Her career began in 1978 as a clerk in the loan department, working under Pat Davis, who was working under Earnest McDonald, the bank president. She caught on quickly, learning all of the loan processes and regulations. She developed strong relationships with her customers and earned the respect of her co-workers. Before long, she moved up the ladder and was deemed “the problem-solver”, a title she has held throughout her tenure with the company.
To say she’s seen many changes is an understatement. She had a front-row seat when the bank switched from hand-written records to computers, and she feels technology has been the most important game-changer in the industry. “The advancements in the way we conduct our business are astounding. If you would have told me 30 years ago that we would be able to check our balance or make a transfer from our phone, I would have thought you were crazy,” Carla laughs.
The job has gone beyond clocking in and sitting in an office all day. Carla has served on numerous committees and boards. She’s acted as secretary for both the bank board and M&P Insurance and Investment Services’ board. She’s served on community boards such as the White River Women’s Shelter and the White River Area Agency on Aging. Throughout her years, she’s handed out popcorn to customers in the lobby, organized the bank’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and served her employees breakfast on employee appreciation day. With every new customer, new loan or new procedure, she made a footprint in the bank’s sidewalk and now leaves behind a legacy of hard-work, dedication to the community and the art of smart, compassionate decision-making. She’s helped the bank grow from two locations to its current nine branches. Like any true leader, Carla has a vision for the future of the bank, “I’d like to see the continued expansion of the company through purchases and new territories. I hope they will still diversify in the industry but stay unified as a company. When you’ve devoted most of your life to an organization, you will always feel like you’re a part of it and only want the best for it.”
And if you ask any of the staff at M&P, she always will be a part of it. “Carla has embodied our company’s philosophy – local lending that promotes the growth of our community. She’s helped pioneer this organization and I can honestly say we wouldn’t be where we are today without her. We will always hold her in the highest regards and be forever grateful for the ground she’s broken, the advancements she’s pushed for and for representing the bank as an involved, business-savvy woman,” states Jim S. Gowen, Jr. President & CEO of Merchants & Planters Bank.
Page 2 of 2 - As far as plans for her future…….she’s going to do some cleaning, maybe some cooking and certainly spend more time with her six adorably energetic granddaughters.
It’s hard to say goodbye, but the time has come. Merchants & Planters Bank will hold a reception for Carla this Friday, July 12th in the lobby of their downtown office on Hazel Street. The public is encouraged to come and congratulate her on thirty-five prosperous years at the bank and wish her well on this exciting, hopefully relaxing time in her life.