By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Financial Services | Issue: September 2012
Jimmy Ray (left), new vice president and loan officer, and Travis Wilson, Grand Bank president.
With technology propelling business transactions to an increasingly frenetic pace, the phrase “hometown bank” may seem to be an antiquated one. Travis Wilson, president of Grand Bank in Claremore, values his hometown of Claremore and believes there is nothing outdated about good old-fashioned service. While Grand Bank employs the latest technology, such as Remote Check Capture and iPhone applications, it still keeps the philosophy of personal service, upheld by local employees. “In the past two years, we’ve experienced tremendous growth,” Wilson reports. “People are drawn during these economic times to a smaller bank where they can get to know everyone.”
Part of keeping up with the growth and keeping it local is the recent hire of Jimmy Ray as vice president and loan officer. Like Wilson, who graduated from Claremore High School, Ray is a local – he graduated from Oologah High School. The two men worked together at the former 1st Bank of Claremore for ten years before Wilson made the move to Grand Bank two years ago. When the position of vice president and loan officer opened up this summer, the decision to hire Jimmy Ray was an easy one for Wilson – and the decision to take the position wasn’t at all difficult for Jimmy Ray.
“Like Travis, I came from a local bank and feel that it is important to make local decisions and help our community grow,” Ray relates. “We were both born and raised in this area, and we choose to continue living and working here, so we have a personal investment in this community.”
“That’s why we’re a little more passionate about these issues,” Wilson adds. “We want to see this area do well.” Grand Bank’s personal investment in the Rogers County community goes beyond just banking. Both Wilson and Ray are board members of the Rogers County United Way, Ray is actively involved with Boy Scouts of America, and the bank sponsors local groups including Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Volunteers for Youth, as well as a host of other organizations and events. “To list everything our bank participates in would be hard,” says Wilson. “We try to participate in some form in as many things as we can – everything from donations to actually organizing an event.”
These are just some of the reasons Jimmy Ray uses four words – “Community Bank, Community Driven” – to describe his new home at Grand Bank. “I’m excited about what this bank will do as we are able to serve our community with a real hometown atmosphere.”