Two managers bank up 50 years
With 50 years of experience between them, there isn’t a lot that Bankwest Karratha managers Donnell Ingram and Michael Penning don’t know when it comes to banking.
This year, both Donnell and Michael celebrate their 25th anniversary working with Bankwest.
Local Store Manager Donnell said, “I started with Bankwest in August 1985 – apart from a brief three month break travelling the North-West in 1996, I’ve been with the Bank the entire time.”
In that time, Donnell has become familiar with regional WA, having worked in Busselton, Bunbury, Northam, Newman, Karratha and Broome, having spent 15 years in Pilbara and in the Kimberley’s, before resettling in Karratha.
Since returning to Karratha, Donnell has been awarded Top National Manager twice and says she couldn’t imagine being in any other job.
“Since I started with Bankwest back in 1985, there has been so much variety in what I do each day,” she said.
“The best part of my job is getting to spend time building relationships with new and existing customers.
“There’s no better feeling than knowing that you’ve helped someone, and customer service is what we’re all about here at Bankwest Karratha.”
Business Development Manager Michael Penning previously lived in Karratha as a young boy and says there’s been Pilbara dust in the family blood for 60 years.
“My grandfather lived in Port Hedland for many years, and was Shire President during that time,” he said.
“We have a street in Port Hedland named after our family called ‘Pennings Court,’ so you could definitely say I have a connection with the town.
“I love the lifestyle here in Karratha and even with all the expansion that’s happened with the mining boom, it’s still a close-knit community.
“There’s real community spirit in Karratha.
“Even though it’s a large town, with about 20,000 people, I like the fact that when I’m walking in the shopping centre, all the locals stop to have a chat.
“They know I’ve been around, they know I love the community and that I’m not going anywhere.”
Both Michael and Donnell say it’s the pleasure they get from their jobs which has kept them with the bank for so many years.
“I definitely love what I do; there’s nothing like seeing a customer smile when we’re talking about their business,” Penning said.
“After 25 years, I can honestly say the job has never gotten boring and no two days are ever the same.”
Donnell and Michael plan to mark this special anniversary with a small celebration with their colleagues.