Gateway Bank on Warner Road in Mesa is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Dec. 3. As part of the celebration, the community bank is hosting events Nov. 27-Dec. 1, including a customer appreciation day and a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.
“We joke that it’s the ‘Cheers’ of banking, once you’ve been here once or twice, we know your name when you walk in,” said James Christensen, president and CEO of Gateway Bank.
“Everything is very relationship-driven. We know our customers, we know their families and they know us and our families, I tell everybody relationship banking is exhausting because you’re truly invested in your clients, it’s not a number.”
As only one of seven community banks in the Valley and 15 in Arizona, Christensen said Gateway has a lot of its original staff, so clients who worked with certain people years ago, are likely the same people they work with today—which helps them further develop strong relationships with over 1,000 clients throughout the entire Valley. In addition, Christensen said when it comes to training, the leader encourages his staff to treat all clients the same regardless of the monetary amount the client needs assistance with.
Cheryl Joynt, personal banker at Gateway Bank, said a rewarding aspect to working at a community bank is getting to work with people on a personal level to develop strong relationships and become invested in the clients’ lives to help them achieve financial goals.
Joynt was working at a national bank at the time before moving to Gateway Bank.
“When they first opened I worked with a couple ladies who were already going to come here before they opened, and I thought that would be really awesome to work with a bank starting from the ground up,” Joynt said.
“It’s more like a family, I guess you get that feel,” Joynt said of the community bank, which contributes to a positive work environment and helps them better serve clients.
“I think people once they’ve dealt with a community bank for a while and handled well, they’ll never go back to a national bank, because there’s no comparison. I think once the customer knows you’re invested in them, they’ll do anything to take care of you, too,” Christensen said.
One part of their investment in clients includes Gateway Bank’s consulting services they offer, which Christensen said he thinks is another reason they are different from commercial banks. Along with their extensive experience in the banking industry, they can answer questions, offer advice and help clients choose options that help them reach their financial goals. Gateway offers all the services national banks do with an individualized approach including personal and business banking.
“I’m looking forward to developing more talent and setting up a team that’s even better than what we are and can take the bank to the next level,” Christensen said of Gateway Bank’s future.
Gateway Bank is celebrating 10 years with various events through Dec. 1. All events will be at 6860 E. Warner Road in Mesa.
Customer Appreciation Day
Nov. 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
-Stop in for a free cup of coffee and slice of pie.
Santa’s Coming to Town
Nov. 28, 2-5 p.m.
-Celebrate Christmas early with a visit from Santa, cookies and milk, holiday coloring and more.
Gilbert Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting
Nov. 29, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
-Enjoy food and refreshments and enter giveaways from Gilbert Chamber members.
Mesa Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Nov. 30, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
-Join the Mesa Chamber, District 6 Councilman Kevin Thompson, and MyNewsMesa for a ribbon cutting celebration followed by food, refreshments, and giveaways from Mesa Chamber members.
Local First Celebrates Gateway Bank
Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
-Stop by for a celebration with Local First Arizona including snacks, giveaways, and a vendor fair featuring local businesses.
Gateway Bank is located at 6860 E. Warner Road in Mesa. For more information about the events and RSVP, visit: gcbaz.com/10thanniversary.
– Mesa resident Alyssa Tufts is a freelance writer for MyNewsMesa.com.