After working as a teller for Citizens Bank many years ago, Karla Coleman has returned to Citizens Bank as the Plainfield Branch Manager with a love of customer service, travel, and adventure.
What is a typical day at work like for you?
Each day is full of multitasking—anything from talking to a customer about a loan application for an RV, helping out at the teller window, or getting involved with a mortgage. Each situation is very different, so I wear several hats on any given day.
What brought you to your current position?
I’ve been in my current position since January of 2021, but many years ago I actually worked at Citizens Bank as a roving teller. After that, I spent seven years with a lender refinancing homes, and then 20 years working in the travel industry before finding my way back to banking.
What has surprised you the most since you’ve come back to the bank?
The automation of all the data we have access to now is amazingly helpful and efficient, and it’s unbelievable how much that’s changed in the last 30 years. For example, our systems for screening and validating checks to prevent fraud are incredibly sophisticated and provide a great deal more security for our customers (and the bank too).
What’s your favorite part of the day?
When a customer who comes in a little unhappy leaves with a smile, I know I’ve done my job. You never know what’s going on in a person’s day, and my goal is to make them smile before they leave.
What do you like most about working at Citizens Bank?
I love going through all the seasons with customers—they start as a Junior Saver, become a young adult, open a joint account with their new spouse, and then open one for their own Junior Saver. It’s the circle of life and it’s nice to see them through all this growth.
Can you share something about you that might surprise your coworkers?
I love to travel, and I lived in Germany for several years. I was married to my high school sweetheart at the time and he was in the military. One of my favorite things when I lived there was to take weekend road trips to Paris or London. I recently took my kids to France on fall break and they loved it, so now they think all school vacations should be international trips!
How do you love to spend your free time?
I try to exercise when I have any downtime. I love to hop on the treadmill every night and watch an episode of Vampire Diaries. That gets me through my workout.
What motivates you?
My children. I have 15-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. They’re so much fun and are both very involved in sports. It was hard having twins when they were little, but this time is the best. It just goes by so fast.
How do you stay involved in the community?
I’m currently involved with a nonprofit called Scouting Friends that helps raise funds for kids in need to participate in sports and extracurricular activities.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, Chumley is a beagle-bulldog mix. He’s a cutie pie and such an unusual mix. But he is the best dog. My husband surprised me with him as a puppy and he’s won us all over.