By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Financial Services | Issue: April 2014
Don Freed, director of Grand Bank’s Grand Adventures club.
In 2005, when the general manager of Grand Bank in Claremore approached Don Freed about becoming the travel coordinator for Grand Adventures at Grand Bank, a community group designed for Grand Bank clients aged 50 and over, Don was uncertain about the prospect. “After being in banking for many years, I had planned on scaling back a bit, so the hours sounded attractive,” she said. But even though she was well acquainted with most areas of the banking business, Don had her reservations because, as she adds, “I knew nothing about travel! But this sounded fun and I got to be out among people and still was able to talk about banking, which is what I know.”
Now, almost a decade later, Don not only knows about travel, she has become an expert on the subject. As director of Grand Adventures, she has coordinated and led travel groups to Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Switzerland, and with those groups has traveled and explored the continental United States as well. In fact, one group will soon head out on a Great Trains and Grand Canyon tour through parts of Arizona, and Don is currently planning the Grand Adventure Club’s Heritage of America Trip for September. This trip will embark on an exploration of the United States’ middle east coast region, beginning in New York, heading southward through important historical points to Williamsburg, Virginia and then back north to Washington, D.C.
According to Don, being a part of Grand Adventures gives opportunity to many people who like to travel but would not want to go alone, such as widows or people whose spouses do not share their love for travel. “The bus picks the group up at Grand Bank at the beginning and brings them back at the end,” says Don. “We provide a safe way to travel in today’s world.”
The group at Grand Adventures does more than just travel abroad. They often take day or evening trips and local excursions. “We have holiday outings during the Christmas season,” Don relates. “On Valentine’s Day, we took about 50 people to Ti Amo to dinner, followed by a play at the Broken Arrow Community Playhouse.”
Grand Adventures’ office is located at the Claremore Grand Bank branch, but the club is also open to members from the Tulsa and Bixby branches. Don notes that while Grand Adventures is considered a “perk” for the Grand Bank’s aged 50+ customers, she feels she has personally reaped benefits as well. “Both the helpful management and staff at Grand Bank and the Grand Adventures club have been good to me,” says Don. “I’m getting to see so many things – but seeing the enjoyment of people in the club is my true reward.”
“Don Freed is an asset to Grand Bank,” said Grand Bank President Travis C. Wilson. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her job. We are lucky to have her.”
Grand Bank has been innovative and service-oriented since its inception in Grove, OK in 1975. Grand Bank’s high-touch brand of service ensures customers quick answers and immediate access to decision makers. “Our products and people are second to none, and we pride ourselves on our responsiveness to customer needs,” said Wilson.
Grand Bank specializes in both business and personal banking. They provide unique products like deposit pickup service, remote check deposit, Internet banking, free checking that earns interest, and free ATM use at all QuikTrip and Kum & Go ATM’s. They recently launched their mobile deposit app, where you can take a picture of your check with your smartphone and deposit it into your account.
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