Popular Hazard banker eyes retirement

By: Tanner Hesterberg Email
By: Tanner Hesterberg Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - A well-known banker in Perry County is getting ready to retire. Sort of.

Tony Whitaker said it's fair to call him semi-retired. The soon-to-be 67 year-old will step away from the top post at First Federal Savings Bank on January 1st.

"I'm going to stay active," Whitaker said. "I plan on spending a day or two a week (at the bank). The company has been really generous to me and they're going to let me stay on as chairman of this bank."

Whitaker has been President and CEO since 1997 after working for many years as a banker in Richmond and Louisville.

"Somebody asked me the other day how I made it to 40 years," Whitaker said. "I just got up, put my suit on and came to work every day. And I think that's really what we do. You start out as a young person and pretty soon you're there 10 years, then you're there 20 years, 30 years, and 40 years."

Whitaker will be succeeded by the bank's executive vice president, Lou Ella Farler, who has worked there since 1974.

"I didn't wake up one morning and say I wanted to be the president and CEO of First Federal," Farler said. "I just always worked hard and am very fortunate to be here."

Farler said she has learned a lot from working under Whitaker.

"He's worked with me and has been there to answer questions," Farler said. "And there are numerous questions everyday preparing me for January 1st."

Once retired, Whitaker plans on spending more time with his two grandchildren. He said he will still serve as chairman of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp.


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