ABA Banking Journal - June 2012 - (Page 52)

First person | jennifer Griffith She prefers rapid transit The Earth’s surface is two-thirds water. It suits this banker just fine When Jennifer Griffith witnessed a bank robbery at her bank, she said that the effect was similar to an automobile accident—time seemed to slow; almost to stand still. But when she first ran a Class IV rapid (the second hardest) in a whitewater canoe on her own, she said the effect was just the opposite. Rather than time slowing down, it seemed three times faster. “Everything happens so fast and furiously,” says the Ohio banker. “You’re really relying on muscle memory—turn, roll, find an eddy. It’s wet, cold, scary, and exhilarating, and you’re proud when you make it.” Gr iffith has been whitewater canoeing for a decade. Her husband, Andy, taught her when they were dating. That was about the time Griffith, then 26, joined Columbus-based Commerce National Bank. Twelve years later Jennifer and Andy Griffith take on Cucumber Rapid in Ohiopyle State Park, Pa. she was named president of the Canoeing tandem is more relaxing than solo, she says, and her smile confirms it. business-focused community bank, Griffith hopes her children will a division of Indiana’s First Merchants Corp. As her responsibilities grew take up whitewater canoeing or kayat the bank and at home—she has two children, now 6 and 11—she hasn’t aking. That seems pretty likely since been able to get out on a river as often as she used to. But trips to Ohiopyle both her daughter and son have State Park and the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania are something she already learned to surf and sail. still looks forward to. There are other good rivers closer to Columbus, but Many of their vacations are near the “Yough” is a favorite. It has sections for all abilities, including some Class water ranging from Pennsylvania to V rapids on upper sections, which Andy can handle. (He’s been kayaking and California to North Carolina, and canoeing for 30 years.) Her favorite is the lower Yough, where each rapid has the Florida Keys. its own personality and a run can last for hours, depending on the water flow. Does Griffith aspire to canoe the She describes how you can surf the stationary river waves, riding them Colorado River rapids in the Grand from bank to bank, doing this as long as you have stamina. Canyon? “No,” she says. Too big for When you get tired, she says, you look for an eddy—a spot of quiet water her. On the other hand, she would behind a large rock or log. There you can catch your breath and scout the fly to Australia in a second to dive best route to the next whitewater section. “You ‘read’ the river, work it, and along the Great Barrier Reef. Did surf it,” says Griffith. we mention that she and her husWhitewater canoeing wasn’t Griffith’s first introduction to water sports. band have been certified for scuba? That was racing with her grandfather in his Thistle-class sailboat on the —Bill Streeter, editor and publisher Scioto River in Columbus. 52 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | june 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - June 2012

ABA Banking Journal - June 2012
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
ABA Community Banking: A purpose-built bank
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Science of the complaint
Top-performing community banks
Compliance Clinic
ABA Resources
Legal Issues
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - June 2012

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