Former bank employees gather for festive dinner

A group of former First of America Bank employees and their spouses celebrated their 26th annual Christmas dinner at JJ’s Pizza & Steakhouse on Dec. 7. Thirty-five employees, 14 spouses and one guest attended this festive dinner, followed by visiting and prizes.

The late Marvin Wysocki began the annual event in 1991. This year’s event was hosted by Teresa Yachcik and Edna LeBarre.

During the early 1990s, in addition to the main location on 122 N. Second, there were five Alpena offices: Giantway Plaza, Alpena Mall, Ripley Branch, North Branch and Park Place located across from the main office, as well as offices in Harrisville, Hubbard Lake and Lincoln.

Alpena Savings Bank once employed over 115 employees. Over the past 30 years Alpena Savings Bank, like many other financial institutions across the country, saw reductions in employees and office locations. Reasons included, but not limited to, were computer automation, technology advancements like the ATM, and a poor economy that forced people to move from the area for jobs.

In addition, another reason was that bank mergers resulted in banks pooling their assets so they could streamline their processes with fewer people.

Like many other banks, Alpena Savings Bank too saw numerous mergers/acquisitions over recent decades. Alpena Savings Bank, established in 1893, had its first change in 1986 when it became First of America-Alpena. Then in the 1990s, it became First of America-Northern Michigan and then National City Bank. It was later acquired by PNC Bank the following decade.

This group remembered and will miss both Marvin Wysocki and Marie Deno, who passed away during 2017. The employee present with longest employment was Judy Ableidinger.

A small group meets monthly for dinner. If you were an employee of either Alpena Savings Bank or First of America and would like to attend, contact Teresa Yachcik at 595-0042. Contact her as well if you wish to be included for the 2018 Christmas dinner event to meet with other former co-workers.