OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY BANKERS

Pub. 3 2021 Issue 3

hometown-champions

Hometown Champions: Marquette Savings Bank

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Communities across Pennsylvania are growing and thriving because their community banks care. The service and commitment demonstrated by community bank employees keep customers faithful, and their sincerity keeps others hopeful. It is because of these employees that communities across the Commonwealth are thriving and becoming better places to live and work.

When it comes to community banking in Pennsylvania, the uniqueness, talents, and attributes of the 14,000 individual community bank employees combine to make the entire industry greater than the sum of its parts.

As we travel across Pennsylvania, we meet community bank employees from many different backgrounds. Some are new to the industry, while others have worked their entire careers in it. No matter how long these employees have been involved in banking, they all share a common thread — a love for their community. They truly are the ones responsible for bettering their hometowns.

As part of an ongoing series, we will be featuring interviews with these community bank employees for each issue, these “Hometown Champions.” Through these interviews, we hope to gain insight into what makes the community banking industry great in Pennsylvania.

This month we chat with Hometown Champions from Marquette Savings Bank, located in Erie County.

Marquette is THE HOMETOWN BANK, the only remaining locally headquartered bank in Erie County. Every dollar stays right there in the communities they serve to Mpower™ individuals and families to prosper, businesses to succeed, communities to be better places, and employees to be their best.

When you are THE HOMETOWN BANK, you look beyond the numbers to envision what could be. You see businesses growing and jobs created, families prospering and buying homes, and lives changed for the better. Because when it’s your hometown, it matters more. That is the Marquette Difference.

Joann-Fuller

Joann Fuller 

Joann Fuller, Head Teller

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

JOANN: I happened to get into community banking by association. The bank manager at Marquette had given my husband and myself our first mortgage, she also happened to be a customer of mine, so she saw firsthand my sales ability and customer service skills. When a
position became available at her branch, which happens to be in the community where I live, she reached out to me. Twenty-three years later, I’m blessed to say I’m still a part of the Marquette Family!

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

JOANN: The most rewarding aspect of working in community banking is exactly that, the “Community.” It’s being that voice on the other end of the line when a customer calls looking for help, and they have that peace of mind when they realize that they are actually talking to a person and not having to go through an automated system. It’s always been a pleasure to serve the familiar faces we see on a daily basis, as well as the opportunity to build new relationships that we hope will last a lifetime. Having our customer’s best interests at heart has always been my goal.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

JOANN: If you looked up the definition of community banking, you would find Marquette Savings Bank. Marquette is the “Hometown Bank with the Hometown Touch.” I’ve always taken pride in being a part of that and what it stands for. A bank that is rooted in its community and shows it by the way they invest in their customer’s needs while giving back by supporting local businesses and volunteering in local activities and events.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

JOANN: Something most people might not know about me is that I lost my mom, my best friend, 17 years ago to breast cancer. It is a day I’ll never forget and a heartache that will never mend. Every day she still gives me the strength to get up out of bed, to put one foot in front of the other, to love with all my heart, to be better today than I was yesterday, and to never take one moment for granted!

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

JOANN: The 5th picture on my phone is of my two precious grandsons, who are only 3 and 2! God’s greatest gifts to me since my husband and my children! Every day they bring so much joy and love into my life, and for that, I am grateful! I am truly blessed!

Steve-Kightlinger

Steve Kightlinger

Steve Kightlinger, Sr. Vice President

PACB: How did you get into Community banking?

STEVE: I grew up in the Meadville area. Prior to Marquette Savings Bank, though, I worked for a national finance company and a large national bank. Then a Marquette Savings Bank trustee approached me concerning a role within their operation. I researched the bank and spoke to many clients, attorneys, and accountants about the job change. Everyone responded that Marquette would be a good fit.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in a community bank?

STEVE: Marquette Savings Bank is all about helping our clients and giving back to the communities we serve. Our customers are our friends. We socialize with them, and we also serve together on committees and boards. Every decision is made locally, and our clients are confident that transactions will be done timely and with ease.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what is yours?

STEVE: Marquette’s mission statement is what I believe to be the definition of a community bank. “Every dollar stays in communities we serve to Mpower™ individuals and families to prosper, businesses to succeed, communities to be better places and employees to be their best.”

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

STEVE: I enjoy riding motorcycles, and I own a Harley Softtail.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

STEVE: The Castelo di Amorosa in Napa Valley — that was an awesome trip!

ERIN-MAY

Erin May

Erin May, Assistant Secretary

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

ERIN: I started my career with Marquette Savings Bank in April 1995. My cousin was leaving her position with Marquette to pursue other interests. She recommended Marquette as a great opportunity and thought it would be a good fit for me. Fast forward 26 years later, I am still growing with the only Hometown Bank in Erie, Pennsylvania.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

ERIN: There are so many rewarding aspects of working at a community bank; how do you choose just one. We take pride in our employees and our communities. We strive to create a sense of community in everything we do. This includes volunteering, donating, and being a team with our community through interactions with our customers. We have generations of families that continue to bank with Marquette because our customers know we care about them and how we do business in our workplace. We are a team, a family fully vested in our community, and grateful to be making a difference. There is one other rewarding aspect, and that is the friends and families we make when we help them open their first checking or savings account to later helping them purchase their first home.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what is yours?

ERIN: A bank that adds the personal touch to meeting the financial needs of the families and businesses in their community. A bank where lending needs are determined by employees that live in the same community as the customers they serve. A community bank pays attention to opportunities to serve their community by donating, volunteering, and supporting nonprofit organizations in their community.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

ERIN: When I was in high school, there was a newly ordained priest at the church I attended. He encouraged the youth of the church to form a youth group and become involved in the community. I joined the youth group very enthusiastically, encouraging friends to join with me. (I think it became my youth group, haha!) This is where I started my love for community involvement and getting friends and family involved.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

ERIN: My 5th picture is a screenshot of me and some of my closest friends having a Zoom Happy Hour. We have gotten together monthly in person for years since high school, really. We have now temporarily resorted to our “girls nights” to be Zoom Happy Hours. We are planning a girl’s getaway to celebrate us and how lucky we are to have many years of friendship and memories. (Sorry, these girls would kill me if I shared this picture!)

Pete Sitter

Pete Sitter, SVP of Sales & Marketing

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

PETE: It was really a case of being in the right place at the right time. I had just finished a major consulting project, and at the same time, Marquette had an opening for the leader of the marketing department. The board and Michael Edwards, our CEO, were interested in getting a little more aggressive with the marketing program. I had previous experience in various bank marketing roles at both the corporate level and at an ad agency. The fit for me was perfect. I am community-minded, and Marquette gave me the freedom I needed to help connect the 110-year Hometown Bank With the Hometown Touch brand directly into our mission in a way that became more relevant to broader demographics.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

PETE: The ability to make a difference in so many ways. Community banks are more responsive and flexible. The fact that we are locally managed, make local decisions, and do not have to go through corporate red tape means we can take actions that better match the situation at hand. This is how community banks truly make a difference. At Marquette, our brand position states that we are here to Mpower™ businesses to succeed and create jobs, Mpower™ individuals and families to prosper, Mpower™ communities to be better places, and Mpower™ employees to be their best. That purpose was never more important than it was in 2020. Seeing how we were able to help a broad cross-section of people during the Pandemic was very gratifying. My position allows me to serve on our contributions committee, and I see how what we do has a direct impact on people and making the communities we serve better places. In my role as the leader of the marketing department, I hear firsthand the stories of both our customers and the employees that serve them. Marquette also makes it easy for employees to volunteer their time and expertise to helping nonprofit organizations. I find the contribution I can make as a board member with organizations that are making a positive impact to be very rewarding.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

PETE: For me, a community bank is a locally owned and managed financial institution that exists for one purpose — to make a difference by addressing the financial needs, challenges, and opportunities of the communities it serves.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

PETE: I am a big “Do It Yourself” person. I am mechanically inclined and used to do all my own work on cars. I built a Dune Buggy in my teens and rebuilt a 1966 MGB sports car, which I used to take a trip around the country. Today, I have a full woodworking shop that I use to build furniture of my own designs, such as tables, credenza’s, desks, and cabinets. Most recently, I built my first chair, a weavers chair for my wife to use at her loom. I also built a few wooden Kayaks.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

PETE: It is a photo of our Motorhome Van parked at our bayfront here in Erie on a warm spring day a few days ago. We bought the van to take on a cross-country trip to the West Coast to see our sons and grandkids. We are first-timers, and the opportunity to see our country in this way will be an adventure, to say the least.

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