requires little follow up,” Tom adds. “With business lending, there are considerably more variables which demand time and attention.” And time and attention are just what the commercial clients of Paducah Bank get the benefit of, along with two of the most respected names in business lending in the western Kentucky region.
Knows That Life-Long Relationships Are Worth Their Weight in Gold
You say you’re looking for a financial consultant who knows you, knows the market, and knows the business? Since 1978, Alan Sanders has been working with individuals and businesses in West Kentucky. From Benton to Calvert City to Paducah, Alan has served several local banks in a variety of capacities, but all with one goal in mind—to build life-long relationships with clients.
“The most gratifying part of my career is creating and sustaining relationships with the people I work with,” Alan explains. “There is such satisfaction in knowing that these business owners and chief operating officers appreciate and value our contribution to the success of their company. I enjoy the dialogue with our customers and take pride in knowing they seek and welcome my advice and counsel.”
Alan began his career at Citizens Bank in 1978. In 1982 he joined the Bank of Marshall County as a loan officer and then accepted a position at Peoples First National Bank in Paducah in 1985 as assistant vice president in commercial lending. Six months later, Peoples acquired First Liberty in Calvert City, at which time Alan became president of First Liberty, finally becoming senior vice president of commercial lending at Union Planters Bank (which acquired Peoples Bank) in Paducah. Alan joined Paducah Bank in August 2004.
“Commercial lending is about seeing local businesses grow in a fiscally sound manner. Knowing you have a part in that is particularly enjoyable,” Alan adds. “I believe as lenders, we have a responsibility to our clients to bring our expertise to the table and that we should be expected to add significant value to the business in identifying needs and offering solutions. Our goal is to be a critical business partner for the companies we serve and a necessary part of their financial planning.”
The place to do just that? For Alan Sanders, it’s Paducah Bank. “I have been impressed with the chemistry and atmosphere at Paducah Bank,” Alan explains. “We have solid core values and a genuine commitment to not just meeting but exceeding customer expectations.” Alan says he has witnessed a commitment to this level of service throughout the organization since he joined the organization last summer.
“As a community bank, Paducah Bank is capable of being flexible and responsive to its customers’ needs. Over the years, I have seen that customers desire to do business with people they know and trust. Being a locally-owned company, we truly can offer the personalized service and attention that sets us apart from larger banks. Management at Paducah Bank is sincere about granting authority to make decisions to employees who interact daily with its customers to ensure service quality is consistent and of the highest quality.”
Quality products supported by devoted and consistent customer service are elements which Alan believes distinguish both the bank and the community within which it lives and breathes. “We have so much going for us in the market,” Alan says. “I am hopeful that this community begins to see growth in the commercial sector in 2005. I am optimistic that through our economic development efforts, we will be able to further diversify the local economy and replace those jobs being lost. In addition to recruitment, we also need to support and appreciate those businesses that provide backbone and stability in Paducah/McCracken County. These are the businesses which have allowed us to enjoy the quality of life we often take for granted. Paducah Bank is proud to have had a role in the success of many of these valued local companies.”
Shows His Clients How to Create Bankable Businesses!
There’s no business like show business. Or make that showing businesses how to make the most of their business. And what’s this business all about anyway?
Tom Clayton’s business is showing his customers and those of Paducah Bank how to create financial plans and lending arrangements that capitalize on the best interests of each entity.
“In commercial lending, I have the opportunity to work with business owners on a wide range of things from equipment financing, operating lines of credit, real estate lending and more,” Tom explains. “I also work with them to ensure they have adequate retirement plans for the owners and employees and cash management for the deposit side of the balance sheet.”
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s an encore! “To us, it’s not just about whether we can fulfill a client’s request. Instead we want the client to understand how we make that decision so that they can see through our eyes what the strengths and weaknesses are,” Tom adds. “This helps them build a more bankable business for the future and truly lets us get to know our customers. We’re not product pushers. The job of every employee at Paducah Bank, not just lenders, is to look at the overall picture of a client and try to fill in the missing pieces of their financial needs. It’s all about fulfilling the unexpressed needs of our customers.”
Tom has been making commercial lending his business for almost 20 years now. He graduated from Western Kentucky University and spent five years in banking in Bowling Green before his move to Paducah Bank in 1992. Since then he has received credentials from the Graduate Commercial Lending School at Vanderbilt and the Graduate Banking School at LSU. All for the express ability to help businesses reap the benefit of his financial knowledge and consultation.
“I really enjoy interacting with business leaders and helping them achieve the financial goals of their companies. This is especially rewarding with business lending because your interaction potentially affects all their employees,” Tom says. “We may only connect with a few people, but our work together has far-reaching ramifications. And that can be a good feeling.”
Tom also feels that the stage is set for some future bright lights for business. “I’m optimistic about the business climate of Paducah. Our Chamber and Economic Development council are being very aggressive at attracting businesses to Paducah and our community footprint continues to expand. Paducah has always been the economic hub of western Kentucky and I only see that growing.”