© Rosalie MacEachern photo
Kathy Carver will be leaving the area for a new position as Scotiabank branch manager in Sussex, N.B.
Kathy Carver’s last goodbyes, as she leaves Pictou County this weekend, are to her clients, her co-workers and the organizations she served on in the last four years.
Carver has accepted a position as a Scotiabank branch manager in Sussex, N.B., but says the decision to leave Pictou County was not easily made. Manager of the bank’s Westville branch, Carver needed an attractive offer to get her to pull up stakes.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in Pictou County, both at the branch in New Glasgow and then as manager in Westville. I’m also thankful for the many opportunities I had to be involved in a community with a lot of great people,” she said.
One of seven children, Carver grew up on a dairy farm in Alliston, P.E.I., before heading to University of New Brunswick where she graduated with bachelor of arts and education degrees.
“My plan was to be a teacher and I did some subbing but there were no teacher jobs available and I eventually had to find something that paid the bills on a regular basis.”
A die-hard Senators fan who grimaces over this season, she was working for an insurance company in Ottawa when she began taking courses in certified financial planning.
“After six courses I had to write a six-hour exam and when I passed that I had to get some work experience before I could get my professional designation. I sent out my resume and Scotiabank was my first response so that is how I started in banking.”
Carver said there is an education component to financial planning so her background in education comes in handy.
“There are also coaching and mentoring aspects of the work and there are great opportunities to advance so I don’t regret giving up the idea of teaching.”
When Scotiabank offered Carver a position in New Glasgow she was delighted and strongly encouraged by other Maritimers in Ottawa to accept.
“You don’t know how much you miss the ocean until you go to a beach in Ontario, a beach on a lake,” she laughed.
Carver had a sister in P.E.I. battling breast cancer while she lived in Ottawa.
“I certainly felt too far away in that circumstance and travel was always at the mercy of the weather. By the time I moved to New Glasgow my father was ill and I’ll always be grateful that being here allowed me to hop on the ferry and spend the weekend before his death with him.”
Her father’s death also motivated her to volunteer at Aberdeen Hospital as a friendly visitor.
“My family did their best but my father was lonely in hospital when he didn’t have visitors so I knew there were others who felt the same. As a friendly visitor I helped patients with whatever they needed but most just wanted to talk. There were some who didn’t have any family close by and they were very lonely.”
On her first day as manager of the Westville branch she was taken to a Rotary Club luncheon.
“It is tradition that the Scotiabank manager sits on Rotary and I loved my time there. Rotary members really have the best interests of the community at heart and are very active. I just gave up my position as treasurer and I’ll miss the members.”
She has also given up her position as treasurer on the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce.
“That’s another group of people who really work for their community.”
Carver hopes Pictou County will find ways to promote its assets and attract investments.
“With more people able to work from home these days, Pictou County should be so attractive. We have Melmerby Beach in our backyard, no commute to work compared to the hours people spend in other areas and a low cost of living. The weather is pretty good compared to Ottawa’s cold winters and the temperatures out west. People need to work together to promote the area because it has so much to offer.”
Carver expects to find what she valued in Pictou County also exists in Sussex.
“Like Westville, it is a bank with an older clientele so pension day is the busiest of the month. Our staff knows about 98 per cent of the people who come in on a first name basis and I understand it is similar in Sussex. The Sussex branch is twice as large so it’s a good promotion.”
It is also close to P.E.I. so Carver can continue to be close to family.
“Another small town in close proximity to family is a great opportunity but I’ll certainly miss my co-workers and the people of Pictou County who were so welcoming.”
Rosalie MacEachern is a Stellarton resident and freelance writer who seeks out people who work behind the scenes on hobbies or jobs that they love the most. If you have someone you think should she should profile in an upcoming article, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org