Sandra Oliver Retires After 47 Years
Looking back on her first weeks working with 1st Franklin Financial, Sandra Oliver says she did not expect it to be a long term job, much less a lifelong career.
“My first day on the job I was supposed to go through the phone book and come up with a list of names of people to solicit to invest with us,” Oliver remembers. “I completed my list and took it to Mr. Cheek and he took one look at it and didn’t think I’d done a very good job. The first Saturday I worked, I’ll never forget. Mr. Cheek was a perfectionist and by noon I was thinking, “What am I doing here, what have I gotten myself into?.’”
Forty-seven years later, the 1st Franklin Financial Investment Center held a celebration and invited the community to commemorate Sandra’s retirement. “Sandra is a very loyal person,” said Ben Cheek III, 1st Franklin Chairman and CEO. “Over these 47 years Sandra has, for many people, been the investment center. They might not know others in the company, and may not follow the progress of the company, but they know Sandra and they trust her and have confidence in her.”
Oliver, who has served for a number of years as the Investment Center manager in Toccoa, began working with the company in 1964 soon after graduating from high school. Sandra began her career in the investment department, moved into the accounting department for seven years, then returned to the investment center in 1972.
“I never had a clue I would still be here, that I would make it a career,” she said. “It was never something I would have seen myself doing because I was a little shy growing up, so having to meet people and learn how to talk with them and feel confident was different for me, but it was such a great experience and has made me who I am today.” Oliver’s ability to connect with customers, and the confidence she inspired in those investing with 1st Franklin, is what made her a key figure in the company, said Cheek. “She was just starting out to establish herself, as was I, and we have grown together. We’ve not only been co-workers but we’ve developed a strong friendship and I have the upmost and highest respect for Sandra,” Cheek said.
Sandra said she will still drop in the investment center to help out from time to time, but is still looking forward to time with family. She said she is thankful for the career she has had with 1st Franklin and the friends she has made. “I love the work, I love the job, I love what I do,” she said. “I love meeting people and the relationships I have developed over the years, getting to people and basically just treating them like you want to be treated and forming those relationships. That’s what it’s all about,” Oliver said.
Shannon McFarlin has assumed the duties as manager of the 1st Franklin Financial Investment Center as of June 1, 2012