Longtime colleagues,
lasting legacy

Longtime colleagues,
lasting legacy

 

When bank founder P.W. Huntington died in 1918, eight pallbearers shepherded his casket from funeral services at the Huntington residence to the Green Lawn Cemetery, a final resting place that P.W. himself had supported loyally throughout his lifetime. Among these honored pallbearers was a man whose life was as synonymous with loyalty and service as Huntington’s — William Starrett Sackett.

Sackett joined P.W. Huntington & Co. in May 1868, just two years after the bank’s founding. He served as the institution’s first bookkeeper and retired on January 1, 1942, after nearly 74 years of continuous service.

Just before his 100th birthday in 1951, Sackett told reporters that “his whole life consisted of his job and his church.” As Northminster Presbyterian Church’s “eldest elder,” Sackett remained as loyal to his spiritual morals as to his secular occupation through a century of life.1

Sackett’s tenure at Huntington may never be matched, but the lender’s culture continues to recognize and foster longevity of service. Huntington has attracted a similar breed of lifelong colleagues; today, an impressive list of colleagues are entering their third, fourth or fifth decades of service.

Among these is Sara “Katy” Jarrett. Like Sackett, Jarrett began her banking career as a bookkeeper. She interviewed at Chemical Bank & Trust in Charleston, West Virginia, which changed its name to Commerce Bank and was acquired by Huntington National Bank in 1994. She received the job on the spot, so impressing her interviewer that the other applicants waiting in the lobby were sent home. Katy started at Chemical Bank on May 26, 1962. After her initial stint in bookkeeping, she expanded her skill set, serving as a teller, secretary to the board of directors, vice president of compliance and security and account relationship associate. In 2016, she will celebrate her 54th year of service.

“When I started working, I couldn’t wait to go to work the next day,” Jarrett said. “And it’s still pretty much the same. In the morning when I wake up, I’m ready to get dressed and be here. I look forward to coming to work every day.”2

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William Starrett Sackett began as a Huntington bookkeeper only two years after the bank’s founding and served continuously for nearly 74 years. Credit: Columbus Evening Dispatch

In Columbus, Bill Doughty has a similarly long experience and an equally steadfast passion for his job. In 2016, he’ll enter his 56th year at Huntington.

Like the bank’s founder, Doughty started his banking career as a messenger, serving in the role at the bank’s first branch, the Market Exchange Branch. He was a teller in the main branch on 17 S. High St.

Doughty remembers back when workers were installing electric lights in the bank’s famous Tiffany ceiling.

“They had scaffolding all over the bank lobby,” he said, “and, being young and dumb, I climbed up to the top of it one time.”

This brief foray into risky behavior may have foreshadowed Doughty’s foray into the investment side of the business, in which he sold (relatively conservative) savings bonds and eventually worked in the trust department, where he’s been since the 1980s. Doughty also helped launch the Huntington Funds in the mid-80s.

He always respected how Huntington’s workers were able to advance through hard work and merit. From his trust department work, Doughty has come to understand the value of helping families and institutions — hospitals, universities, health and welfare plans —manage wealth from generation to generation.3

Many other colleagues have logged more than 40 years at the bank. Alan Weiler tops the charts at 59 years; Holly Amlin, Vickie Campbell, John Kinn, Patricia Kovacic, and Kathy Harsanje have all reached 45 years. Although he can’t claim quite as many years with the bank, Ike Stage’s 34 years at Huntington include particulars that put him in a class all his own.

Huntington recruited Stage out of high school in 1962; he began as a loan teller.

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Katy Jarrett will celebrate her 54th year at Huntington Bank in 2016.

“[I] would venture to say that I was the youngest credit officer in the history of Huntington [at age 19],” he said. “I think because I was ambitious, I wanted to learn the business. … It was all an adventure.”4

Stage was involved in several acquisitions before he turned 20, and was one of the bank’s early computer programmers, helping design two operating systems for the bank’s growing technology platforms in the 1960s. One of his proudest Huntington achievements was being a primary designer of the Personal Banker system.

“[It] was part computer system but also involved training, changing people’s attitudes, and implementing a whole new culture,” he said.5

Stage transitioned into politics while keeping a foothold in banking. As he was running about a hundred Huntington banking offices, he was elected mayor of Grove City, Ohio. Then-CEO Frank Wobst encouraged Stage to maintain his job as banker as he served his first two terms as mayor, from 1988 to 1995.6

For Stage, Grove City was and is still home.

“Like my days at Huntington, I know a lot about our community,” he said. “It was a time that I could pay back a little bit. Like the bank, it was an adventure.”7