When we asked if Rick White had benefited from that classic line in The Graduate (“Plastics young man!”) to create his company, Thermal Tech Equipment, he laughs. “I just fell into it, really. I love building relationships and solving problems, and almost 40 years later, I still love it.”
His love for building relationships is actually how he came across our bank. He had originally been banking with a smaller bank that ended up being swallowed by a larger one and slowly but surely, all the things he came to appreciate about that bank evaporated:
Rick got tired of being nickeled-and-dimed. So he resolved to fix the situation and hand-delivered or emailed three dozen banks. In this missive Rick shared that he was looking for a bank that acted like Southwest Airlines: one that wasn’t going to fee him to death and thought of the customer first.
Quite a few never answered him. Even fewer called back to laugh at him (seriously!) and tell him he was dreaming and that those days of customer-service-oriented banking were long gone. Only we and another bank got back to him. We ended up winning the business and Rick has been with us ever since.
“I love the fact that when I call, they know who I am. I know that there are lots of customers and businesses with Bank of Prairie Village, but the tellers and staff remember me, are friendly to me, and can solve my problems.”
While Rick did use us to get a PPP loan, his business actually had an unexpectedly great year in 2020, in part due to the fact that the firm’s core competencies include making components for face shields, M95 masks, etc. As the measures put in place for the pandemic ramped up, Rick and his team had to keep up and keep the supply chain in place as best they could.
He’s also no stranger to working from home. Rick has been doing that since 2008, long before it was trendy. When you chat with him you can’t help but feel his excitement and energy, which you can tell has little to do with the ups and downs of business life that everyone has to go through, but rather because he’s a man who knows where he’s coming from and where he’s going (and is excited about it!).
We’re excited to be part of Rick’s ongoing growth in 2021 and beyond, keeping our pledges that we made to him when he signed on with us: we’ll never fee you to death, and we’ll happily know who you are whenever you call us. Those are bare minimums of the level of service we want to deliver to our customers.
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