Boring Banking?

Earlier this month, Elizabeth Warren, a democratic candidate in Massachusetts’ Senate race, decided to take publicly take a stand against Wall Street and Banks.  This is just one of many interviews she conducted on national television.

Should Wall Street be held accountable?  Yes.  Should banks be held accountable?  Yes.  Should every industry in the United States be held accountable?  Yes.

I understand Ms. Warren’s point that there should be a separation between investment firms and traditional banks, but was it necessary to call my industry boring?

Really…boring!

I have been in the traditional, community banking industry for over eight (8) years and I can say that it is not the most exciting career, but it certainly is not boring.  We have touched people’s lives and helped business in the communities we serve.  I could bore you with several examples, but I’ll stick with two.

  • Financial Education and Literacy: In 2008, the community bank I worked for was honored with a State award for the impact we made on teaching children about financial responsibility.  In total, nineteen (19) offices in eight (8) counties participated in two nationwide initiatives: Teach Children to Save and Get Smart About Credit.  Teach Children to Save is a program for elementary students and teaches the fundamentals of saving money; while Get Smart About Credit educates teenagers about credit and lending.  Trust me, in order to reach out to children, one cannot be boring.
  • Growing Small Businesses: Last year, my bank made the largest Small Business Administration (SBA) loan in Tennessee state history.  Though this is only one loan, this is an example of commitment that all successful community banks have when it comes to finding a way to lend to small businesses.  While politician where squabbling and pointing fingers at each other, we (community banks) offered help to local business owners when it came to keeping their business afloat.

For Ms. Warren and those that support her, I’m not trying to pick a fight.  In fact, I’m sure that Ms. Warren will most likely never come across this post.  But if she does, I would like to recommend that she choose her words wisely the next time she speaks.  I’m sure she meant well and I’m sure she is a good person, but in the world of politics, it can be easy to use strong, divisive language.

Though it is tempting to ask politicians and those running for political office to “be more boring” it would be hypocritical of me.  Rather, I prefer to ask politicians, and those running for political office, to live up to the standard of serving the people.  Our economy is growing and now is the time for politicians to get to work and stop pointing fingers…which is a lot easier said than done.

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Relay for Life 2012

Last Friday, Campbell County held it’s annual Relay for Life Event at LaFollette Middle School.  During the event, my company did a “Carnival Theme” that included a dunking booth.  Though some of my co-workers had participated in this event in the past, it was the first time my company was involved with this event.  We were able to raise a lot of money by holding a silent auction, selling snacks and, of course, having a dunking booth.

Click here for some photos from the event.

Below are three videos, one of Lynn Prater and two of me getting “dunked”.

To learn more about Relay for Life, visit their website at www.relayforlife.org

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