Bridget Fetterly, 34: Carthage Savings & Loan Association

 

After graduating from Carthage High School, Bridget Fetterly, 34, had no intention of staying in Carthage, let alone the north country.

To do so, she enlisted in the army and eventually found herself traveling the world as a member of Charlie Co., 2-43 out of Fort Bliss, Texas, working as a Patriot missile launcher. In 2003 she served six months in Iraq and returned home safely. Once her four-year enlistment was up, however, she knew where she was headed.

“I wanted to travel, I wanted to travel a lot,” Ms. Fetterly said. “In four years of travel and the places I traveled to made me realize what I was really missing.”

So in 2008 after moving around a few more times, Ms. Fetterly finally settled back in her hometown to make a life for herself among the family and friends with whom she grew up.

“There’s nothing quite like home and this small town community does so much for each other, we’re here for each other,” Ms. Fetterly said. “The army was great and my unit was really tight, but you step outside of that unit and you’re kind of displaced, like you’re still not at home, you still don’t have that comfort zone but I’ve never seen anywhere that takes care of its own like Carthage.”

Now as a civilian, Ms. Fetterly has made a name for herself as assistant vice president of operations at Carthage Savings and Loan Association, where she handles the behind-the-scenes operations of the bank and its information technology team. To pull it all off, Ms. Fetterly blends post-enlistment schooling with army-tried crisis management.

“The Fast Train teaching taught me about PCs and hardware building, stuff like that, but the ability to take a crisis and turn it into a learning experience, definitely military training,” Ms. Fetterly said.

To get where she is today, Ms. Fetterly has called upon a host of people to help keep her going in a constructive, positive and civic-minded direction from her parents as a young girl, to her boss at the bank.

“Honestly, I’ve had a ton of mentors,” Ms. Fetterly said. “My parents throughout my life have always been my mentors. They’ve always told me to make good choices. Business-wise, I was lucky enough to have Patty Turpin. She’s gotten me to where I am today as far as the operations job at Carthage Savings.”

Among this gallery of Ms. Fetterly’s mentors is a group of individuals at the local Lion’s Club who showed her the importance of community involvement, which is now a core part of her daily life. Now an active member, Ms. Fetterly considers fellow Lions like Diana Clement, Bruce Hazen and Dawn Lelakowski as big players in her commitment to community service.

To Ms. Fetterly, the key to having young professionals return or stay in the north country is to get them involved with the community at an early age in order to show them what small-town communities are all about.

“I think the reason I even cared or knew anything about community service was that when I was in middle school and high school the teachers started to have programs for us,” Ms. Fetterly said. “Like 12 Honors, half the class was about learning to give back to your community.”

In order to achieve this early community involvement, Ms. Fetterly volunteers her time with the Leo’s Club, a youth division of the Lion’s Club. Through this program, she relays to local youth the importance of getting involved in the community.

“It’s 100 percent about showing them what they can do for a community as a youth and giving them leadership skills so they can go out in the world and be the best they can be and hopefully come back to us or whatever community they’re in and give back,” Ms. Fetterly said. “So, strengthening them so that they can come back to our community and strengthen as a whole and it’s a ton of fun.”

To other young professionals, Ms. Fetterly’s advice is simple.

“As long as you work hard and you do yourbest, then you’re
going to grow and you’re going to get the opportunity
to grow,” Ms. Fetterly said.

— Zachary Sweeney

Bridget_Fetterly_WEB

The Bridget Fetterly File

Hometown: Carthage

Professional position: Assistant vice president of operations

Family: Parents, Richard and Cheryl Fetterly; sister, Brandy Fetterly

Education: Carthage High School, associate degree in criminal justice, Jefferson Community College, Tech Certificate from Fast Train

Community involvement: Carthage Leos advisor, Carthage Lions Club; board member, Carthage Free Library; Deferiet Planning Committee

Last book read: “The Lust Garden” by Billy Jo Lie