Joe Gelione started his financial career on Black Monday, October 19, 1987. He was a management associate in an East Coast stock-trading firm.
That job didn't last very long.
Because his first day in the industry was the second largest one-day decline in stock market history, he figured he couldn?t go anywhere but up.
Soon, he took a job selling life insurance to labor unions and their members and found himself going door-to-door in rough New Jersey neighborhoods.
He later started at a large financial firm only to find out two weeks later they were closing because of a merger.
Fortunately, Gelione found banking - and Alaska.
All he knew about the state pretty much came from watching the TV show Northern Exposure. He and his wife began researching Alaska, and in 1992 made their way north.
?It wasn?t long before we fell in love with the state and the banking industry began to work for me,? said Gelione.
After several years in the banking industry, he came to First National in 2003 and hasn?t looked back.
?Banking gives me the opportunity to meet so many different types of people from diverse walks of life, from one-person landscaping companies to CEOs of large corporations,? said Gelione. ?You get pretty involved in people?s business affairs to the point that you begin to measure your success in terms of the success of your customers.?
Gelione is a graduate of Stockton State College where he studied financial management. Since coming to Alaska he volunteers his time for such organizations as Bean?s Cafe and Dimond West Little League.
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