Vice President, Business Banker
1921 Pleasant Valley Boulevard
Altoona, PA 16602
Get to Know More About Karen Smith
One of the most rewarding and satisfying situations of my banking career came last year at the opening of a new facility Reliance Bank financed. The entire project took more than a year from our first meeting to the opening. Because there were a variety of agencies that were also involved, it was interesting, exciting, sometimes frustrating, and very satisfying on opening day to see a project through to completion.
Karen has been in commercial lending her entire banking career, nearly 40 years, and still loves it. Each day is different. Even with a day that is completely planned, the first phone call of the day can change around your entire list of priorities. Karen loves working with her customers and fellow employees, and considers herself more of a people person. She does like working up the numbers on transactions to make them work for the customers.
“I have always felt as if the banking industry helps its customers…no matter whether it is business loans, consumer or mortgage loans, or just checking and savings accounts. Our industry is a major portion of what helps to keep our economy moving forward,” Karen explains. “Businesses expand with the potential for more employment. Banks enable people to have home ownership and take pride in a home.”
Karen has seen the banking industry change drastically. More government regulations have added to the responsibilities and amount of information bankers need to have. Karen has been with Reliance Bank for 13.5 years, and loves working for a company where the decisions are made locally. She appreciates the personal relationship, where individuals are valued customers, and not just by numbers and data kept on spreadsheets.
“I have always felt Reliance Bank is able to give that extra personal service to all of our customers because of our small size. The one thing I would say to a potential customer is that he or she can always call me and I will make sure to connect them to a person who can resolve their problem.”
This personal touch with each customer is what sets Reliance Bank apart from our competitors, and this feeling of personal service is important to each employee, too.