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Assistant Vice President Debbie Smith Retires After 45 Years

Assistant Vice President Debbie Smith Retires After 45 Years

Debbie Smith, Assistant Vice President and one of the longest tenured employees at The Bank of Elk River, retired Friday, June 7, 2019 after 45 years of service. Esteemed colleague, active community volunteer and bank cheerleader, her presence will be deeply missed as she has been a familiar face at the Riverfront Concerts and at CAER representing The Bank of Elk River.

Smith started in 1974 when she heard from a friend that The Bank of Elk River was hiring. She was taking classes at Anoka Ramsey Community College and decided to take a break until she was sure what she wanted to do for a career. Pat Dwyer, the longest tenured employee of the bank at 50 years, interviewed Smith, and hired her in bookkeeping. She ran a 24-pocket proof machine and then moved up to being a teller. The bank had a total of eleven employees back then and was located on Jackson Avenue where Pompeii Pizzeria now resides.

Throughout the years, Smith held several additional positions including Head Bookkeeper, Branch Manager at the School Street Office for 13 years, Consumer Lender, Overdrafts and Assistant Vice President.

When asked what the most fun job Smith had throughout her career, she stated running the proof machine! She was most proud of, however; being promoted to Branch Manager and opening the first branch office at the bank. “It was a very important step for the bank and great personal growth. It was truly one of the proudest moments in my 45-year career. I had an incredible team of people that I worked with and made some wonderful friendships,” said Smith. Smith was actively involved in the Elk River Mall Association, bringing in carnivals and car shows back when there was a mall in Elk River.

“Debbie has been the face of our bank for 45 years,” said Sue Black, Executive Vice President and Director of Human Resources. “Her loyalty and commitment to the bank has been inspirational.”

Volunteering has always been a vital component of The Bank of Elk River’s culture and Smith has been an instrumental leader in that area of the bank. Over the last several years, she has led the Riverfront Concert Series evening volunteers and has coordinated monthly volunteers for CAER. “Debbie has set an amazing example in selfless giving of her time and talents,” said Julia Schreifels, Assistant Vice President at The Bank of Elk River. “She will be deeply missed." Smith was also recognized as a volunteer of the year by the City of Elk River.

As Smith reflected, one of her favorite memories of working at the bank is the way that the Babcock family made her feel like one of their own family members. “It was truly special. I always felt very valued and important,” she said.

A public retirement party was held June 6, 2019 at The Bank of Elk River with colleagues, community members, friends and family, with over 100 people in attendance.

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