President of Pilot Bank, Rita Lowman, was featured on Elevate, Inc. Today episode 3. In this podcast, Lowman shares her background in banking and how she and Pilot Bank have supported the Tampa Bay community throughout the past and currently through COVID-19.
Lowman has been involved in the banking world for 44 years and immediately found her passion. She first started her banking career in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia at a small bank. Her husband was transferred to Florida in 1983 and she started her career at NCNB (now Bank of America). Lowman continued to work through numerous transitions with Bank of America and most recently C1 Bank. In 2016 during the transition of C1 Bank to OZK Lowman met Roy Hellwege, Pilot Bank’s CEO and discussed possibilities for continued growth at Pilot Bank.
Lowman and Hellwege partnership along with an amazing team Pilot Bank has grown to a $550million bank. During this time, community involvement became very prominent for Pilot Bank. Lowman says, “We are a community bank, so every dollar that comes into the bank we loan it back out to the communities we serve.” Pilot Bank is extremely passionate about supporting many different organizations within the Tampa Bay community. Two of these organizations include the American Cancer Society, which Lowman has been involved with for about 15 years and is now currently sitting on the Southeastern United States Board. Having a father who passed away from cancer, it was important to Lowman to support this organization. Along with the American Cancer Society, which Hellwege is also heavily involved as Chair of CEO’s Against Cancer for Florida the bank contributes dollars and manpower to other events. The Outback Bowl is another passion of Lowman’s. Lowman says, “…not only are we bringing economy into our market…but we are also giving back to our community. The Outback Bowl gave $500,000 to organizations and foundations in 2020.”
Along with being a successful banker and community leader, Lowman is also an author. Her new book “From the Farm to the Board Room” describes her journey from a small town in Georgia to where she is now. Lowman has continued to showcase her voice throughout all the communities she has been involved with and dedicates herself to sharing her story and supporting the people around her. Lowman was honored as the 2018 Business Woman of the Year Angie Award by the Tampa Bay Business Journal and named one of the United States 50 Most Influential Women in Finance in 2019 by the Secured Lender.
Pilot Bank is continuing to support foundations, entrepreneurs, and small businesses by offering numerous loans that will help these businesses get through one of the toughest times our economy has seen. Overall, community is a prominent focus for Lowman and Pilot Bank.
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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.