A community bank banks on a strong community presence. When the associates at a community banking institution spend their entire lives in the communities in which they work, strong commitments are formed, and associates feel uniquely tied to the people they serve. Heartland Bank has many associates with this level of commitment and living in the Central Ohio area her entire life, Katie Ridgway is the perfect example of a community-minded associate and Heartland advocate.
Growing up in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and graduating from Reynoldsburg High School, Katie went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in business from Ohio University. After college, she returned to the Central Ohio area and eventually found her niche with Heartland Bank. Her career at Heartland Bank began in 2019 when she joined the bank as a commercial relationship coordinator after a suggestion from her father, Marc Ridgway, who has enjoyed a very successful career at Heartland.
Katie’s commitment and desire to strengthen her dedication to Heartland did not go unnoticed. After just a few short years, she was promoted to Relationship Coordinator Supervisor and tasked with managing the commercial and agribusiness support teams. She also received her first officer title in 2020. “Receiving my officer title was my proudest moment. I am a third-generation banker. Getting to work with my dad has been amazing, and I know that my grandpa is smiling down on me, proud that a Ridgway is carrying on the tradition,” shared Katie.
Her advice to finding success at Heartland is simple. “Find a mentor or peer buddy that you can ask questions and bounce ideas off. Here at Heartland, you do not have to go very far to find someone willing to jump in and help.” Katie obviously speaks from experience. She was also nominated by her peers for the Quality and Excellence Award, and for this honor, she demonstrated, through her actions, her belief in the Shared Values and mission statement of Heartland Bank. “Quality and Excellence to me means going above and beyond to help the client. We are not just a financial institution who provides products and services. We are an organization that partners with our community to add value and support.”
Many bankers felt the stress and uncertainty during the past twelve months as the world dealt with an unprecedented pandemic. As Heartland associates were deemed essential workers at the outset, the bank responded quickly with alternate service arrangements and the ability to facilitate the eventual governmental assistance. “At Heartland, we truly care about our clients and the community. During the height of the pandemic and PPP, the commercial team and countless other Heartland Team members gave up evenings, weekends, holidays, you name it, with their families to help make sure all of our clients were able to get the assistance they needed. Heartland is here for you through the good times and the not so good times. Even as we grow, we still maintain our culture, and I truly believe no matter our size, we will keep the same culture and the same mindset.”
Committed associates with positive outlooks and solid foundations contribute to the strength of the Heartland culture. Katie sums up her commitment very simply, “My future goals at Heartland and in my personal life is to cultivate a reputation like my father. I have always admired my father and his work ethic. When I get to retirement age, I would like people to speak of me the same way they speak of him.”
Family devotion, with a love for cooking sprinkled in, contributes to Katie being a grounded and well-rounded Heartland associate. If you’re looking for a banker like Katie who is committed not only to her family and friends, but also her coworkers and clients, come on over to Heartland, where banking feels good!