Porter: Opportunities Abound in Banking
Alicea Porter’s banking career started as a bookkeeper, but it didn’t take long for the Iowa State University graduate to realize how many opportunities were available to her in the banking field — both career-wise and in supporting her local community. “Banking is so much more than opening accounts and taking out a loan,” she said. “It allows you to educate people of all ages, whether it’s through achieving a financial goal or how to utilize digital banking tools available to us today.”
Today, Porter is a vice president at Farmers Trust & Savings Bank. Her day-to-day duties include overseeing operations, security and IT. “I also sprinkle in some marketing,” she said.
What drove you to choose a career in banking?
My husband and I moved back to our hometown a couple of years after graduating college. I started working at the bank in Buffalo Center as a bookkeeper, and it wasn’t long before I realized how many opportunities lie in community banking. Not only in a career, but also being involved and making a difference in our local communities.
Describe one life experience that taught you a lesson you apply to your banking career.
When I was in college, I worked with the Iowa 4-H Foundation as a marketing intern. One summer, I was fortunate to travel the state of Iowa promoting 4-H at county fairs and other events. I was able to see so many farming communities and meet people from across the state. That experience continues to inspire me to make a difference through banking in small communities.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
Banking is so much more than opening accounts and taking out a loan. It allows you to educate people of all ages, whether it’s through achieving a financial goal or how to utilize digital banking tools available to us today. My education and previous career experience was in communication and technology, which today plays a major role in being a community banker.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
While continuing to learn through classes and webinars is important, the connections (and friendships!) I’ve made with IBA peers has been one of the best learning experiences of my banking career.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
Outside of work, most of my time is spent with my two kids (Norah and Rhett) and husband (Andy). I also have a passion for running, health and wellness, trying new foods, and volunteering in my community.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
The grass is greener where you water it.