Part IV: Humility
In my years as President of F&M Bank, including today, you can usually find me at my roll-top desk on the first floor of our Main Office, accessible to everyone. From that desk I have immediate access to every client, every employee, and every friend who wishes to say hello. This desk has special meaning to me. This was my father’s desk, and my grandfather's desk -- the founder of Farmers & Merchants Bank, CJ Walker; I wouldn’t want to have my office anywhere else.
My mission during my tenure as President of the Bank is to keep clients’ money safe and sound, and to create lasting relationships. Each of my clients deserves my attention, whether they entrust $5 or $5 million with F&M Bank. Having a sincere, caring relationship with our clients, borrowers, staff and shareholders has led F&M to grow consistently, steadfastly, and kept us strong for the last 107 years, and will do so for the next 107 years and beyond, I am sure.
My grandmother, Carrie D. Walker, wife of my grandfather CJ, influenced me greatly to be a humble person. She was an intelligent, wise and beautiful woman, with a huge heart. Simply put, she was superb. In 1902, after Carrie received news of a young woman found on the steps of the city’s auditorium crying and homeless, she made it her mission to help, and started the city’s first YWCA. Carrie taught me the importance of giving back to those who are less fortunate, and the community, always leading by example.
At the end of the day, you, our client and our friend, are the most important person to F&M Bank. As my father Gus Walker would say, “A client is never an interruption of our work, they are the purpose of it.” So, to those of you whom have given me a smile, a handshake and to those I have yet to meet, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your business, your trust, your friendship, and for giving us the opportunity to service you. You are the purpose for this Bank that my grandfather created, and we value your loyalty.
Kenneth G. Walker
President, Main Office
About the Author: At the age of 11, Ken was introduced to the virtue of hard work -- a Walker family tradition -- and assumed his first position with F&M Bank as the elevator operator at Main Office. Ken held almost every job in the company and in 1979 succeeded his father Gus Walker, as President. Today at age 87, Ken still maintains his desk on the first floor of Main Office and works as an advisor to his sons Daniel Walker, CEO, and Henry Walker, President.
While attending college at USC, Ken met his wife Nancy and they shared 60 years of marriage and raised six children. Ken and Nancy were both very committed to YMCA and even developed a foundation to give to the Y's Christian Leadership Conferences. Ken’s commitment and activity with the YMCA Rags program gave him the right to wear the distinguished White Rag -- the highest of seven levels, signifying a lifetime commitment to Christian service. Some would say that the best way to articulate Ken & Nancy Walker’s involvement with the YMCA can be found in the closing lines of the Ragger’s Creed: “I would be a friend to all-the foe, the friendless; I would be giving, and forget the gift; I would be humble, for I know my weakness; I would look up, and laugh, and love and lift.”