After 37 years working for Peoples Bank and Trust Company and 45 total years in banking, Vicky Inzer is getting ready to retire. Her last day as People’s Bank cashier, which is similar to a chief financial officer, is May 31.
She and her first husband moved to Manchester on Jan. 11, 1982 after her husband graduated college and got a job with Arnold Engineering Development Complex. She worked in banking for eight years before the move and wanted to get back into it in Manchester. When Inzer first applied, Peoples Bank was small and had the same family atmosphere that it does today.
“Wayne Bramblett hired me and gave me a start. I started as a teller and he gave me the opportunity to learn assets and liability management,” Inzer said.
Bramblett allowed her to attend banking school as well. After him, she worked under Elmer Morris, who gave her more opportunities to learn and move up within the bank.
He sent me to banking school. Elmer Morris Jr., took over after Bramblett. He provided her with more opportunities – more schooling, promotions, etc., before Philip Calahan took over in 2012.
“I worked with so many awesome people,” Inzer recalled.
When she first started at Peoples Bank, computers were not that advanced – her first computer was an Apple 2, which outclassed now by her iPhone.
“I think it’s funny that when we first started here, we would sit back at, we called it a check carousel,” Inzer said. “It was probably as long as this table and you would push a little button and the drawers would rotate around. We would sit there and we would get our checks back every morning and we would file them by hand. By hand!”
Her most memorable moment was the Y2K scare.
“We spent months preparing for the ultimate crash of computers,” she said. “We were going to have to go back to the old way. I would have 10 people up in our board room who were learning how to run a bank manually. Which kind of went back to the old proofing days, but without the machine.
“Oh my gosh, I was here at the bank – not this one, but the old one up on the square – 11:45, News Year’s Eve, 1999, waiting for the ultimate demise of our computers,” Inzer continued. “I waited and was like ‘tick, tick, tick, tick,’ and suddenly, it was midnight. I went in and I logged into the computer and, ta-da, it worked! It was hilarious, but we spent a lot of time preparing for the worst case scenario.”
During her tenure, Inzer explained she grew a lot as a person and was a part of a family in Peoples Bank.
“When you work this long, they become our family,” Inzer said. “In the last 15 years, I’ve been through a lot – I’ve had breast cancer, my first husband died unexpectedly, and my family – and I’m not just talking about my immediate family, I mean the people here too, supported me. You don’t take that lightly. That’s special.”
She later added, “A lot of times, as a small community bank, you’re running with the big dogs and you have to do what the big dogs do or you’re not going to survive. And so for a smaller bank like ourselves, we have to put a lot of expense into it. But, nevertheless, we’ve done it. It’s not always been easy and we don’t specialize in one particular area, we do wear a lot of hats and I think that’s what I love about community banks. I don’t know if I could work for a corporate bank – they would be so different.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes, but I’ve also seen how we have adapted and grown despite the difficulties that we’ve faced. I’ve learned a lot with some of the things that I’ve personally been through – two bouts with cancer and losing a spouse – those things that don’t kill you make you stronger. When you are a part of a community bank, it’s not just certain people that run the bank – everybody here has to step up and wear multiple hats,” she concluded.
Inzer, who knew she wanted to get into banking ever since one of her high school classes toured a bank, is looking forward to retirement. Though she expects to be involved with the bank for a short time after retiring, she is looking forward to using her free time to ride her bike more.
She also plans to move to Grundy County in the future to take care of her and her husband’s farm.