As members of the community joined First National Bank Alaska in celebrating the Healy Branch’s fifth anniversary earlier this year, an air of excitement consumed the area like it was still opening day.
“Reaching that milestone, I think it really meant something to the people here,” said Healy Branch Teller Kami Graham. “I think they remain thrilled to say ‘we even have a bank now.’”
Healy is a small town located just outside of majestic Denali National Park and Preserve. In March 2008, First National opened its 30th branch and the first and only bank in the Healy area. Since then, residents have been saved the hassle of driving 110 miles to Fairbanks to talk face-to-face with a banker.
“While we can always call (Senior Vice President) Bill Renfrew in Fairbanks and talk to him like we have for years, the ability to make the short drive to the Healy Branch get help from those friendly people has certainly made us more efficient,” said Denali Visions 3000 co-owner David McCarthy.
Marty Crow has been with First National for two years and been the Healy Branch Manager for half the time. After learning the banking ropes as a Management Associate, he was more than ready to lead his own team at the branch.
“Working with our customers and getting to know them has really been rewarding,” Crow said. “I get to help them achieve their financial goals and they tell me a lot of great stories about life and Alaska.
“I’ve learned a lot so far.”
Crow knows he’s working in a pretty unique place.
“The proximity to Denali is pretty special because people come from all over the world to explore and work in the park,” he said. “It’s not uncommon to hear several different languages over the course of a day.”
Crow and Graham are currently joined at the Healy Branch by Allison Johnson (Branch Support Representative), Wendi Planty (Operations Assistant), Julie Shorey (Operations Supervisor) and Cortnee Shreeve (Teller). It’s a small, but tight-knit group.
“We take a lot of pride in what we do,” Planty said.
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