The new falcon herald logo.
Feature Articles

Banking on a familiar face

Christel Blaylock has been a familiar face at The State Bank in Falcon for seven years. In that time, she has worked her way up from teller to assistant vice president.Blaylock became a State Bank customer in 2001. She was so impressed with the bank she eventually submitted her resume for a job. The next day, a position became available and Blaylock started at the bank a few days later as teller and bookkeeper. She eventually transitioned to the customer service department. After a few years, Blaylock became an officer and assistant vice president. “When you’re in a small bank, you learn everything and you do everything,” she said.In the banking industry for 13 years, she said the most significant change she has seen is computer technology. “It is just amazing what you have available today. It makes it so easy,” Blaylock said.Another bonus about working at The State Bank is that it has given her a second family. She knew she had a family in Falcon when Al Kreps (The State Bank president) and his wife Patricia visited her husband Dennis in the hospital after he had back surgery. “Mr. and Mrs. Kreps are like my American family,” Blaylock said. “That made my transition from home to here much easier.” She also considers her co-workers family. “Without a doubt, this is the best place I’ve worked with co-workers. We’re not just co-workers, we’re friends.”Blaylock was born in a small German village – Biedershauses – in 1962.When she was a child, Blaylock’s father taught first through eighth grades in a one-room schoolhouse. Her family also lived in the schoolhouse. Her mom was a housewife, and Blaylock has fond memories of her childhood. “It was a wonderful childhood because it was a small community. Parents didn’t need to worry about the kids running around the village,” Blaylock said.When she was 11 years old, the family moved to a nearby village.Blaylock said she always knew she wanted to be in banking. “When I was a little girl, I went to a bank and after seeing a teller working there I thought how fun that would be.” It wasn’t her parent’s first choice, though. At the urging of her father, she graduated with a paralegal degree. “I graduated as a paralegal because that is what my dad wanted me to do. You did what your parents wanted you to do. There was no such thing as saying no to your father.” Her first job was in a German law firm.After that, she worked as an executive secretary for the Mannesmann Demag Corp. Eventually, she became employed in the housing department at an American Air Force Base in Germany. She met her husband at the housing department in 1986 and the two were married that same year. Blaylock has two stepdaughters: Jennifer lives in Rio Rancho, N.M., and Melissa lives in Glendale, Ariz., and has two children. Blaylock said her cat, Angel Marie, is her baby.In 1991, she stepped foot in America for the first time when she and her husband moved to Fort Worth, Texas. While there, she worked as a teller. In1993, they briefly moved back to Germany; in 1994, they moved to Falcon Hills.”I love the prairie, the antelopes and the horses. When we moved out here, there was nothing but the animals,” Blaylock said. “I like the country living.”Once a year, Blaylock travels to Germany to visit her family. “We’re really close,” Blaylock said. “I talk to mom almost every day.”Helping the homeless is another part of Blaylock’s life. She has volunteered with Lighthouse Mobile Ministries for five and a half years. She helps feed the homeless and hands out coats, clothes, blankets and other necessities. “Being involved with the homeless is where my heart is,” Blaylock said. “It is just so much fun to give a tiny little back for all the blessings that we’ve got.”It also can be emotionally challenging, Blaylock said. Once while volunteering, she gave her coat and scarf to a homeless man. A week later, she found out he had died from exposure to the cold. “There are a lot of people that really need help, and you just can’t close your eyes and not see what’s going on around you.”Blaylock would like to devote more time to the cause when she retires. “It’s really rewarding,” she added.Blaylock also is active with the organization of the Falcon Festival and a member of the Eastern Plains Chamber.The State Bank is where she wants to stay. “I love to be with people and helping people and customer service. I just absolutely love what I’m doing,” Blaylock said. “To love to go to work in the morning is just a blessing.”More on Christel BlaylockWhere do you see yourself in five years?At The State Bank at this desk when you walk in. I think that is what I like to do, and that is where they want me to be. And I think that is where the customer wants me to be because if I don’t sit there, they are like, “Where is she?”What book are you currently reading?It is called “The Christmas Sweater,” by Glenn Beck. It’s a Christian book about a little boy whose dad died. His mom gives him a sweater for Christmas, but he really wanted a bike. And he has a dream his mom died. When he woke up, he realized how silly it was to be mad about not getting the bike.What is one of your favorite vacation memories?My greatest vacation places are the Greek islands. My husband and I go there every three years. We have been to six islands and we just love the Greek people, the food, the music. It’s just awesome.What is something others may not know about you?Oh my goodness, I’m an open book. I don’t think there’s anything people wouldn’t know about me. That’s me; I’m an open book. Whatever is on my mind everybody knows.

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Search Businesses

Search Businesses