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Bank celebrates employee’s 42 years of service

Jessie Strong, center, celebrates her retirement after 42 years in the banking business along with co-workers Darlene LaMountain, branch manager Valerie Daniels, Kent Backus and Helen Kennedy.

Jessie Strong, center, celebrates her retirement after 42 years in the banking business along with co-workers Darlene LaMountain, branch manager Valerie Daniels, Kent Backus and Helen Kennedy. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

In the past 42 years, two things have been constant in Au Sable Forks — where the bank is and who is behind the counter.

While the bank has changed ownership six times over those years (National Commercial and Trust, KeyBank, Albank, Charter One, Citizens Bank and now Community Bank), Jessie Strong has been there.

“Most of the transitions went really OK,” Strong said. “Sometimes I would balk at the idea of change, but I made it through them all.”

Strong was recognized for her 42 years of service to the Au Sable Forks community in a week of celebrations at Community Bank, which coincided with her last week on the job, June 25 through June 29.

“Everybody knows Jessie,” branch manager Valerie Daniels said. “It’s a familiar face that people have seen for the past 42 years. You spend 42 years at any job and it is pretty amazing, but to be able to stay at the same place despite the changes is really impressive.”

“As the building was acquired by all of these different banks, they all got her with it,” regional manager Kent Backus said.

Along with name and leadership changes, Strong said that she was impressed by the technology changes over the years.

“I started with a proof machine and a calculator,” she said. “There has been a lot of changes.”

Strong said that, come July 2, the first work day of her retirement, she was looking forward to no alarms in the morning.

“When I get up, when I go to do something, it will be my choice,” she said. “I plan on watching a lot of my grandchildren’s basketball games and spending a lot more time with them. The whole summer is going to be relaxation.”

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