After more than half a century with Ephrata National Bank, Aaron Groff Jr. will begin 2020 as its former president.

Groff joined the bank just before his 1967 graduation from Cocalico High School after a business English teacher, Jane Kilkuskie, mentioned it.

“During my senior year, she announced in class, ‘They are currently hiring at the local bank’, and I applied,” he says.

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After initially working as a part-time teller, Groff moved into a variety of other roles, serving as systems analyst, co-manager of data processing, director of marketing and other posts. He became president in 1999.

Groff, who helped operate the bank’s first computer in the 1970s, says he came to appreciate the important position played by a local bank.

“A good banker remembers that they are the caretaker and trusted guardian of other people's money, but never the owner,” he says.

After Groff retires as bank president at the end of December, he will be succeeded by Jeffrey Stauffer, who joined the bank in 1982 and is currently senior vice president and senior lender of commercial loans.

Age: 69.

My family consists of: Wife, Anna, four adult children (all married), 10 grandchildren.

Where I live: West side of Ephrata.

Best piece of professional advice I've ever gotten: When asked to make a decision, go with your first intuition. If time permits, seek advice from others then make the decision, but seldom does the outcome improve with overthinking.

Career advice I'd give a recent college graduate: Always be sure your employer's values align with your own then do the best job you know how!

Career advice I'd give a 30-year-old: Bloom where you are planted. Do the best job where you are instead of always looking to where you can advance. You will be advanced because others will see you are doing a great job.

Do bankers really keep "banker's hours': No, 'Banker's hours’ is a relative term and long gone. Although 50 years ago some would say bankers operated on the 3-6-3 principal; they paid 3% on savings balances, charged 6% for a loan and were on the tee at the local golf course by 3 in the afternoon. Seldom do we leave at 3 p.m. Today, most work a 40-plus hour a week.

Hidden gem of Ephrata: The Historic Ephrata Cloister.

My typical breakfast: Poached eggs w/potatoes or oatmeal with fruit.

How I take my coffee: Black.

Periodicals I read: Wall Street Journal and National Geographic.

Last book I read: “Streams of Living Waters,” by Richard Foster.

Next book I'd like to read: “Five Presidents” by Clint & Lisa McCubbin.

Classic of literature I aspire to read someday: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

First car: 1967 Chevy Nova Super Sport.

Pet peeve: Those drivers who dilly dally below the speed limit, in the passing lane, usually with a mobile device in their hand.

Nicknames I've had: Groffy.


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