March 22, 2019

Debbie Davis, Guaranty Bank & Trust Co.

2019 Women of Distinction - Banking and Finance

Debbie Davis’ personal and career paths have not followed traditional routes, and she certainly has navigated bumps in the road.

Married at 17, her first child was born when she was 19. She graduated from high school at 20, had her second child at 22 and started college at 24. Her husband passed away unexpectedly when she was 28. The newly single mother had to find a job that would allow her to work and take care of her two boys.

“I needed to work banker’s hours,” Davis said. That, and the stories her grandmother told about working in the finance industry on Wall Street in the 1930s moved her into banking. Davis is this year’s Women of Distinction honoree in the banking and finance sector. She will receive the recognition at the BizWest Women of Distinction breakfast on April 2, 7:30 a.m. at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, Loveland.

Davis’ first job was as a bank teller with Key Bank in Seattle. She grew to love the industry and worked her way up. When she started, there was no internet, no computers and no cell phones. Everything was done by hand. At that time, too, she said, men were promoted over women, regardless of their experience and skill sets. After her husband died, she moved back to Colorado. It marked a turning point in her career, and the trajectory was straight upward.

After a stint in Denver, Davis landed in Northern Colorado. In 2005, she found a home with Guaranty Bank as branch manager in Berthoud. Independent Bank Group Inc. acquired Guaranty Bancorp in a $1 billion transaction late last year.

What Davis loves most about banking is making investments in her customers and the community. Making an impact on customers’ lives and helping them find workable financial solutions, especially during difficult times such as the Great Recession, is what makes her jump out of bed each morning, she said.

“The look on someone’s face when they’ve been able to buy their first home, a building or piece of critical equipment for their business is just amazing and is something I look forward to every single day,” she said.

Davis gives back to the community through the bank and on her own time. Guaranty Bank provides support to area nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Mi Casa, Reach Out and Read Colorado, the National Western Stock Show and area Boys & Girls Clubs. When she’s not at work, Davis is active with several boards of directors including the Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Real Estate Women of Northern Colorado, Loveland Downtown Partnership, Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services and Loveland Business Partnership.

Where does she find the time? “Well, I’m an empty nester, and once all the kids” — five total; she had three more with her second husband, Craig — “left the nest, it freed up a lot of time,” she said. “But really, it’s a lifestyle. When you know your purpose in life is to serve and you’re able to go out and make a very impactful difference in the community, it’s very rewarding and something I just have a passion to do.”

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