MEIGS COUNTY — Within just months of each other, four women at the three Farmers Bank branches in Meigs County are celebrating 25 years with the company, which has been in existence since 1904 after being founded in Pomeroy.
Since then, the company has branched out, with five total branches: two in Pomeroy, one in Tuppers Plains, one in Mason, W.Va., and one in Point Pleasant, W.Va.
Kesterson first began her career at the original Farmers Bank in Pomeroy, located at 211 W. 2nd Street, on July 16, 1990, as a loan clerk, and has worked with the loan department ever since. Parts of her job include clerical work, filing orders for all appraisals, doing letters for chief loan officers’ orders and reviewing all appraisals, among other duties.
While she said one of the challenges of the job has been to adapt to changes in regulations, the good days have far outweighed the bad. The good has included employee outings and employee developmental days. She said the company is also great about family.
“My kids have grown up with Farmers Bank,” she said.
In honor of her 25-year accomplishment, the company held a “low-key” party in Kesterson’s honor.
“I’m still here,” she said. “I’m not making plans to go anywhere (else). It’s a good company to work for.”
Williamson began her career with Farmers National Bank on Jan. 7, 1991, under Bruce Reed. She currently works at the corporate office in Pomeroy with Kesterson. At that time there was an opening in the loan department, and with previous loan experience, Williamson was immediately hired.
Williamson currently serves as a loan project manager, which means she oversees the loan software so loan officers can complete transactions for customers. Before her current job, she served as a loan supervisor, and even helped set up the new loan software that is currently used by Farmers Bank.
One of the challenges Williamson said she has faced is the change of technology throughout the years and the need to adapt, along with keeping up with regulations and paperwork. However, she plans on remaining where she is, although she said she did not want a celebration for her anniversary.
“It was just another day at work,” she said.
She added that she is grateful for her time at the company thus far.
“They’re very personal here,” she said “I’ve raised three children while I’ve been here, and they’ve been involved with sports and band, and if I needed to leave early (for those events) they’ve been very lenient with that and very understanding.”
Williamson also said she felt the company had been there for her in times of sadness as well, when her father passed away on a Monday 16 years ago. She said the company had a policy of three days for bereavement, but her former business superior, Woody Stines, gave her the entire week off.
“A lot of places don’t give you that convenience,” she said. “It’s very family-oriented, they’re very understanding.”
Weber, who works at the Farmers Bank on Main Street, began her bank career on Dec. 10, 1990, in record keeping, which included balancing filed checks and filming checks (making a record of them on microfilm). She eventually became the record-keeping supervisor, which she said was a challenge.
“You wear so many hats,” she said. “I was also part of IT and completed some finance with accounts payable. It was craziness, but you didn’t think about it as being crazy because you always had good staff and support, (including) good administrative support.”
One of the achievements accomplished by Weber’s branch was being the first bank in Meigs County to have an ATM. She is also proud of the expansions in what the bank’s drive-through service offers, including advancements in technology for customers.
Weber has become involved with a program called the Junior Board, which is a group of junior high school students who, through the bank, elect officers and plan out a hypothetical business beginning in fall. Once they have decided on their type of business, they go through different segments before having a final trip to Columbus in May. Often, Weber said the group decides to create a shoe business, and eventually they get to visit Rocky Brands Inc. in Nelsonville, which is known for their boots.
“That has impacted a lot of youth in our area,” she said. “I’ve seen people who’ve come up (to me) and said, ‘I was on your board and it was wonderful.’”
The bank also takes on a summer intern each year.
“Some of them have stayed on to work for us,” she said.
A celebration was conducted for her at Wild Horse Cafe on Dec. 15 with co-workers and family members in attendance. Weber said, along with giving back to the community, that the customers are one of the best parts of her job, which she plans to remain with.
“I’ll be here until I’m 93 or can’t come through the door,” she said.
Sanders, who currently serves as a customer service representative and teller supervisor, has been with the company — in particular, the Tuppers Plains branch — since Jan. 14, 1991. She said challenges with the bank can come quickly.
“Challenges are simply keeping up with the changes. It’s like the weather in Ohio — wait a day, it will change,” she said.
However, even with all the changes through her 25 years, Sanders said the branch has been successful in coping and adapting, even when it meant literally moving forward.
“One of the most memorable times was when we left the small building beside us and moved into the new one,” she said. “That was an eventful time for the bank and our customers.”
One of the highlights of Sanders’ career has been forming relationships with her co-workers and clients.
“My highlights in my eyes are my co-workers — I have had the privilege to work with some great people over the years — and customers. We have a great community,” she said. “It has been a good experience to work for Farmers Bank. I have learned a lot over the years.”
To celebrate her 25 years, Sanders said she had dinner with co-workers and family members.
“I would like to thank Farmers Bank for being a great place to work, and my community for (being) a wonderful place to live and raise a family,” she said.
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.
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