Hardee retires from banking after 38 years

Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

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A lot has changed in the banking industry since Debbie Hardee began her career as a part-time teller 38 years ago.
Hardee, who began working in East Brewton with First National Bank, is marking her final days in banking to culminate with her official retirement on Friday.
“I have been blessed with some wonderful bosses over the years and have worked with wonderful co-workers,” Hardee said. “I’m excited to retire, but I’m also a little sad to be leaving.”
Hardee worked her way up the ranks in banking with First National Bank and worked through two mergers at the institution.
“I went from part-time to full-time as a teller and was later named head teller,” Hardee said. “I became branch manager and a financial services representative for the bank. I went on to banking school under Steve Nelson. Then, we merged and became BankTrust and then later merged to become TrustMark. It was tough to go through those mergers but it has been an wonderful experience for me. Some of our customers were a little upset with the mergers, but I hope that I was able to calm any fears and help them feel better about their banking with us.”
That has been the goal of Hardee all through her career — to help others.
“I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing during retirement, but I know I want to continue to help people and help this community,” Hardee said. “I’m not sure what that looks like at the moment, but at least I’ll now have time to look at it and make the most of retirement.”
Hardee, who is married to Sandy Hardee, said she is looking forward to some traveling in her future.
“We would like to do some traveling,” Hardee said. “We have always had to work around my work schedule and now we will have the opportunity to make plans without worrying about a job for me.”
Hardee was named president at TrustMark in 2015 and has held that position until she announced her retirment.
“I could not have been more shocked at the time,” Hardee said. “It was something I never expected, but just felt like I helped people in this position and I hope that I have done that.”
Hardee will be honored by a private reception this week as she celebrates her time wit TrustMark and her banking career.