Janie Graves started working at Scott County Bank (now Chambers Bank) on August 3, 1983. Patsy Hawkins, then-president of the bank, hired Graves to work in bookkeeping and run the proof machine. In the past 40 years, she’s worked as a teller, lender, secretary to Mrs. Hawkins, cashier and in loan compliance. She now serves as senior vice president and loan officer, a position she’s held since 1999.
“I was always up for a challenge and enjoyed learning a new job,” Graves said. “Trisha Sikes was a great mentor and she taught me so much about banking. She always encouraged me to take on new challenges.”
After growing up on a farm in rural Scott County, Graves and her husband now live on a farm near Mansfield where they have raised cattle for the past 31 years. “I think my upbringing helps me understand the needs of our customers,” she said. “It has been such a great experience to work with people in our community.”
When the new TRID real estate legislation took effect in 2015, it required loan officers to get their NMLS license to make certain types of loans. “At one time, I was the only loan officer for this position,” Graves said. “This was challenging, but it gave me the opportunity to meet so many people from our entire region.”
While Graves has a myriad of banking experience, her favorite part of the job is helping young people get their first loan. “Most of their parents and grandparents are customers of Chambers Bank,” she said. “I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had at the bank for the past 40 years. I have made so many friends. The people I work with are like family to me.”
When asked what advice she would give to someone just starting their career in banking, she replied, “Never pass up an opportunity. It may or may not be something you like, but more opportunities will come your way when you’re willing to try new things.”
Above all else, Graves has always worked to provide great service. “Always greet your customers with a smile and be ready to take care of all their banking needs, she said. “If you treat customers right, they will keep coming back to you. Always remember the little things matter to customers.”
Thank you, Janie, for 40 years of exceptional service!