Jim McMillan enjoys being a banker so much that even when he retired in 2006 after more than 30 years in the industry, he just couldn't stay away.
"My wife and I moved to Arizona and I came back to Alaska the first summer after I retired and worked for First National doing special projects," said McMillan.
Soon, McMillan and his wife decided to move back to the state permanently and his part-time work for the bank turned into a full-time position as a corporate loan officer.
"I love working with customers. One of the most interesting things about being a banker is working with a variety of different businesses. In order to effectively help a customer, you have to get in and really learn about their industry and how their business operates. It's challenging, but it expands your horizons and it's fun."
McMillan's passion for expanding his knowledge about new industries is one reason he's successful at helping customers. He believes it's crucial to building a solid relationship with them. He maintains those relationships by meeting with customers on a regular basis to discuss openly and honestly how their business is doing and how the local economy is affecting them. He also shares with customers the bank's perspective on the economy and the impact it may have on their business.
"Banking is more than opening a deposit account and making a loan. It's really about being a financial resource because you're there to address customers' financial needs. Sometimes that means simply exchanging information. I find customers really appreciate that."
In addition to his love for banking, McMillan enjoys traveling the state with his wife in their motor home during the summer. When the temperature drops and the snow flies, he enjoys showing off his culinary skills.
"I like to cook gourmet meals. That means the kitchen is a mess when I'm done. I tell my wife, 'the messier the kitchen, the better the meal.'" said McMillan.
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