As Four Oaks Bank enters 2012, and celebrates their 100th year in business, they recently recognized an employee who has been with the bank for exactly one half of the banks existence. At the bank’s professionalism banquet held in December in Benson, the bank presented Lou Ann Johnson of Four Oaks with an engraved crystal plaque recognizing her 50 years of service to Four Oaks Bank.
Bank President and CEO Ayden R. Lee, Jr. presented the award to Lou Ann, thanking her for her years of dedicated service and reflecting on his own professional association with her from even before he joined the bank in 1980. “During the late 1970s I conducted audits of Four Oaks Bank, working as a CPA for Daniel G. Matthews & Associates, CPA’s,” reflected Lee, “That was in the days of paper ledgers and calculator tapes. I learned a lot about the extent of Lou Ann’s value even before I came to work for the bank. She, in fact, taught me a lot about the bank’s structure and procedures during those processes. Lou Ann continues to be a very valuable asset to this bank and her fellow employees.”
Lou Ann joined the bookkeeping department, of what was then known as “Bank of Four Oaks”, in September of 1961. “There was one office in downtown Four Oaks with only 6 employees at that time. There were 2,000 shares of bank stock issued and Ralph Canaday, Sr., father of Bill Canaday, our Chairman Emeritus, was the bank President”, she recalled. “I ran the Burroughs posting machine, posting statements and general ledgers,” says Ms Johnson. She also handled responsibilities as a teller, in payroll, and handled cash items and insufficient funds. “It seems rather strange to realize that the equipment I first worked on will be displayed in the bank’s CENTENNIAL history display this year,” she said with a chuckle.
Today Lou Ann works as a Cash Items Clerk, where she processes NSF checks, keys returns for all the bank’s branches and oversees overdraft situations.
When asked why she had remained at Four Oaks Bank for such an unusually long tenure her reply was very simple, “I love my job”, she said. “I know what to do and how to do it and I am committed to getting it right, everyday. I feel truly blessed to be able to work this long. It is a wonderful place to work and I still love it after 50 years”.
She also says that her relationships with her fellow employees in her department are a big part of her happiness at the bank. “I love the people I work with and they are an important part of my life and have been for a long time. Some of these folks have worked with me for decades”, she said, naming Elaine Ellis who she has worked with for 37 years and Helen Johnson who has worked with her for over 30 years.
Four Oaks Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Four Oaks Fincorp, was established in 1912 and is headquartered in Four Oaks, North Carolina. The bank currently has 17 locations in Johnston, Wake, Harnett, Lee, Sampson, Duplin, Moore and Richmond counties.