Kathryn Srader Marks 50 Years With First National Bank of B.A.

50-YEAR EMPLOYEE: Kathryn Srader has seen and been part of a multitude of changes during her half-century of service with the First National Bank & Trust Co. of Broken Arrow.

ROSSY GILLE for GTR Newspapers

The year was 1964. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “war on poverty,” the Apollo One spacecraft achieved orbit around the earth and in Broken Arrow Al Graham made an investment that continues to pay dividends for the First National Bank and Trust Co.

Graham, then the bank’s chairman and president, hired a young Bixby High School graduate with two babies and absolutely zero business or banking experience. That girl, Kathryn Srader, is now celebrating 50 years of service with Broken Arrow’s first bank.

As rare as achieving a half-century of service is in any business, even more unique is the fact this is the second consecutive year for First National to applaud an employee for reaching this milestone. Former Board Chairman the late Scott Graham was honored for 50 years of service in 2013.

Currently a vice president and personal banker stationed at First National’s South Elm Place branch, Srader has had a wealth of job experiences at the bank, including check filing, paying and receiving teller, loan teller, bookkeeping, secretary to the president, central files, credit manager and loan secretary. In the early 1980s, she was elected assistant vice president and became a consumer loan officer. Two years later, she became a vice president. In 1993, she brought 28 years of experience to the bank’s new mortgage institution and helped establish an entire financial program to benefit homeowners as well as homebuilders.

Of all the posts she has held, she says the ones she likes best are the ones that put her in close contact with the bank’s customers. Colleagues say they are not surprised because they say Srader may well be “the most people-oriented individual” they have ever known.

That title was underscored when she said that her most heartwarming experience at the bank involved helping a customer who came in with the dream of starting his own company. With the support and encouragement of Srader and her fellow employees, he did exactly that and his highly successful and rapidly-growing enterprise remains a loyal First National customer to this day.

Looking back over the past 50 years, Srader recalls the introduction of s, branching out from the downtown location to add three full-service locations, the advent of modern computer technology, and a raft of rules and regulations that are very much a part of today’s financial services industry.

“I know they are necessary,” she says of both the regulations and the electronic contraptions, “but I liked it better when there was more of a human element in control of banking decisions. The most rewarding part of my career is still the opportunities I have to meet a lot of different people and help them with their financial needs.”

While quick to say how much she appreciates the recognition she is receiving, Srader did have one request when she learned of plans to prepare a newspaper article on her.

“Just don’t make it sound like I’m retiring,” she says. “I may do that someday, but not right now. I enjoy what I’m doing too much for that.”

First National opened its doors in 1902 in what is now downtown Broken Arrow. In more than 110 years of providing trusted banking services to the community, only four chairmen have headed the institution. First National has four full-service locations in Broken Arrow, employs 60 people and is the oldest home-owned bank originated in Tulsa County.

Updated 05-26-2014

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