In all her days spent working at First National Bank Alaska’s Seward Branch, Karen Sefton has watched generations of customers come and go. The children from back in the day are today’s parents thinking about the best financial decisions for their children’s futures.
“Customers I remember meeting as kids are now the ones visiting the bank to learn more about college savings and other accounts for their little ones,” Sefton said. “A lot of our customers have lived here for a while. I’m happy to say that I know them.”
Longevity is a large part of what makes Sefton an Alaska banking expert. But she’s also learned a lot since first joining First National as a teller in 1979. Knowledge and local expertise brought her a long way.
When Sefton first arrived in Seward, it was a quiet place. People were still recovering from the devastating effects of the famed 1964 earthquake. In short order, tourism, sport fishing and charter boats began to transform the town into the popular sea-side destination Alaskans and thousands of annual visitors from around the world have come to enjoy.
“Seward has really grown and come into its own,” she said.
Sefton was named Seward’s Branch Manager in 2012. She now oversees day-to-day operations of the branch and is responsible for helping to meet customers’ loan needs.
“It’s been fun and rewarding to have been part of the history of the Seward Branch and the bank all these years,” Sefton said. “I’ve enjoyed the ins and outs and welcomed far more ups than downs. The one aspect of my job that I love is the ability to talk to people about their dreams and goals.
“This means listening more than anything else. For me, conversations are an opportunity to make sure we’re going in the right direction. I’d like to think the people of Seward come in and see me because they’ve known me for so long.”
Sefton sees those people almost every day. She won’t stop learning on the job and finding ways to help customers the best way she knows how.
“Confidence in a familiar face,” she said. “Our customers know I’ll be here with a smile.”
Contact Sefton (NMLS #944057) today at ksefton@FNBAlaska.com or 907-224-4210.
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