Terry Everett has gone from her garage to the corner office in the last 30 years at DATCU.
Everett, who oversees business development, celebrated her 30th anniversary with the credit union July 1, and the public is invited to a reception in her honor 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 9.
The Bridgeport native began working for DATCU in 1984 as the Wise County representative. At that time the credit union’s only customers were educators, and it had only two branches – one in Denton and another in Lewisville. So Everett set up shop in her garage.
“I worked out of my house for the first 20 years,” she said. “I actually converted my garage to my office. I conducted a lot of loans in shorts and sometimes even my housecoat.”
She also regularly visited schools to call on her customers.
“If they wanted to see me, if they wanted to set up an account or get a loan, they’d leave a note on the bulletin board, and I’d go find them,” she said. “It didn’t make any difference if it was the bus barn or the football field, I’d go find them.”
Everett graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1971 and Texas Woman’s University in 1975. She was a coach and teacher for the Decatur school district for nine years before going into the banking business.
“I was expecting my first child and thought, ‘I can’t go back to that,'” she said. “I knew coaching would consume all my time. I had every girls team, and I was gone from sunup to sundown from August to July.”
Everett taught in Bridgeport ISD for a couple of years after the birth of her first son and then got the job with DATCU.
“I had no previous banking experience,” she said. “Couldn’t even balance a checkbook!”
She took the job with the impression that it would be mostly public relations-type work, but it quickly evolved.
Although she served as branch manager of the Decatur location for three years, her current position is reminiscent of her original post. Today she has a corner office but gets out and about, visiting schools and businesses and making presentations about the credit union’s products and services.
“(This job) suits me more,” she said. “I like getting out and talking to people. It’s something different every day, and I’m not confined to the building 9 to 5.”
Everett said the most rewarding part of her job has been being able to help people in a variety of situations by loaning them money and helping them manage their finances in general.
Everett, and her husband, Gary, are high school sweethearts and have been married for 41 years. They have two grown sons, Taylor and Jordan, and she said she looks forward to spoiling grandchildren in the future.
“I have all kinds of big plans,” she said, “but this job, I just love it, so as long as they’ll have me, I’ll be here! I’m not planning on retiring anytime soon.”