One of the most rewarding benefits of being a Community Banker is being involved in the community. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work for local banks led by local community leaders like Dick Taber and Frank Kugler, chief executive officers of First County Bank and Union Trust Company, respectively, who have wholeheartedly supported their employees’ engagement in the community. “Supported” may be too soft a term, “demanded” is more like it as they knew community involvement is part of the DNA of community banks.
This is especially true at First County Bank, where many of our employees sit on boards and volunteer in the community. Being a volunteer or serving as a board member of any nonprofit organization is one of the most prestigious, satisfying and rewarding opportunities one can have. Being affiliated with a nonprofit provides the valuable opportunity to grow individually and professionally through the process of contributing to and learning a very different business model.
The job is much more than a title and an honor, however. With the position come distinct duties and responsibilities to support, grow and promote the organization’s mission and vision. All of my colleagues here are engaged with a number of nonprofits where the mission appeals to their personal values and convictions. Areas of focus include early childhood education, helping the mentally or physically challenged or the homeless, to name a few. I’m proud of each of them and thank them for their contribution to the development of our community.
I must say that I’ve learned a lot over the years through my own charitable service and have met a Rolodex full of wonderful friends. My earliest lesson working on nonprofit boards was learning how to run a meeting. It’s a skill not easily acquired but really necessary given the divergent backgrounds, skill sets and time commitments of those around the table. Today, it makes me focus on the importance of having a tight agenda.
The common thread here is we all want to move ahead and improve the work of our nonprofits and the community we live in. The mission of the nonprofit is critical and if there is an agency out there calling your name, you may just need a little support or push to hear the call.