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Women in Banking Profiles | Credit and Lending

We’ve declared March Women in Banking Month! To celebrate, we’re profiling a few of the many outstanding women in community banking. Community banking is full of incredible credit and lending professionals, including this week’s feature: Lori Noel, chief lending officer at FNB Bank in Mayfield, Kentucky.

*Some answers have been edited for length and clarity


Lori Noel

EVP & Chief Lending Officer
FNB Bank, Inc.
Mayfield, KY

How did you begin your community banking career? Did you always plan to go into banking? 

I started my banking career the summer following high school.  I started in the bookkeeping department working part time while attending college.  My plan was to become a CPA but opportunities in banking changed my path.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? 

In 2002, I transitioned into Commercial and Agricultural lending as a loan officer at a time there were very few women I that position.  I came from an ag background growing up and it was an opportunity to give back and be a part of an industry I enjoyed.  Earning respect, and in turn, success, in the industry as an Ag Lender was a key turning point in my career.

Can you share a memorable experience or lesson from your career that has had a lasting impact on you? 

Learning to become a trusted advisor to my clients.  That trust set the foundation for lasting customer relationships.

How or by whom have you been mentored in your career?

I have had three key individuals in my banking career that allowed me opportunity to grow and develop.  The first was Phil Riney.  Phil took a chance hiring me early in my career for a loan assistant position with very limited bank or loan experience.  He told me my work ethic, attention to detail, and drive were why he hired me, along with compatibility from a personality test with the other loan assistant. We have now worked together for over 30 years! 

The second was Gary Cardin.  Gary was the Chief Credit Officer when I transitioned to Commercial & Ag Lending.  He challenged me in my transition and taught me how to evaluate a loan request, to always identify and address strengths and weaknesses, anticipate questions and be prepared with responses and solutions. 

The third was Sally Hopkins.  Sally and I have had the opportunity to work together for many years in various roles.  Sally has been a leader, mentor and confident allowing me opportunities to grow and develop into leadership positions.

What key skills or qualities do you think it takes to be successful in community banking? 

Hard work, drive, a desire to help others achieve their goals, compassion, and problem solving.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to build a career in community banking?

Find your passion in a role serving others.  Whether your customers are internal or external, find joy and passion in what you do every day.


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