Our thanks to Mike Walker

Published 12:54 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Our community owes a heartfelt thanks to Mike Walker for his leadership at Benchmark Community Bank.

After being denied more than once to work at the bank in the mid-1970s, Walker persistently wrote to the then Lunenburg County Bank, seeking a position.

Fast forward more than 40 years later, and now, after many years of Walker’s leading Benchmark, the bank has thrived and grown beyond the wildest imaginations of many.

Bank employee Lucia Malon, who submitted a feature story on Walker’s career recently, noted that in the 12 years Walker led the bank, it “made remarkable strides.”

We thank Walker for his commitment to ethics, integrity, his employees and most importantly his community, which he served with pride and honesty during his time with the bank.

Referenced earlier, a lesson we all can learn from Walker is that hard work pays off.

Walker very much wanted a job at the bank in 1974, evidenced in Malon’s submission.

“That same month, he wrote to the Lunenburg County Bank asking to be hired for the branch being planned for Victoria. The bank would be needing experienced banking personnel, he reasoned, and would welcome his inquiry. He believed that destiny had brought him to this small town at the perfect time,” Malon wrote.

“Unfortunately, the response was not what he hoped. The letter he received said, ‘We feel that a home-grown product will be more effective initially and we are unable to offer you a position at this time.’”

Since 1974, Benchmark has grown from a $5 million one-office operation to a $575 million multi-branch financial institution with 37,000 customers.

In a press release last year, Walker told the community  that he could “truly say that I have enjoyed every single day of my career as a community banker. It has been a privilege to serve the people and communities of this area, helping them with their financial needs.”

Because of Walker’s leadership and influence, this community and ones served by Benchmark, too, are extremely fortunate.