HomeTrust Bank VP says farewell after long career

Reception is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday
By Rachel Robles, Lifestyles editor | Jun 23, 2014
Photo by: Donated Pat Owen

Pat Owen, vice president of HomeTrust Bank and branch manager of the Clyde office, is celebrating a milestone. After a long and successful career in the banking industry, she will be stepping into retirement Friday, June 27.

Owen was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and moved to Haywood County at  age 4 after her father purchased the Chevrolet dealership in Canton, which became Murphy Chevrolet until 1971. After graduating from Canton High School in 1965, she pursued a degree at Western Carolina University.

She went to work for The Canton Enterprise in 1972 and worked as its lead typist until 1976 when Clyde Savings and Loan hired her to type appraisals. Right before giving her two weeks’ notice, she was informed that The Mountaineer had purchased The Canton Enterprise and that all the typing positions would be moved to Waynesville.

“The Lord was definitely looking out for me when the bank hired me, because I would not have had a job with the paper,” said Owen.

In 1976, Clyde Savings and Loan had two offices, one in Clyde and another in Asheville. During the first few years, Owen learned as much as she could about the banking industry and worked as a teller, helped pay taxes and insurance, helped bill construction loans and helped process general loans. She even worked for Ed Broadwell, the president and CEO of the bank, while his personal assistant was on maternity leave.

“When the opportunity came, I applied for a vacancy as the mortgage loan officer,” said Owen. “I earned the title of branch manager in 1993, the year before the bank moved into its new building, where it’s located now.”

One of Owen’s accomplishments has been working in the banking industry during a time when women did not typically hold higher positions.

“In 1976, most of all the clerical jobs were women and the loan officers were usually men,” she said. “I can remember only one time that I had a difficulty with a customer. He explicitly told me he wanted to talk with a male loan officer. I explained that we did not have one in the Clyde office at that time and I would love to help him with his mortgage needs. He reluctantly agreed and I must have done a good job, because I remember making him several loans in later years.”

In spite of the gender barriers that existed in those years, Owen felt nurtured and was encouraged by the bank to grow as a person and an employee.

Owen has seen many changes in her 38-year career.

“The banking industry has definitely changed,” she said. “In the early 1980s, the savings and loan industry started changing because we realized we needed to offer more services than saving accounts and mortgages and a full variety of different types of accounts started becoming available. I remember the training for our first checking accounts was quite an adventure.”

The accounts and technology weren’t the only things that changed. Clyde Savings and Loan eventually changed its name to HomeTrust Bank.

“Even though the name has changed during the years, the people have not,” said Owen. “I have stated many times that I have been so very blessed to have had the opportunity to work for such a good company who puts God first, family second and the community third. I had two great mentors in my career — Ed Broadwell and Peggy Melville. They taught me everything to make me a better banker, a better loan officer and a better person and I admire and respect both of them tremendously.”

One of the things Owen has enjoyed the most is being able to help people. She feels she must have done a good job during the years because she is now making loans to the children and grandchildren of her original clients.

Her time at the bank has also inspired her to be active in the community. She has served as the president of the Canton Bethel Clyde United Way, a board member of the Haywood County United Way, president of the Haywood County Rotary Club, treasurer of the Haywood County Homebuilders Association, chairman for Haywood Habitat for Humanity Family selection committee, ambassador for Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, member of the advisory board at The Mountaineer and trustee of the Waynesville District of the WNC Conference of the United Methodist Church,

She is currently a member of the Haywood County Schools Foundation board, treasurer of The Community Kitchen and treasurer of Canton Central United Methodist Church.

Her career and volunteer work have kept her busy, and she is grateful to her husband, Carroll, known affectionately as Butch, for his help and support through the years. She’s looking forward to her retirement and spending more time with her family.

“With me so active with the bank and the community, he did all of the home and children things, such as school, ball games, cheerleading and etc.,” said Owen. I am looking forward to spending more time together and I am now going to put him first. I do plan on staying active in church, Rotary, The Community Kitchen and other areas where I am needed, but my husband and grandchildren will come first.”

HomeTrust Bank will hold a reception celebrating Owen’s career from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 27, at the Clyde office, located at 8583 Carolina Blvd., Clyde. All are welcome to attend and congratulate Owen on her successful career.

“I love Haywood County,” said Owen. “I love HomeTrust Bank. Both have been good to me and my family.”