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Spotlighting Outstanding Teammates During Women’s History Month

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2.28.2022
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Better Together
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Ameris Bank

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we want you to meet several of the outstanding women who are powering Ameris. These women are trailblazers in their fields, leaders here at Ameris and are driving our purpose to deliver financial peace of mind. Learn what Women’s History Month means to each of them. 

Rita Mendpara, Customer Care Specialist 

It has been an honor and privilege to work for Ameris Bank for 28 years. It doesn’t even feel like I have been working all these years! Every day, I look forward to talking to my customers and helping them to the best of my ability. My goal is that every customer I help feels satisfied and happy that I have resolved the issue or taken care of them in some way. 

I believe every day should celebrate women, not just International Women’s Day. We women from all walks of life make each day unique and special. I do not believe in a dominating society or field. I see every gender as equal. We all must work hand in hand to move forward. 

I think every one of us who works for Ameris Bank has a significant impact on our community and our customers. I also feel if a customer trusts us with their money, then we play a huge role in proving to them that they can trust us. We will be there for them in every aspect of life. 

Lorna Elizabeth Crawford, VP, CRA Officer 

I get goosebumps when I reflect on the journey of women throughout the ages, the battles fought, the progress made, the setbacks encountered, the victories won and the journey that is still to come. It is gratifying to see women being instrumental in and acknowledged as world changers who make indelible marks for good.

I am overjoyed that an entire month is designated to celebrate women’s accomplishments across every sphere of life. I am always encouraged by the monumental inroads, sacrifices, grit and determination of women that serve as building blocks for all.

To women of every race, color, creed, nationality and persuasion – please, spend some time to celebrate life, yourself and others upon whose shoulders you get to stand and make your contribution. In the process, be intentional about leaving an ineffaceable mark that will be a beacon of light for others.

Sheryl Hall, AVP, Payroll Administrator 

I see myself as striving to be the very best I can be in any role. I began my career at Ameris as a 16-year-old high school vocational student. I started in bookkeeping, helping customers reconcile their checkbooks. For the next 17 years, I moved from one area to another as each learning and transfer opportunity arose. After obtaining my CPA license, I was grateful for the opportunity to return as a degreed professional. 

I firmly believe learning should never stop for any of us. We should always look for opportunities to strengthen our skills through education. I like sharing my experience to encourage women of all ages to keep learning and look for opportunities to improve the world around them. The bottom line is to use your skills and talent to help others, not to gain anything financially but to help because it makes a difference for other people. 

Linda Bell, VP, Consumer Banker 

I believe the purpose of Women’s History Month is to commemorate the contributions of women in the workplace. I like to think the contributions I have made over the years to our organization have been positive both to our customers as well as our community. 

Rather than a trailblazer, I think of myself as a dedicated, hardworking and faithful employee. I have worked for our organization for 49 years now. First, as Cairo Banking Company and now Ameris Bank. I feel blessed to have worked with so many great people over the years. I have always felt included and that my opinion mattered. I believe I have made as big of an impact on our community as the bank has made on my life.  

Mary Jane Alonzo, Assistant Branch Manager 

Women’s History Month is about recognizing how proud you are as a woman and celebrating the progress we have made in our careers and personal lives in becoming women of the world. 

Take time this month to recognize the achievements of all women, regardless of race or religion. 

Kay Pittman, VP, Branch Manager 

I have seen banking change tremendously. I remember when I first began my career, it was a male-dominated industry, and I am proud to be part of the change that has occurred over the past 44 years I have been in banking. I feel much of that change has been driven by a shift in the mindset of society as women continue to break stereotypes. I have always appreciated how Ameris encourages a culture where women can grow and move forward in their banking careers. 

I know that I have had an impact on so many lives during my years of banking. I often have customers tell me that they can never thank me enough for what I have done for them. Several have let me know how much their parents valued my input and advice, and now they are coming to me for help as well. This is very humbling and makes my heart smile. 

Seeing a month devoted to recognizing the value and accomplishments of women everywhere is very encouraging. I look forward to seeing what the future brings. 

Lisa M. Tabor, Consumer Credit Doc Coordinator 

I’ve never seen myself as a trailblazer or role model. I’ve always strived to do a sound and thorough job, no matter what my position has been since joining the bank over 23 years ago. I hope that by doing my best, I am setting an example for those around me. I don’t think of myself as a “woman” when I do what I do. I’m just a human who likes to help people. If that example has helped others strive to do the same, then that’s what I hope to be recognized for, not just because I’m a woman. 

This month, I like to think that I am proud of anyone who has had a positive influence on history, including men and women of all socioeconomic statuses. There was a time when women were not recognized like men, so it’s good that we are given an opportunity to recognize women specifically. I would wish the same for every ‘category’ of people out there. We are one people, and there are so many worthy people out there. 

Debra Merritt, AVP, Commercial Banking Assistant 

I see myself as a supporter of both women and men colleagues. We are all working as a team. We offer financial peace of mind to our customers by providing the best customer service, including, but not limited to, always responding to their phone calls, texts or emails. 

 

Adriana Rewis, Head Teller 

Throughout my 22 years of service at Ameris Bank, I have learned a lot and that knowledge has given me the confidence to talk to our customers about our products and their financial needs. I speak two languages, Spanish and English, and my ability to speak Spanish has been a great asset. Our Spanish-speaking customers can count on me to answer questions about their financial needs. 

For me, International Women’s Day is a celebration of the accomplishments women have achieved not only as professionals but also for the role they play in their communities. From the waiter at a local restaurant to the CEO of the bread company, all women are important and play a vital role in society. 

Jackie Mise, AVP, Mortgage Banker 

I started my journey with Ameris Bank in August 1986. My first job was answering the switchboard. I did this for about six months and was promoted to commercial loan processing for about five years. I then made my transition to mortgage loan officer. Getting folks into their first home is very rewarding. It truly is the American Dream. 

People look to me for advice and to lead, but I am not one who likes to say I am trailblazer or a role model; I just like to do a great job and help people in my community and at work. I feel my hard work and dedication to our company made career opportunities possible for me. The years have flown by and have been rewarding. 

In honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to recognize my daughters. Alison works in logistics and Misty works in estimating and drafting for a metal company. I am super proud of both for being successful in male-dominated industries. 

Sheila White, VP, Manager Collections, Remarketing, Recovery and Bankruptcy 

Women's History Month is an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments and sacrifices of women both past and present. Everywhere in the world, women face social, cultural and economic barriers to equality. International Women's Day is a day devoted to celebrating and empowering women. It is a day to honor those who have blazed a path for us, but also an opportunity to bring to light such things as violence and abuse against women. By sharing our journey, we build a better bond for future growth. 

When I began my journey in banking 35 years ago, it was not uncommon for a position to not be available to women. Many of the positions that I held were generally held by men, and it was unusual to see a woman performing those duties. The only way we can truly affect change is to live the change. Change will come by embracing our differences and listening to one another, not on social media, by text or online, but actually listening to what another person is saying and, more importantly, not saying. 

It is my hope that I have instilled a sense of teamwork within my department as well as other areas of the bank as we work together toward a common goal. More importantly, it is crucial that we maintain integrity. I keep a sign on my desk that reads, "Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” I encourage everyone to live by that motto.