What Community Banking Means to Me... and to You

During April, we celebrate all that it means to be a community bank. But what does that mean to you? 

Rather than give you a list of bullet points, let us introduce you to our Senior Vice President – Commercial Banking, Paul Manchester. He exemplifies our mission to invest in and support the communities we serve. Paul ManchesterWe’re not the only ones who think Paul is great! In Business magazine recently named Paul Manchester one of their 40 Under 40. Here’s why Paul celebrates community banking, in Paul’s own words:

“I never really thought about banking as a career. My degree is in Communications and Psychology, but my first job out of college was being a bank teller in a grocery store branch. 

I would walk around the store talking to people in the aisles asking if they wanted to open a checking account. It was not my dream job (for sure), but it taught me to actually listen to people and figure out if there was anything I could do to help THEM reach THEIR GOALS, rather than just try to sell a product. 

I learned that communication was actually the most valuable and important part of banking. It’s not just a place where you deposit your money or get a loan. It’s about figuring out what’s important to people. Money is a means to fuel dreams, build businesses, and grow communities where we want to raise families. 

I’ve worked other places with positive work environments, but it’s not like I could talk to the president of the company whenever I wanted. Here, I have direct access to our President and CEO, Jim Tubbs, and my boss, Alan Langeteig. My values align better with those two men than anyone else I’ve ever met. I know that my family comes before my work because THEIR families come first. 

For the past eight years, I’ve had the freedom and support to make time for coaching JV and assistant coaching Varsity basketball at Mount Horeb High School. I can look out my office window and see businesses and aspects of the community where I’ve been able to make an impact, thanks to my work at the State Bank of Cross Plains. I’m proud that my kids get to grow up here. 

After just two years with State Bank of Cross Plains, I recognized a need to better serve local businesses through the establishment of a dedicated Small Business Banking Division. My superiors not only gave me the leeway and encouragement to research ways we could better meet the needs of this underserved business population, they embraced my proposal and asked me to lead the effort. We now have a department solely dedicated to understanding and helping small businesses get established and support their growth through education opportunities and providing services unique to their structures and situations. 

I’ve learned that community banks match my own personal and professional goals to give back, to mentor, and to build relationships that really matter.”

Join us in celebrating Community Banking Month by participating in our food drive throughout April. Donate a non-perishable food item or make a monetary donation at any of our nine locations.

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