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Getting to know James Duckro!

Getting to know James Duckro!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021/Categories: Employee Spotlight

If you’ve never worked at a bank, you would have no concept of the amount of support that is needed behind the scenes to fulfill daily client requests, update financial files and process transactions that allow banking clients to purchase dinner from an app, pay their bills from the safety of their couch or deposit a check that grandma sent for a birthday. James Duckro is the operations manager who oversees the areas that allow the banking magic to happen 24/7!

As operations manager, James is responsible for managing Centralized Maintenance, Production, Branch Support and IRA/HSA associates and processing functions in each area of the bank. These areas handle the day-two, back-office processes that support Heartland’s frontline business units. His staff ensures that Wire transfers, ACH transactions, Returns, Account Maintenance/Review, Debit and Credit card transactions, Mail and Courier Services, IRA and HSA account requests are all processed/updated as requested.

With all these tasks to oversee, James is deliberate in setting a goal for himself that ultimately leads to the betterment of his team. “My primary goal as a manager has always been to continuously provide opportunities for my staff to grow and develop their knowledge and capabilities so they can advance in their career here at the bank.” This is the key to success for his team as the realization that they each can make a difference and improve their position leads to satisfied and challenged associates.

James is also committed to his department and takes pride in the contributions his team make to the overall success of the bank. “A recent achievement was the Victory Bank merger - a great group effort by the entire Operations team that I was really proud to help complete. The creation/expansion of a Centralized Maintenance Department to handle the increased maintenance/review functions we now have and utilize Business Process Manager to become more efficient have also been rewarding to see grow and expand over the past few years. Additionally, the development of Fraud monitoring techniques and implementation of software to assist with monitoring and preventing Debit/Credit card fraud, ACH and Wire fraud is comforting as criminals have continued to attack us in new ways.”


Heartland has been his work home for the last four and a half years, and James is a believer in the quality and excellence that each associate is encouraged to portray. “Excellence for me means going the extra step to provide a level of service that will wow our customers, giving them an experience that they want to tell all their friends about and one they won’t receive anywhere else. Quality means doing things right the first time – every time, and if we discover an error, following through to guarantee that it has been corrected and developing controls to prevent it from happening again.”


“James plays a key role in the growth and success of his team and the bank as a whole. He is an agent of change for the bank and successfully leads and develops his team members to improve processes, ensure quality, and mitigate risk. He builds strong relationships with leaders and associates throughout the bank by listening, encouraging and supporting others. Through this, James exemplifies the Heartland culture,” shares Carrie Almendinger, chief financial officer at Heartland Bank.


With this kind of attention to detail, it is difficult to believe that James has time for much else outside of work. “I have been married for 17 years and have two kids, Walter (15) and Ella (12).  Hobbies I enjoy are riding bikes with my family on the Hilliard Rails to Trails, collecting coins, and working with my kids on building a bee/butterfly/bird-friendly yard landscape – especially milkweed plants for the monarch butterflies. We love to see them return every year to our yard, then lay their eggs and watch the caterpillars grow and start the cycle all over! Also, I attended the University of Dayton and still love to watch the Flyers Basketball games!” James is a member of the Parish Council for St. Margaret of Cortona Church, Fish Fry Committee and Men’s Club member, assistant coach for the Hilliard Darby Girls’ Basketball 6th Grade team, and Hilliard Food Pantry volunteer.


Does your bank have hard working individuals that go above-and-beyond for their clients and teammates while still being committed to family and friends? If your answer is “no,” we invite you to visit any of our 18 branch locations to experience the Heartland difference!