Commercial Bank is hosting a reception for Nadean Meredith on Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Customers are invited to drop in and visit her that day at the Middlesboro Office.
Meredith is celebrating 50 years in the banking profession and she is still going strong as Director of the Bank’s Golden Presidential Club. She’s a Vice President of Commercial Bank and has had many job titles over the years. She’s worked in bookkeeping, on the teller line, as Head Teller, as a secretary, as manager of the credit card department, Branch Manager, and Loan Officer. For the last 11 years she has been coordinating the senior travel club adventures for bank customers and taking them to destinations both far away and close to home.
In September, Meredith was honored by the Kentucky Bankers Association for 50 years of dedicated service to the banking industry.
Her first day on the job was Oct. 22, 1963 and she still remembers it well.
“Well, I was scared to death if you want to be honest,” Meredith said.
She began at the downtown office of Commercial Bank in bookkeeping. She had previously worked for the telephone company and the Lodge at Pine Mountain State Resort Park. She recalled being very excited to be offered the chance to interview for a position at the bank because she considered it “the ultimate job.” She had her interview with the Commercial Bank founder, E. Oscar Robertson.
“I promised Mr. Robertson that if I got the job, I would never leave,” Meredith said.
Over the years she has seen many changes in banking, and the biggest changes have been in technology. When she began in bookkeeping all the customers’ checks were posted manually using a machine as big as a desk. There were no computers. And the end of each month meant late nights for Meredith and her coworkers, eating dinner at the bank and making statements for each customer.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Meredith.
Later in her career she was working at the Pineville branch when she became the first female loan officer and eventually the first female branch manager, which she counts among her biggest accomplishments. When she got the position she said she worked as hard as ever and spent many late nights at the bank working on loans to show that she could do the job. Meredith said those who worked with her would attest that she kept her branch in tip-top shape down to the janitorial supply close. Even that was neat and clean, she said.
Meredith said that throughout her career, Mr. Robertson was her biggest influence because of his kindness and how he strived to help people that no one else would ever help.
“He was my icon because he treated people fairly and he worked hard himself,” she said. “And he would always say, ‘My door is always open’.”
The most enjoyable part of banking, she said, is being able to meet so many people, and with five decades of meeting people, there is hardly anywhere Meredith can go without running into someone she knows.
Her advice for a person just starting out in banking: “Hang in there and work hard. Make sure you are on time, and when you finish one project you ask ‘What else can I do?’ There is always something to be done.”
She is married to J.C. Meredith and they have two daughters, Judy and Becky.