No Room for ‘Can’t in Spilman’s Vocabulary
Paula Spilman grew up on a dairy farm, and her parents instilled a strong work ethic in her early on. They taught her and her three sisters that girls could do anything boys could do and to always believe they could achieve their goals. “Our dad often said, ‘Can’t didn’t do anything,’” she said.
Spilman discovered a career in banking while working in her hometown bank one summer. Today, she is vice president, retail branch manager at Clear Lake Bank & Trust. “[Banking] has allowed me to build relationships with my fellow community members, while helping them find solutions to their banking needs,” she said.
How did you get into banking as a career?
I worked in my hometown bank during the summer one year, which ignited a spark in me to explore a career in banking.
Prior to your current role, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had, and what lesson did it teach you that you still use today?
I grew up on a dairy farm and was one of four girls (no brothers), so I was taught at a young age by my parents, that girls are able to do anything boys can do! Our dad often said, “Can’t didn’t do anything.”
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
I think banking is a great career because it has allowed me to build relationships with my fellow community members, while helping them find solutions to their banking needs.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
Over my many years in banking, I have attended numerous seminars sponsored by the IBA. It was when I attended the IBA Leadership Institute in 2018 that I found a great group of peers I have been able to network with. The IBA does a great job of supporting banks here in Iowa in a variety of ways, such as: seminars, conferences and advocating on behalf of bankers to our state government, just to name a few.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
When I’m not working, I love to entertain friends and family, as well as spend time volunteering in my community and in our local school.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
“You can do anything for a certain period of time.” My husband was in the military for 27 years and during this time, he was deployed four times. People often asked me how I managed everything at home with a young family and with him being gone so often. I always let them know that I could do anything as long as I knew there would be an end date to it.