Crews Bank & Trust Executive Vice President Pat Backer is retiring after 43½ years at the bank. She is a member of the executive leadership team along with President Kevin Hagan, CEO Jake Crews and CFO Brad Wilson and serves with them on board of directors
“I cannot say enough about what Pat has meant to this bank and the community,” said Hagan. “Her involvement in every area of banking operations has enabled us to continue bringing our customers the latest products and services, and she leaves a legacy of unmatched interdepartmental communication and customer support.”
“I have enjoyed so many years with my bank family and I appreciate you all for all of your support in the many projects we have completed over the years,” Backer told the staff. “Together we have maintained a successful bank and have many loyal customers. I would ask that you continue to keep the customer as the most important part of every decision you make each day. As I have said many times, they are the reason we are here.”
A native of Florida whose family moved to Arcadia in 1963, Backer joined Crews Bank & Trust (then known as First State Bank of Arcadia) in 1975 fresh out of high school. President and CEO Willis Peacock hired her on the recommendation of one of her teachers, Betty Brown, whose husband was a First State Bank board member.
“Our (subsequent) president, Tom Griffin, felt that operations was a great area for me,” Backer recalled, “and I learned every area of the bank except loans in just a few years, although I did help to convert loans from a manual system into a computer-driven system.”
Starting in the bookkeeping department in 1975, Backer became head bookkeeper within a year. She moved into operations in 1991 as cashier, working on payroll, data processing, collections, IRAs and wire transfers. She became a vice president in 1984, senior vice president in 1996 and executive vice president in 2000.
Backer helped oversee the adoption of check imaging in 1994. She served as construction manager for additions built in 1987 and 2004, a drive-through lane added in 2001, the East Arcadia office in 1986, and an office built in front of Walmart in 2007. She was also a member of the team responsible for rebranding First State Bank to Crews Bank & Trust.
Backer graduated from DeSoto County High School in 1976, the Florida School of Banking in 1992, and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU in 2005. She earned summa cum laude honors at three institutions: South Florida State College (associate degree in Banking and Finance, 1994), Warner University (bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management in 2002), and Troy University (MBA in 2007),
A member of the inaugural Leadership DeSoto Class of 2010, Backer was named DeSoto County Chamber of Commerce Director of the Year in 1993-94, and she received the chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. She served as director of the DeSoto County Community Foundation, treasurer and co-chair of the 2015 Jim Crews community playground project, a board member of DeSoto Memorial Hospital Foundation and a mentor for the Take Stock in Children initiative.
With her high-school sweetheart and husband of 42 years, Tim, Backer has three children and five grandchildren. Backer and her four sisters – Pam, Penny, Peggy and Patience – were known as “the 5 P’s” back in the day. Two of the sisters still reside in Arcadia, as does Backer’s father, Jim Myers.