“I was the D.A. (District Agriculturist) in Ryley in 1949 when I opened my first account with Treasury Branch and have been a customer ever since,” declared long time resident of Wetaskiwin, Nick Chomik to Holly Johanson, Manager of ATB Financial in Wetaskiwin. Holly’s response was like an excerpt from her earlier remarks, “It is loyal customers like you that make our bank successful.”
The verbal exchange happened on September 27th during the 75th Anniversary celebration in the Wetaskiwin Branch of ATB Financial. Holly is a local product having been raised in the Pigeon Lake region and has retained the loyalty and caring and down-to-earth approach towards the people, the community and life in this region. “As I was raised at Pigeon Lake, this community is near and dear to me as is the ATB Financial Dream; to change our world by putting people first and making dreams come true. There is a lot more to banking than transactions. It is about getting results that create value for customers, associates, and Albertan’s. Today’s event celebrated this.”
In her formal comments Holly had stated, “Our first branch opened 75 years ago almost to the day—in 1938—in Rocky Mountain House. Even then—in the darkest days of Alberta’s economy—we made it our commitment to put people first by offering the very best in customer service and expertise being driven by Alberta Made solutions. And now, 75 years later, we’ve been able to maintain this dedication and grow into the province’s largest Alberta-based financial institution. Serving over 635,000 customers through our network of 171 branches, 130 agencies and our Customer Care Centre. We couldn’t have done this without you. You truly do mean the world to us.”
Wetaskiwin Treasury Branch opened for business in Wetaskiwin in March of 1939 in the east half of Uebell’s Bakery Building. Today the Wetaskiwin Branch is a team of 16 associates who specialize in offering world class solutions to the residents of Wetaskiwin and area. ATB has a well known reputation for supporting community causes and to recognize 75 years of loyal customer support, ATB simultaneously in 301 ATB communities across Alberta announced, “that community investments totaling $236,000 are being distributed in celebration of our 75th Anniversary”.
Holly announced that the Wetaskiwin Branch is making a gift. “I’m also happy to announce that in our community, Wetaskiwin Branch is pleased to support, with a gift of $1000, a local community group! As there are many deserving community groups based out of Wetaskiwin much consideration was taken and together as a team we decided that the youth are our future….they are the future of our community and of our business and it is important that we nurture and grow them. With that I am pleased to offer the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin a cheque for $1,000.” Justin Wieclaw, Education Program Director of the Boys and Girls Club accepted the donation
“In addition—and as a symbolic gesture of appreciation to everyone in the Wetaskiwin Community we will be planting a special blue spruce tree, in cooperation with the City of Wetaskiwin today at 3pm at By the Lake Park. This tree not only represents ATB’s deep community roots, but also our hope for the continued growth and prosperity of the Wetaskiwin community.” ATB Wetaskiwin gave away 75 spruce seedlings to guests attending the celebration to symbolize appreciation to the customers and community.
Holly also described how ATB will be partnering with the Falun School on a project ‘to save a small piece of today for tomorrow in a time capsule’. “We are honoured to share with you the vision of the Grades 3, 5 & 6 class; each student has submitted their outlook of Alberta in the year 2038. One thing we all know for sure is that these young people are the future, and we are very happy to preserve their dreams today, while looking forward to helping them achieve them tomorrow.”
The staff of ATB received a special tribute from Holly. “A special thank you to this amazing team of ATB associates who have worked so hard to plan this celebration. Daily you go above and beyond to support the customers and community of Wetaskiwin branch.” She closed her remarks with, “Today represents our 75th Birthday but it also represents the first day of the next 75 years”.