A man you can bank on | PostIndependent.com

A man you can bank on

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

When Martha Cochran invited Bob Young to “stand with us gals” Wednesday, he was being welcomed into elite company.Young, chairman of Alpine Bank, was named the recipient of the Glenwood Springs Athena Award at a Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association luncheon at the Hotel Colorado. He joins 12 past award winners in Glenwood who all have been women. Some past recipients, Cochran included, joined in honoring Young Wednesday.The award program began in Michigan to honor women leaders, but allows for recognition of anyone who helps women reach their full leadership potential. Still, fewer than 5 percent of Athena award winners worldwide are men. Young joined their numbers Wednesday thanks to his efforts to make Alpine Bank a good place for women to work.Sue Corsentino is an example of that. An Athena award winner herself in 2004, she is senior vice president at the bank, and said 47 percent of its officers are women. “Kris Gardner was named president of Alpine Bank when very few women held that position in Colorado,” she said.

Corsentino also cited Young’s efforts to enable employees who are mothers to balance work and family, through programs such as flextime and getting time off to help out in classrooms.Karla Felkey, executive vice president for risk management at Alpine Bank, illustrated Young’s supportive management style in a letter nominating him for the Athena award. She told of being hired as Young’s secretary and customer service representative in 1980 at the age of 20, only for him to find out she couldn’t spell. While he soon found a new secretary, he kept her on in customer service.”At no point did Bob ever make me feel like a failure; instead he redirected my efforts to areas where I would be successful,” Felkey wrote.Felkey rose through the ranks at the bank while raising two children, and even was allowed to work from home when her 3-year-old had to spend three months in a body cast.”In my 16 years as a working mother I have never felt that I had to choose between my career and my family,” she wrote.

Alpine Bank also is known for its charitable contributions. In 1995 Young was singled out at a statewide level as philanthropist of the year. Cochran said that over the years, he has inspired many others to give as well. He has served on various boards, including for Colorado Mountain College, where he focused on funding scholarships for the disadvantaged.Felkey said Young provided her the work experience and opportunities to succeed.”What has truly motivated me was making the most of each professional opportunity that I was given because they easily could never have happened if Bob had not seen past my lack of formal education,” she wrote.Young said Wednesday that those who have received promotions at Alpine Bank always have earned it.

“If nothing else, we provided them the culture where they can succeed and I’m very proud of that,” he said.In accepting the Athena honor, he told Wednesday’s chamber audience, “I know this award doesn’t come without the support of an awful lot of women. I thank each and every one of you.”Also Wednesday, Alpine Bank received the Green Business of the Year award from the DECA students at Glenwood Springs High School. The bank has worked to install more energy-efficient lighting, improve air quality, buy vehicles that get better gas mileage, encourage carpooling, reduce water use, recycle more, use less toxic office cleaning supplies and promote employee wellness.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com

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