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Jake Garris is in the Heartland Spotlight!

Jake Garris is in the Heartland Spotlight!

Monday, May 6, 2024/Categories: Employee Spotlight

We’ve all heard the US Navy slogan from the eighties, “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure,” but how many of us could really apply this to our job, career or small business? Jake Garris is an Assistant Manager at Heartland Bank, and he lives this motto daily when he arrives at his Capitol Square branch office in downtown Columbus.

Can Banking Be Fun?

“A bank can be a fun place to work… if it’s Heartland. Every day our team has some fun. We always find something to laugh about together. I mean, we’ve even transformed our office into a beach for a day! So why is that important? Having fun makes people happy, and happy people are the people you want to be around,” shared Jake. Landing at Heartland after working at a larger bank, he noticed the differences right away with culture, environment and teamwork at a community bank.

Starting his career at Heartland as a Customer Service Representative (CSR) in 2007, Jake then transitioned to a Platform CSR, then Lead Universal Baker, and finally Assistant Manager. “I’m kind of like the office dad; I’ve been around the longest, have enough knowledge to be dangerous, I fix things when they break, and make corny jokes whenever I can. I help to coach and develop our team, order supplies, run transactions, change light bulbs, open accounts and loans, make schedules and ensure we celebrate office birthdays.”

“Don’t hesitate to jump right into the Heartland culture and start writing your own story here. Meet as many people as you can throughout the bank. I think you’ll find that everyone here wants you to succeed in whatever it is you want to do…even if that is creating an entirely new position for yourself; I’ve seen it happen more than once. Participate in associate engagement initiatives. Have fun! Be silly! Wear the group costume. Go all out. Show off your talents,” added Jake. This positive outlook is contagious, allowing his coworkers to not only appreciate their workplace, but also convey a welcoming environment to the clients that visit the Capitol Square branch.

Relationships Matter

It really didn’t take long for Jake to realize what would attract customers and keep clients coming back to his bank. “I am most proud of the relationships I have with my clients and coworkers. When I get a big hug from a customer, or they come to me to ask for advice, that makes me feel proud to be a part of their lives,” said Jake. Relationships grounded by a welcoming atmosphere are a match that’s hard to beat. “Every client we have, new or existing, allows us to invest in our communities through the dollars they have on deposit. All of the decisions are made locally. That means we have even more of a reason to always do what’s best for the client because it affects the communities where we all actually live, work and play.”

Brandon Palmer, Branch Manager at Heartland’s Capitol Square location, added, “Jake is the definition of Heartland Bank. His dedication to providing excellent customer service and mitigating risk are only a few qualities that make him so vital to the Capitol Square team, but more importantly the bank entirely. With his 15+ years of tenure here at Heartland, there’s not a single client that walks through the door who doesn’t ask for him. He has become a pillar of the branch. Every day he shows up with great mentality, and I’m grateful to have him on the team!”

Tell Us More

Jake wasn’t born in Columbus, but he now calls it home. He’s from Mineral Ridge, Ohio, and went to The Ohio State University. “My wife and I have said for years that we’d like to move to northeast Ohio to be closer to our parents and other family members. It’s just so hard to leave Columbus… and for me, to leave Heartland.”

A family guy at heart, Jake loves dad jokes. “I hope I never lose interest in that…or at the bank.” He is a devoted American Red Cross blood donor, working toward gallon number eight, avid do-it-yourselfer, and proud father of two daughters. “They like to send a stuffed animal to the office with me every once in a while. I will take photos of their plush friends doing fun or silly things throughout the day and show them all the pics when I get home. They love it,” admitted Jake.

If you’re looking for a career that is more than a job, but also an adventure, check out Heartland Bank where associates like Jake just might want you to help them transform the office into a beach for the day!