In a world of financial options for consumers and commercial businesses, the community bank showed up stronger than ever before to serve our communities over the past year. Making a difference in the places we call home looked different for all of us, but we all had one common goal — to provide the very best guidance and support while navigating through the new unknown.

The letter “P” was prominent in the ever-powerful Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Our teams logged countless hours reinforcing a time-honored understanding with local businesses that we work with them as community partners, unquestionably giving them our very best regardless of the circumstances.

In the midst of the pandemic, rates fell to an all-time low and propelled our mortgage business faster than a jet boat on the Potomac. Customers were eager to refinance and people we’d never met previously were pounding down the door to capture what may have been the perfect opportunity to maximize purchasing potential. The “P” was beyond powerful in the past year.

Most of us realized early on the need to pivot to drive-thru and online banking only. Closing our lobbies to “flatten the curve” only inflated our desire to serve our people proudly and with a greater purpose. Many of us worked from home doing our part in the practice of social distancing. The words “unprecedented, unknown, and challenging” rang loudly no matter where we were positioned on this planet.

The greatest “P” we all had in common was “Purpose” — the privilege of working with and for people. It was the moment to remind ourselves that passion and purpose play a role in everything we do. It was an eye-opener and a reminder that tomorrow isn’t promised, and it is the rare plan that can actually be etched in stone. In this place in time, we must all “plan with attitude, prepare with aptitude, participate with servitude and receive with gratitude.” (Krish Dhanam)

As we push forward in the post-pandemic world, may all of our experiences remind us of a great quote by Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” As my three-year term on the WBA Marketing Committee comes to a close, it has positively been my pleasure to serve each and every one of you in this profession. Proceed and Prosper!