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Longtime bank employee wears many hats

Alice Byrd at Coastal for 40 years

POSTED: July 25, 2011 2:30 p.m.

Alice Byrd has worked at The Coastal Bank for 40 years, and she said she has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Byrd, a reconcilement specialist, grew up in Miller County. She moved to Waycross after high school and worked at a newspaper before meeting her husband and moving to Hinesville.
She said she chose a career path in banking because she had a son and “wanted a job with better hours.”
“At that time, banking hours weren’t as long as they are now,” Byrd added. “Sometimes we got off at 4.” 
As a reconcilement specialist, she is responsible for balancing various accounts. She also maintains a monthly notebook with all the balance spreadsheets. Examiners and auditors use the notebook to make sure the bank is doing its job properly.
Byrd has gained experience at several positions in her 40 years with the bank. She said she has supervised several departments, worked as an assistant cashier — a job that no longer exists — and worked in just about every area of the bank, except the loan department.
“She is a very caring, considerate person and very passionate about everything she does,” co-worker Seretha Powell said.
Byrd said her favorite parts of her job are knowing she has everything right and in balance and also getting approval from her boss.
She said she has gotten job offers from other banks in the past, but ultimately she decided to continue her loyalty with The Coastal Bank.
“I considered leaving several times, maybe to work for another bank. Two other banks offered me a job, but I didn’t want to start back at the bottom,” Byrd said. “Of course, I also like my job.”
Although her position was scaled back to part-time in March, she said she doesn’t have any plans to retire anytime soon. In fact, Byrd said she wants to work as long as she feels she can.
She occasionally gets bored doing the same job, she said, but because the banking world always changes and her position requires plenty of research, the job provides enough variety to keep it interesting.
“It’s a challenge because I’m not a computer whiz,” Byrd said. “But I do love doing research — having to dig here and there for information. I think I would have been a good detective if I hadn’t done this.”
She said she initially wanted to be an interior decorator but never went to college, instead getting married and having a son.
Byrd said she took several banking and accounting classes but would have liked to take some college classes to advance herself before going straight into banking.
She also said that most people hired in today’s world have gone to college and get the most opportunities for advancement.
“I’m an ordinary employee,” Byrd insists. “My husband was retired military for many years, so I needed to work. I needed the job. So, you stick where you’ve got a little security. That’s why I stayed, and now, that’s what I know.”

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