After 47 years of dedicated service, Kathy Carmichael is retiring from WesBanco Bank, effective today, Friday, June 19.
Starting out in the bookkeeping department as a high school co-op, Carmichael would walk over from Ravenswood High School each afternoon, to what was then Jackson County Bank, where she was paid $1 an hour.
“That summer they kept me on for summer help,” Carmichael said. “They trained me to be a fill-in teller whenever they needed someone for lunches or vacations.”
When fall came around, Carmichael said one of the tellers quit, leaving a full-time position open.
“I was offered the position and have been here ever since,” she said.
Carmichael has occupied several positions within the bank during her 47 years, including bookkeeping and teller; however, she has also helped out in other areas of the bank. Her current position is lead teller.
Carmichael said getting to meet all of the different people has been her favorite part of the job.
“I love helping the community and being able to help them with their banking by keeping their money safe for them,” she said. “You get close to your customers, to me it’s almost like a beautician.”
According to Carmichael, her customers have always been a big support to her. In fact, in 2018, she was crowned the Ohio River Festival Senior Queen, an honor she credits her customers with helping her obtain.
“A lot of them really wanted to support me,” she said.
The winner of the title was determined by the number of votes received for each contestant. Each vote was a donation of one penny.
Carmichael set up donation jars at several locations around town, as well as at the bank.
“It was because of my customers that I won,” she said.
Another program that Carmichael is proud to have been a part of through WesBanco is the School Savings Program.
“I enjoyed going to the schools and giving presentations about savings, credit, and checking accounts,” she said. “I feel those things are important for every child to know about.”
In her 47 years, Carmichael has seen many changes in the banking world. Not just the name of the bank, but the use of electronics has been a major adjustment over the years.
“Starting here, we had no computers in the bank,” she said. “We worked with adding machines. After that we graduated from adding machines to teller machines, then teller machines to computers.”
She added that other things have changed as well, such as new policies, procedures, and different acts presented to the government that banking employees now have to follow.
“When you’re younger it wasn’t that bad, but as you get older they are harder to make,” Carmichael said. “I find myself wanting to go back to the old ways.”
Carmichael said her decision to retire now, was made due to wanting to be able to enjoy life and visit with her family while she still can. She also wants to be able to spend more time working with the many volunteer organizations in which she participates.
“I am the accounting chairman for the Relay for Life, the treasurer for the Ravenswood Alumni Association, the treasurer for the Drift Run Cemetery, the secretary for the Drift Run Church, and I help organize our family reunion each year,” Carmichael said. “I also enjoy going on the ‘Recycled Teenagers’ bus trips.”
Traveling is also on Carmichael’s list, following her retirement. She has set a goal to travel to each of the 50 United States.
“I have 13 more states to go to meet my goal,” she said.
According to Carmichael, she would also like to go on a mission trip; however, COVID-19 has put her plans off for that until possibly next year.
About her retirement, Carmichael said she will miss her customers and co-workers the most, but she is excited to know that she will still see them out and about in the community.
WesBanco hosted a Retirement Reception honoring Carmichael on Friday, June 19.