By Susan C. Bogardus
Who remembers their first real bicycle? Not the one with the training wheels, but the next one. Mine was green with a white banana seat and white basket (of course) on the handlebars. After the training wheel bike, this one felt like it would fly! I rode it everywhere. I had a friend that lived nearby and we lived on our bikes; hers was similar to mine. We thought they were the coolest bikes ever, until our next bikes. The next step up was a ruby red Schwinn ten speed; now that bike would go! Over the years, I have owned a couple of other bikes, cruiser bikes and Huffy-type bikes so that the whole family could ride together around the neighborhood.
I never really thought much about the innovation in bicycle development until about five years ago when I had the crazy idea to start doing triathlons. When I started thinking about the equipment I would need, I realized that the cruiser bike in the garage was not going to cut it. I walked into a local bicycle shop and was amazed. Who knew that a top end road bike could cost as much as a used car? I immediately knew that I needed an expert to help me navigate the bike shopping experience. Fortunately I was in the right place; the people in the shop listened to me and helped me find a bike that fit my needs. The choices were endless, but not all of the bikes in the shop were for me. What I needed when I walked into the shop was for someone to see my vision. My vision was to compete in my first (and maybe more) triathlon and cross the finish line! The people in the shop saw what I wanted to do and they helped me purchase the right bike and safety equipment for my situation.
My goal as a commercial lender at First American Bank & Trust is to be like my friends at the bike shop: To see the vision of my customers and help them reach their goals. Innovation and vision in banking are something that we strive for at First American. We are a local bank and we pride ourselves on getting to know our customers, their businesses, and their needs. Using innovative solutions to banking needs takes vision. Sometimes a collaboration between my customer and me leads to a great solution. Again, First American Bank & Trust believes in innovation in banking, whether that is online banking, mobile deposit, or merchant services, but we also have the vision to realize that everything we offer does not fit every customer. That is where the relationship with your banker comes into play. We want to see your vision and help you get there!
Susan C. Bogardus is a First Vice President and Commercial Lender at First American Bank & Trust (NMLS ID #: 440165). She has been in banking for 30 years in Athens. Susan is very involved in the community and serves on the board of Athens Area Habitat for Humanity, the Housing and Demographic Research Center and is a member of Athens Area Home Builders Association.