Steve Wilson, known throughout the community for his work with Dylan’s Drivers, has for decades been a fixture at Peoples Bank. But, on Wednesday, he stepped away from that career to invest more time into his community work.
Wilson first entered the world of banking roughly 38 years ago, when he took a job at Interfirst Bank as a teller. Interfirst eventually merged with Republic Bank to become First Republic, and that was eventually bought by Bank of America. When it became clear that First Republic was going to be bought, Wilson decided to leave it for Peoples Bank, which at the time had a lone branch in Bogata.
“I liked the more local feel and wanted to keep that,” he said.
Within months of him joining the staff, Peoples Bank opened a branch in Paris. Wilson has been there ever since.
Working on the operational side of things, Wilson has handled the bookkeeping at the Lamar Avenue and Collegiate Drive branch. Over time, he worked his way up the totem pole to become assistant branch manager, which put him in charge of the tellers.
He garnered more responsibility over time, and he began handling wire transfers and other investors, too.
For Wilson, the best part of banking was the ability to work with the community.
“I was born and raised here in Paris, so a lot of the clients I was working with were people I knew and was friends with already,” Wilson said. “That was probably my favorite part.”
However, Wilson said, he realized he wanted to put more time and effort into his community work since he also works as a funeral assistant for Bright-Holland Funeral Homes and serves as the chairman of the board for Dylan’s Drivers.
By stepping away from banking, Wilson said, he wants to make himself more available at Dylan’s Drivers to field any questions or concerns people have. He also wants to put more effort into fostering community support.
“I want to help open the arena for Dylan’s Drivers, where businesses and organizations can drive as a team,” he said. “There are businesses and other organizations that already do that, but I want to help grow it. A team of drivers only need five or six people, and big businesses like Kimberly-Clark can get that together easily. It’ll be a good way for these businesses to get their name out in the community and it’ll help Dylan’s Drivers.”
He said he hopes to devote more time to help organize Dylan’s Drivers’ community events, like the one scheduled for Sept. 7 at the Love Civic Center pavilion. The day kicks off around 9 a.m. and will feature a hamburger cook-off, raffles, live and silent auctions, live music, games for children and more.
“I’m going to miss the atmosphere, the people I worked with and the customers (at Peoples Bank),” he said. “But working with the community is what I enjoy doing and I’m in a place where I can put more of myself into that.”