JOHN DAY - Leslie Lindley is celebrating her 40th year in banking this summer - almost all of it right in John Day.
After graduating from Grant Union High School in 1967, she attended Western Business University and earned a degree in banking and key punch. She began her banking career in 1968 with First National Bank.
With the exception of 1972, when she worked in Portland for First National Bank, she has been in John Day at the same location on Main Street.
The name of the bank has changed. First National Bank changed to First Interstate Bank. First Interstate Bank sold to Wells Fargo Bank. Wells Fargo Bank sold to Klamath First Bank and in 2003, Bank of Eastern Oregon purchased the branch.
Lindley has worn many hats through the years, including: customer service bookkeeper, loan secretary, manager's secretary, and registered investment advisor. Currently she holds down the new accounts area and is a customer service representative.
Asked about the biggest changes she has seen in her banking career, Lindley said, "Of course, the biggest change is automation, which is, overall, more convenient for everyone, customers, merchants, and the banks. I think in many respects banking is a less personal encounter.
"For many years, especially on pay days, our lobby was a meeting place of sorts. The wait was a little longer, so visiting was a regular occurrence for those in line. Lobby traffic is less because of the automation."
She said she has really enjoyed working at Bank of Eastern Oregon.
"We are very customer-oriented and they notice and appreciate that. We have fun, on the branch level and the corporate level, and our customers are included in that fun. In addition, BEO does not have that 'sell, sell, sell' mentality of a lot of banks."
She said it's still a great place to come to work every day, "so I am not in any hurry to retire."
Branch Manager, Janice Provencher, lauded Lindley.
"It is a pleasure to work with someone who has an upbeat, positive, can-do appreciation of her job," she said.