After an impressive career serving the community of Cleveland, Tennessee, Loan Assistant Cindy Richardson is entering a well-deserved retirement from SouthEast Bank—and Keith Street.
“We’ve been working together on this old highway for decades,” says DeWayne Morrow, SouthEast Bank City President. “She has contributed greatly to our success here in Cleveland. It’s time for Cindy to enjoy her free time.”
Cindy’s career in banking began in 1982, but her time on Keith Street started years earlier with a stint at a finance company. With that introduction to loan servicing, she then took a position at a locally-owned bank, where she met DeWayne and a number of other young professionals with whom she would work for decades to come.
“We were all in our mid-20’s when we started working together,” recalls DeWayne. “Most of us didn’t have kids yet. It was like we grew up together.”
This cohort—including Linda White, who has known Cindy since 6th-grade—would establish their careers together at a number of financial institutions before reuniting at SouthEast Bank around 2015. Cindy brought her signature customer service to the SouthEast Bank family, as well as her occasional clumsiness.
“Linda and I decided we needed to start exercising,” remembers Cindy. “We signed up and decided to start going right away, but the next day several of us needed to work late. I was working away and jumped up to get something from the copier and fell flat on my face. Nobody knew I fell except for Elsie, our cleaning lady! She tried to help me up as I was crawling back to my desk. The only thing I hurt was my foot and my pride. Needless to say, I never made it back to the gym!”
Cindy and DeWayne both remember when, a few weeks after Cindy’s fall, she got caught in the rain while trying to leave the office. Still limping from her foot injury, she began walking, then attempted to run. “I started falling, but trying my hardest not to, with my arms flying everywhere. Down I went right as I got to my car,” recalls Cindy. Working in banks my whole life, I know we have cameras everywhere. They don’t miss a thing!”
“A bunch of us watched the video back,” laughs DeWayne. “We saw her start running with all these bags, but the farther she ran the more she toppled over, until she disappeared behind a car on the video.” Fortunately, Cindy sustained no more injuries than, again, her pride!
You could say she falls all over herself to help her customers. That’s just how hard she works.
“Cindy’s customers will miss her more than anything when she retires,” says DeWayne. “She has a way of blending professionalism with that personal touch. She cares about her customers’ needs and sees that they are treated the way they deserve, as if they’re our only customer.”
“The customers we serve are many of the same people we’ve known for years,” adds Cindy. “It helps when you’ve lived here your whole life.”
In addition to her commitment to her customers, Cindy has been dutifully taking care of her great niece and nephew since they were toddlers through to college age, as well as a parent with Alzheimer’s.
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” says Cindy. “But I am looking forward to resting during my retirement.”
After weeks of congratulatory visits from old coworkers, friends, and customers, the Cleveland branch celebrated Cindy with a send-off party on Thursday, January 24th. All who know Cindy, however, know this isn’t a true goodbye. In addition to her legacy of sincerity and service, she continues to live her love for the community of Cleveland.