Rowe-Collins retires after 43 years in banking

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Sep. 16—Come next Monday, a familiar face will no longer be part of the Ironton banking community.

Because, after 43 years, Jodi Rowe-Collins will be retired.

On Monday, there was a reception for Rowe-Collins, who is the executive vice president at Citizens Deposit Bank, and a steady stream of family and well-wishers came in to congratulate her.

She started as a bank teller at the First National Bank of Ironton on Sept. 5, 1978, when she was just 18 years old.

"So, on Sept. 5, I had 43 years in banking," she said.

And as for anyone in the banking industry, she has been through quite a few mergers. First National Bank of Ironton became part of Star Bank to FirstStar, then it became US Bank. She was there for about 17 years and then she joined Ohio River Bank in 1995, which became Citizens Deposit Bank in 2012. And after this weekend, the bank will start doing business as Peoples Bank.

She decided it was time to retire and maybe doing a little camping and hang out with the family.

"My husband, Ray, retired last year and with all the changes coming on, I thought it was a good time to throw out the retirement and let some of the younger people take over," Rowe-Collins said. "I'm going to spend some time with my family. Ray and I got a new camper, we like camping and watching drag races with our friends."

And she has nieces and nephews that play ball, both softball on the college level and the T-ball level.

"That will keep me busy. And I have a six-year-old granddaughter in Olive Hill. And I've been drafted to take nieces to school in the morning and then pick them up, so I have all kinds of things to do."

And she is still on numerous boards and groups around the area including Friends of Ironton, the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp., Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Foundation for the Tri-State, is on Ohio University Coordinating Council, the county's broadband committee and is the president of the Lawrence County Port Authority.

"So, I have plenty of things I can do," Rowe-Collins said.

As for what she will miss in retirement, she had a simple answer, "The people and the customers," she said.

"I'm a people person, I have always worked in the operations end and when I was made president of Ohio River Bank in 2009, one of the things I had to do was get out of the way," she said. "Because I always wanted to do everything for the customers. But it has really been a good run, I have no regrets for anything and I've enjoyed it."

Among the well-wishers was long-time friend Ironton Municipal Court Judge Kevin Waldo.

"I've known Jodi as a friend and as a banker for 40 years or more," he said. "She says it's time for her to move on and she's ready for retirement, so I'm happy for her."

Also there was her brother, Joe Rowe, the Ironton Elementary School principal, who said her retirement was not an occasion that a lot of people were looking forward to.

"She has served the community here in multifaceted ways," he said. "And she has done so well, started at 18 and is basically the president of the bank here. Our mom and dad would be so proud of her."

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