There is one question Tom Ingram gladly welcomes — “Do we need another bank in Marion County?” As he glances at a framed photo of the bank’s board of directors, he smiles in response.
“We are definitely not just another bank popping up in Marion County. We have worked hard to develop a community bank that’s different in a very positive way. From our employees and board members to our local shareholders, we have truly surrounded ourselves with the best people. There is no doubt that the service level we offer is in high demand and will set us apart from our peers,” says Ingram, Gateway Bank’s Chief Executive Officer.
Taking a note from the history books, Ingram says Gateway Bank’s goal is to return to the “good ol’ days” of yesteryear when gas stations were full service and doctors made housecalls. Personal office visits, responsive, local decisions, deposit pick-ups, individualized banking assessments, and a warm greeting are an automatic guarantee at Gateway Bank. This bank has created an environment where customers look forward to coming into the lobby and can rely on their personal banker to take care of all their financial needs.
“We are going to offer one-of-a-kind services,” adds Ingram. “Adding value to our banking relationships is our number one goal”
A TEAM APPROACH
Ingram knows the key to a successful initiative is the people who are behind it. And, judging from the company’s leadership team, Gateway Bank is off to a very good start.
In addition to Ingram, who has 22 years of banking experience in senior positions including serving as CEO of two successful banks in the past, other key positions boast qualified leaders, rounding out an impressive team of professionals. Rusty Branson is the bank president with emphasis upon commercial and real estate loans. Jay Musleh serves as senior vice president while Linda McGruther is vice president and retail manager. Collectively, these four individuals have over 80 years of banking experience.
Gateway Bank’s board of directors is equally notable with Marion County businessman Sandy McBride serving as chairman of the board. McBride has not only served on other bank boards, but also was a commercial banking executive. Currently serving as president and owner of McBride Land & Development Company in Ocala, McBride understands the importance of creating the right team for the right objectives.
“I believe that the best asset Gateway Bank has to offer to our customers is our hometown feel. From the board of directors to the employees, almost everyone has grown up in the Ocala area and takes great pride in living here,” says McBride, “I know our customer service will be a reflection of this pride.”
Fred Roberts agrees. Roberts, a longtime business and community leader and chairman of Roberts Real Estate, Inc., says Gateway Bank has all the right ingredients for success. “We’re definitely going to be offering highly personalized, red-carpet service to our customers,” says Roberts.
Gateway Bank also recognizes the value of Marion County’s historic and strong agricultural ties, which is why it has proudly dedicated a senior team member to serve this important industry. Beckie Cantrell is leading this initiative as vice president of equine and farm lending.
“The agricultural and equine industry has given our community so much in terms of value, beauty and economic development, so we wanted to acknowledge this by dedicating a banking team created just for them,” adds Ingram.
With a lot of homegrown talent, Gateway Bank prides itself on supporting the community it serves. The employees and directors support over 50 community organizations.
“We are all proud of our community and are always trying to give back to make it a better place to live and work,” says Ingram.
QUICK AND CUSTOMIZED SERVICE: BRINGING THE BANK TO YOU
Gateway Bank has developed many customized products and services to meet every customer’s needs, no small feat when you’re talking about a wide range of financial objectives. But that’s exactly what Ingram and his team accomplished.
All bank employees met to discuss and create an extensive product line of loans and deposits. Through this effort, along with the ability to capitalize on state-of-the-art technology, the bank is offering many new and exciting services. One example is Merchant Capture, a depositing system that allows customers the opportunity to scan and submit check deposits electronically right from their business. Through this technology, checks are safely and securely sent to Gateway Bank to be processed just like they were delivered in person. And if you prefer the personal touch, Gateway provides a courier service to pick up deposits.
“We have a structure that gives you the ability to deal directly with the decision maker so our customers won’t be scrutinized by some out-of-state banker who has no idea where Ocala is,” notes Ingram. “Our team prides itself on the high-tech, high-touch way of banking.”
What is Community Banking?
- The art of operating independently without the involvement or influence of an out-of-state owner or decision maker.
- Where a group of local business professionals, who live in the same locality, have a financial interest and commitment to the overall success of the bank.
- Where highly experienced and well respected banking professionals work cohesively to ensure that a client’s anticipatory financial goals and objectives are met.
- Where our associates are active volunteers in the community they live and work.
- Where our associates are obsessed with delivering quality service each and every day because they love what they do and love where they work.
- Where local shareholders participate in the growth and success of the bank insuring that the financial rewards are a part of our local economy.
The New Old Fashioned Bank
Laurel Run Professional Plaza East
2210 SE 17th Street, Ocala
(corner of 17th St. and 22nd Ave.)
Bank Lobby Hours:
Mon. – Fri. 9:00am to 5:00pm
New main office on Silver Springs Blvd. opening Aug. 2008.
Tom Ingram, Chief Executive Officer, 236-6440
Rusty Branson, President, 236-6441
Jay Musleh, Senior Vice President, 236-6442
Linda McGruther, Vice President/Retail Manager, 236-6443
Joanne Edde, Personal Banker/Asst. Vice Pres./Asst. Manager, 236-6444
Amanda Keuntjes, Personal Banker, 236-6445
Beckie Cantrell, Vice Pres., Equine and Commercial Loans, 236-6451
Beth Eiland, Mortgage Loan Officer/Residential Loans, 236-6447
Jennifer Hatchett, Director of Client Services, 236-6446