“It’s all about relationships, and we appreciate the very long-standing and solid relationships we have with our Windstream account executives.”

Elmer Keith WhitakerExecution Vice President, Whitaker Bank Corporation

Industry Focus: Financial

Location(s): Kentucky

Windstream Solution(s): Communications

Web Site: www.whitakerbank.com

The Whitaker Bank Corporation of Kentucky is a 30-year old family-owned and operated organization dedicated to providing exceptional banking and experiences to fellow Kentuckians. Remaining loyal to its long-standing customers, Whitaker Bank has turned to Windstream Communications for all of its telecommunications solutions in helping the company remain “Uniquely Kentucky.”

The Challenge

Since its inception in September 1978, Whitaker Bank has expanded from three locations within three counties and total assets of $59 million to 56 locations within 17 counties and combined total assets of $1.8 billion.

Since Whitaker Bank’s establishment in 1978, Windstream has been a key business partner in providing sophisticated technology solutions to accommodate Whitaker Bank’s continuous growth and development.

The Solution

During the early years, phone lines were the main form of communication with customers, employees and other businesses. In 1993, Whitaker Bank consolidated all of its back office systems into a single main operations center to increase effectiveness and efficiency. As technologies advanced, more bandwidth was required with more data being pushed over longer distances. Windstream proved to be a vital asset in the realm of telephone and Internet banking, as well as providing additional phone and data lines to keep Whitaker Bank consistent with the new technology, but still allowing the company to remain captive within a local Kentucky audience.

“One of our biggest challenges is that we have to be both the community bank and the big bank with all the new products and services,” emphasizes Tom Hinkebein, Whitaker Bank’s chief operating officer. “That’s how Windstream helps us compete. You’ve got to have the latest and greatest with that local touch.”

“At the end of the day, people do business with people.”

Elmer Keith Whitaker Execution Vice President, Whitaker Bank Corporation

In 1995, Windstream installed Whitaker Bank’s first data network to connect all bank locations together. Three years ago, Windstream upgraded that network to an IP/ VPN (Internet Protocol/Virtual Private Network) over MPLS network, providing higher, more efficient bandwidth to all Whitaker Bank locations. MPLS is a private network that uses a shared core infrastructure to connect remote sites or users together. Instead of using a dedicated, realworld connection, such as leased line, MPLS uses “virtual” connections routed through Windstream’s network from a particular company’s private network to the remote site or employee. MPLS allows for a faster and more secure method of transmitting data between Whitaker’s branches.

The Benefit

With a competition consisting of dominant international bank organizations, Whitaker Bank aims to provide customers with the latest products and services, while still maintaining their local roots. Whitaker Bank executives credit Windstream with helping to not only sustain a level of efficiency over time, but also allowing them to uphold long-standing customer relationships.

“At the end of the day, people do business with people,” said Elmer Keith Whitaker, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Whitaker Bank Corporation of Kentucky. “I commend the key people at Windstream that have stayed in place over all these years and that cannot be understated. It’s all about relationships and we appreciate the very long-standing and solid relationships we have with our Windstream account executives.”

In 30 years, Whitaker Bank Corporation has gone from three small banks to more than 50 branches. Just as trust and relationships are important to Kentuckians, such is the longevity of the relationship between Whitaker Bank and Windstream.