Her journey started when she was a teen.
New opportunities followed.
Now, 45 years later, a well-known Regions Bank leader is looking back on a successful career and the firm foundation she established. It’s a foundation upon which her colleagues will build now that she’s retired.
Doing More Today caught up with Carolyn Pierce, longtime Regions Bank market executive in Clarksville, Tennessee. We spoke with her about her pioneering journey and her focus moving forward.
Doing More Today: How did your Regions Bank story begin?
Carolyn Pierce: I started out with Northern Bank of Tennessee. Northern Bank was acquired by First American. Later we became AmSouth, then Regions. Technically, we’re the oldest bank in the state of Tennessee.
DMT: So, what made you stay with the company for more than four decades?
CP: It was the people.
I started when I was 17 years old. I was very naïve and very intimidated. As I progressed through my career, I was in the right place at the right time. I formed a special kind of relationship with customers and fellow associates. I felt like I had a family – an extended family – and I didn’t want to leave.
DMT: Which roles have you served at the bank?
CP: I started out as a teller. That led into loan review. Then I was a new accounts/customer service representative. Back in those days, we had a switchboard operator, and I relieved the switchboard operator during lunchtime.
After being in the documentation department for several years, I got the opportunity to become a loan officer. When First American came along, I became a consumer sales manager for the bank branches in Clarksville. At one time, I served as consumer sales manager for Clarksville, Cleveland and Chattanooga. Then I became consumer sales manager in Nashville and held that role for several years.
I came back to Clarksville in 1998 and became market executive, in addition to eventually serving in Commercial Banking and Private Wealth – which is where I’ll end my career journey. So, to sum it up – I’ve done a little bit of everything.
DMT: You’ve excelled in each of the roles you’ve held – and have the accolades to prove it. You’re highly regarded by people who’ve worked for you and with you. What do you would want your legacy to be?
CP: I always try to treat people like I would want to be treated. I believe if you’re going to ask someone to do something, then you should not be afraid to get your hands dirty and do it yourself. I was always more of a hands-on banker – I wanted to make a difference in the lives of my clients and my fellow associates. So, hopefully I did that. It’s been the best of both worlds. I love teaching, coaching, mentoring, and trying to make a difference.
DMT: You’ve been at the forefront of community efforts, too. Are there any causes that stand out for you?
CP: I continue to support our United Way of the Greater Clarksville Region. I served on the board for many years, including time as chair of the board. I’ve also served as campaign chair and have served on the nominating committee. I’ve chaired the board for the Clarksville Convention and Visitors Bureau and have been actively involved in the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Clarksville Economic Development Council.
DMT: What are your plans for retirement?
CP: My husband and I hope to travel for the next 10 years. Since he retired a year and a half ago, we’ve done several trips, including Niagara Falls, each of the New England states, the Catskill and Adirondack mountains in New York, and the upper peninsula of Michigan. There’s so much more to see.
I also want to volunteer more and continue to give back to the community and be more active with my church.
And then I have six grandchildren who’ve been counting the days until “Mama C” retires. I want to spend more time with them and all my family.
DMT: As you settle into this new phase of your life, how will you look back on your time at Regions?
CP: It’s been an amazing career and I’ve had an extended family that I could count on the entire 45 years. All of them — including clients and fellow associates — have made a difference in my life.