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WBA's Daryll Lund presented Deborah Bartels, Royal Bank, Cassville, with a Lifetime Achievement award honoring her 32 years of service. Bartels recently retired from the bank and contributed this article regarding her career in banking.

I had been a waitress, convenience store cashier and factory worker from the time my kids went to school. When I heard about a job opening at Badger State Bank, I walked in and asked to apply for the job. Jim Krogman, the president of the bank, took me into his office and asked me when I could start. That began my banking career in 1987.

Thinking I would only work full time until my kids were out of college, I ended up staying with the bank because I loved working with the people in the bank and the ones that came in the door. I have worn many hats in the profession, teller, data entry, ACH operations, BSA officer and assistant cashier at Badger State Bank.

When I first started, we did our own processing in-house. The change to Check 21 was such a relief because we no longer handled the checks every day and statement processing time was cut way down. 
In February 2011, Royal Bank included us in their family of banks and the learning process started all over again. With the help of amazing and patient people in the Royal Bank family, the change was eased and so we became Royal Bank Branch 25.

When I was young, my family traveled around the U.S., camping as we went. I still have the travel bug and wanted to invest in a travel trailer, but my husband Gary and I decided to just take off when we want to and stay wherever we land. I am looking forward to seeing things that I had missed when I was younger.

My favorite thing to do is spend time with family. After retirement, I will be able to help my parents when needed and go to the many school activities that I have missed while I worked full time and on Saturdays.

I don’t have “big” plans after I am finished working. I just want life to slow down so I can enjoy more things. Maybe I will take a road trip to the Royal Bank branches on a nice spring day. 

I will truly miss EVERYONE that I have met at Royal Bank. I am thankful that I was able to finish my banking career in the building that I started it and will be forever grateful for the good friendships that came along the way.