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Ashly Gal, Jessie Gieson, Alondra Figueroa

By Inside Columbia

As a child, Jessie Gieson loved to help her dad coupon to save money for snacks. She loved making lists and found math to come pretty easily, even though it wasn’t her favorite subject. Factor in her natural people skills and, as she says, “banking becomes a natural choice. One that I fell in love with.”

Her coworkers, Ashly Galbreath, vice president and regional branch manager, and Alondra Figueroa, retail operations lead, also found their calling in the banking industry. “I fell in love with the job, the environment and how kind everyone was,” Figueroa says. 

Throughout their careers, Gieson, Galbreath and Figueroa have experienced success in many areas. “I was able to prove myself in a position after being told initially that I didn’t qualify,” Gieson says. For Galbreath and Figueroa, one of their most meaningful moments was simply being offered new positions within the bank. “It showed me that hard work will allow you to succeed,” Galbreath says. 

“My manager supported and trusted me to perform in the position. Because of her, I can continue to learn and thrive in this position,” Figueroa says. 

Not only does The Callaway Bank care about its employees but it has had a mission to put customers first since 1857. “Our goal is to improve our client’s financial life, and we’ll do whatever we can to help them fulfill their financial needs and goals,” Gieson says. Figueroa adds that at The Callaway Bank, everyone is family.

If you are looking to find a career in banking, all three women say it’s important to let your voice be heard, because it matters. “When I first started in banking, I questioned my voice and how it might be perceived,” Galbreath says. “However, when I began speaking, people listened, and I was able to help with positive change.” And Gieson says don’t forget to recognize your worth as a woman in business. “Get out of your comfort zone and embrace networking. Women empowering each other can be a powerful tool for success.” 

That success may lead you to be your own “Woman to Watch,” which all three women say means making an impact within your community and being a role model regardless of age, race or career path. “We can do anything we put our minds to and overcome any obstacle presented,” Figueroa says. 

Choose to stand out, lead and create change, “even if it might not be the easiest path to take,” Galbreath says. 

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