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Tiffany Nichols entered banking while still in college and never left. In fact, she remains at the same bank that hired her 13 years ago.
“I have had the opportunity to open a child’s first savings account, then later their first checking account and help them become responsible debit card users, and ultimately, in a few cases, I have helped those children become real estate investors and business owners,” says Nichols, senior vice president at State Bank of Southwest Missouri. “I feel so fortunate to have been able to see some of our young clients grow up into successful business owners. While I can’t take any credit for their success, I do feel honored that I was along for the ride from the very beginning.”
To Nichols, community banking is about being available when and how clients need her. A side benefit? A window into her clients’ lives outside the bank doors.
“I have a deep understanding of my clients’ finances, which allows me to offer a holistic approach to helping them achieve financial success,” Nichols says. “My role as a trusted adviser is truly shown when the clients I have helped throughout the years become dear friends. I have attended 90th birthday parties, weddings and have even accompanied clients to their doctor’s appointments. These invitations show me that I have earned a special place in my client’s inner circle.”
Helping businesses helps people, Nichols says.
“It’s the people behind our local businesses who make Springfield a better place to live and work. I am always honored when I can help someone achieve a dream and strengthen our community,” she says.
That can mean celebrating a client’s first successful year in business, making a loan happen or helping businesses navigate tough times, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Nichols was a leader on the banking team that facilitated 442 loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to the benefit of almost 4,000 jobs and the distribution of more than $30 million.
“Knowing we were offering a lifeline for the business owner on the other side of the phone was what guided us,” she says. “The impact we were able to have on their life was so tremendous that it was invigorating and energizing.”
Nichols received her certificate from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado in 2021. The program allowed her to expand her network, which helped her navigate the regulatory landscape involved in implementing the technology customers expect.
“Tiffany has become one of our most valuable officers,” says W. Thomas Fowler Jr., State Bank president. “Her judgment has proved invaluable on a number of occasions, and she has become more and more important in our decision-making process. She counsels customers daily and has given a helping hand and sound advice to countless customers and co-workers. She truly is a trusted adviser to many of our banking customers.”
Nichols treats each client as the most important one she has.
“I can truly say that I want to help and that being a community banker is not just a job to me, but rather one of the ways I feel fulfilled.”
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