Retiring Bank Service Manager Reflects on Katy and Her Industry

 

CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News)—In a workforce where employee turnover is seemingly constant, Ann Inabnit has bucked the trend.

Inabnit is retiring after 44 years at Wells Fargo bank, 5622 3rd St. She worked most recently as a service manager but has held other positions with in the bank.

Inabnit and her husband, John, were raising their family in Katy, where they still live today. John worked in the energy industry and Ann worked at a Houston bank. They agreed that one of them needed to work closer to home. So, in 1974, Ann applied for, and was hired, at Katy National Bank, as a teller.

The bank itself underwent several ownership changes. Inabnit said the FDIC closed Katy National Bank and First Bank purchased the bank’s assets. Later, Wells Fargo purchased the bank, and then Norwest purchased Wells Fargo, but chose to keep the Wells Fargo brand name.

In addition to ownership changes, the banking industry itself evolved. Inabnit said when she came to Katy, all the banks of that era were independently owned. Bank mergers and branch banking didn’t exist as they do now.

Paper checks were the norm. Such things as automatic teller machines, debit cards, direct deposits, and electronic banking through apps on one’s cell phone didn’t exist.

Inabnit said that these changes have made it easier for customers to do their business with the bank. At the same time, the personal relationship factor has diminished.

Visiting with her Wednesday afternoon, her last full-time day, gave evidence to the personal relationship side of things. Colleagues and customers constantly stopped by to say hello and wish her well.

Perhaps the tiara she was wearing helped make Inabnit stand out on a special day. If so, it would be nothing new. She’s used to dressing up for special occasions.

Over the years, Inabnit would dress up on Halloween and give treats to the younger customers visiting the bank.

Inabnit’s being in one place for 44 years enables her to share perspectives about how the Katy community has evolved.

Ann Inabnit dressed up for young bank customers on Halloween – Missy Ramirez photo

Inabnit said that the Katy Mills Mall, which opened in 1999, and the growth coming from that have been the biggest changes to the area. But I-10 itself has undergone changes, being widened to meet traffic demands.

Some of the changes she has seen have been closer to work. The city is putting the finishing touches on a downtown renovation project in which the streets were repaved. It’s easier to reach the bank than it was a few months ago.

Inabnit has already made plans for her post-banking life. She’s scheduled to go on two cruises later this year. She’s looking forward to pursuing her gardening interests.

Yet she’s not giving up the banking business entirely. She will remain in a part-time role, working three days a week.

Missy Ramirez, Inabnit’s daughter, said she was happy her mother was remaining at the bank.

“She’s so attached to everybody in this community,” Ramirez said.

Inabnit described her time at the bank as a pleasure.

“It’s really been a gift to be here in this community,” Inabnit said.

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