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New faces greet loan customers

Tamera Manzanares

A sepia-toned photo of a family sitting on a ranch house porch in Nebraska hangs in loan officer Dale Eatinger’s office in First National Bank of the Rockies.

Another loan officer, Melissa George, wears shiny black Roper-style boots and wants to learn more about agriculture in the Yampa Valley.

The newest additions to the bank’s mortgage team, Eatinger and George discuss how their Midwestern roots are a comfortable fit in Hayden’s close-knit community.

“Having grown up in the Midwest, I think perhaps we bring a different attitude toward customer service,” George said.

Eatinger and George are the result of the bank’s eight-month search for loan officers who are knowledgeable and, above all, friendly, branch manager Tami Fager said.

“We’ve had a very strong year,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of growth, and in order to serve the customer better, we decided to add to our staff. … Both Dale and Melissa are extremely people friendly.”

George, a loan originator, will handle residential loans and split her time between the Hayden and Craig branches of First National Bank of the Rockies. A Craig resident, George comes to First National with five years of experience at Northwest Title Company.

The Hayden position was attractive because it was a chance to expand on her knowledge from the title company, she said.

“I just want to let everybody know we’re friendly, and we’re here to offer solutions to whatever home-buying issues you have,” she said.

In Hayden, “people want convenience — to be able to stop in and have service without an appointment,” George said.

Eatinger, who will focus on agricultural and commercial loans, is in the process of moving with his wife from Manhattan, Kan., where he was the chief financial officer for a line of lumberyards for about seven years. Before that job, he worked in the banking industry for about 15 years.

Eatinger also is a certified public accountant, but he grew weary of computing tax returns and attended banking school in Madison, Wis. With his children grown, the First National job was a good opportunity to make the full transition into the banking industry, he said.

Eatinger and George are looking forward to assisting customers with their goals of home or business ownership.

“If we can be a part of that — helping people fulfill their dreams — that’s an exciting thing,” Eatinger said.

First National Bank of the Rockies will hold an open house introducing George and Eatinger to the community Jan. 25. Food and drinks will be available throughout the day.

— To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com


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