Janet Choate has spent the last twenty years dedicating her life to service. Whether it is her role at Farmers Bank & Trust or the many hours she gives to the community, Janet’s days are filled with tending to the needs of others. While she may be shy and quiet, preferring to work behind the scenes, Janet’s continuing devotion to her community speaks loudly of her generous and compassionate character.
Janet has been with Farmers Bank & Trust for twenty years. At one point, she has worked every position in the bank: teller, new accounts, loan assistant, loan officer, assistant vice president, etc. In every one of these positions, Janet’s responsibilities have always centered around helping others. For the last two years, Janet’s role with Farmers has been as Commercial Loan Officer II and Vice President. In this position, she assists customers with their financial needs whether it is related to business or personal expenses. She also trains new loan officers, assists with collections, helps manage the office, lends a hand to co-workers, and collaborates with the Market President, Jacob Jones, with the day-to-day operations of the bank. Jones says Janet’s knowledge is a tremendous resource for their market, and her generosity towards customers and colleagues is irreplaceable. “Janet’s experience and leadership is an asset to Farmers Bank & Trust,” says Jones. “Her willingness to help customers and serve the community is second to none.” The Farmers Bank & Trust motto is “Right at the HEART” with HEART standing for Honor, Excellence, Adaptability, Respect, and Teamwork. Janet embodies these qualities and more. “I love what I do,” Janet says. “I love the people I work with and we all feel like our customers are our family. We feel the same way about the community, as well. We’re all here to get through this together.”
“Right at the HEART” isn’t just a 9 to 5 mentality for Janet, and service isn’t just something she provides at the bank. She approaches all areas of her life this way. Janet has always felt the call to serve her community and she spends many hours donating time and effort to various groups and organizations. One of these organizations is the Hope Lions Club where Janet currently serves as Vice President. The Lions Club motto is “We Serve” which is an apt description of how Janet spends her time. Just last week, Janet left work on a Thursday evening and went straight to the Fair Park Coliseum where the Lions Club was cooking fish for the Hope In Action Fundraiser. Equally important to her is United Way where she currently serves as President. Part of United Way’s mission is to “advance the common good,” another appropriate description of Janet’s personal calling. She also serves as first responder, firefighter, and secretary of the Blevins Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD). Janet and her fellow BVFD members, including her husband who is chief, not only respond to emergency situations, they serve the community by providing fire prevention classes at school and giving the children safety tips and goodie bags. BVFD also sponsors community events like the annual Fourth of July Cookout and Fireworks show in Blevins; the local churches donate food and money while the BFVD cooks the food and puts on the fireworks show. When asked about her motivations and inspirations for service, Janet says, “I’ve always felt the call to serve. When I was growing up, there were struggles at times and there were things I couldn’t have as a kid, but I would see others who did. I want to give back and make sure the people in my community have those things. Even when times get tough and the world seems to stop, the needs of the community don’t, and we all have to work together to take care of one another.”
Janet’s kind nature and compassion is also evident with the effort she gives her family and her church. She and Tim, her husband of 33 years, are very active at Word of Faith in Blevins. Each week Janet teaches a teen bible study class where she creates lessons and games to keep the teens interested in that week’s theme. She and the rest of the congregation also donate to the local food pantry in Blevins. With this much time being dedicated to service, not much is left for personal interests, but Janet wouldn’t have it any other way. Although her children, Katie and Hunter, are grown, she and Tim try to see them as much as possible, especially so she can visit with her grandbabies, Khloe and Naomi. When she isn’t helping bank patrons, serving at community functions, or assisting with church activities, Janet’s favorite activity is traveling with husband Tim. Some of their trips have included cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Lake Tahoe. Tim describes Janet as a great partner in life and he admires her strong work ethic and dedication to service. “Everything Janet does, she does 100 percent,” says Tim.” She puts everything she has into a project and makes it work. I am so proud of everything she has accomplished and the impact she’s had on our community.”
Janet’s kind heart and gracious integrity have made quite the impression on those fortunate enough to meet her. A classy lady through and through, Janet never boasts her attributes, she prefers working in the background, and she is actually uncomfortable with this type of recognition. Yet, that is what the Citizen Spotlight is all about, recognizing those who have devoted their lives to service, and Janet is a prime example. Each and every day she demonstrates an authentic reverence for her fellow man and a sincere loyalty to her community. Hempstead County is truly privileged to have citizen Janet Choate in the ranks which is why she is honored as this week’s SWARK.Today’s Citizen Spotlight.
Thanks to Janet and the staff at Farmers Bank & Trust for inviting SWARK.Today to observe and learn about what you do every day and allowing us to share it with the community.
SWARK.Today’s Citizen Spotlight is for recognizing those whose dedication and knowledge are an essential part of our community and industry. Often, those roles behind the scenes are equally as valuable, yet not common knowledge. To achieve success, every job is necessary and every person’s role is critical. If you know of someone who should be nominated for a Citizen Spotlight, send an email to email@example.com with the person’s name and a brief description of what he or she does, we would love to talk with them!