When Shannon Hayes moved to Alaska on Christmas day in 2001, she had just graduated from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with a communications degree. In 2002, she landed a job at First National Bank Alaska. And she's been here ever since.
Hayes started as a part-time clerk in the bank's Escrow Department. Today, she works in the department as a business development officer.
"I love working at First National and I've never worked anywhere else," said Hayes.
Originally from Iowa, Hayes especially likes the fact that First National is Alaskan- owned and-operated with a focus on helping Alaskans prosper. Alaska has different challenges and opportunities than other states, she says. The bank understands that uniqueness and offers a variety of financial services to help people living and working in the state meet their financial needs.
She also enjoys the "small-branch" feel of her Anchorage office. Hayes explained: "People who come in know my name. They know that we know who they are, and I think people appreciate that."
The bank's Escrow Department offers a variety of creative options to facilitate the transfer of money and property between parties. Hayes enjoys sitting down with customers, listening to what they are trying to accomplish and devising a solution.
"It's also very rewarding to be able to collaborate with colleagues to customize escrow services to fit customers' unique needs," Hayes says. First National's escrow team has more than 75 years of combined experience that it uses to deliver completely personalized customer service. "When we put our heads together, it's very seldom there is something that we can't do," Hayes said.
That's exactly what happened when Lance Alldrin needed escrow services to assist with the purchase and sale of several fishing permits. For the past five years, Hayes has worked with Alldrin, who lives in Chico, Calif., to facilitate the transfer of fishing permits.
"Everything he and I do is by phone, snail mail, fax," she said.
Essentially, Hayes serves as a third party or safety buffer in the transaction. The bank holds onto the transfer papers from the seller and the payment from the buyer until the sale is complete.
When she's not working with escrow customers, Hayes spends much of her free time relishing the outdoors. She has a fondness for fishing, camping, hiking, rock collecting, and genealogy during the winter months. Not surprisingly, one of her favorite spots in Alaska is the Kenai Peninsula. Hayes also enjoys spending time with her daughter.
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