Tomato Tradition: United Community Bank remembers its roots

If a customer brings a prize-winning tomato to United Community Bank, branch president Rick Shepard won’t be surprised.

Employees at the United Community Bank gave away tomato plants during their annual Customer Appreciation Day on May 6.

“It is a corporate-wide event that started more than 20 years ago, and it involves all 100 branches,” said Shepard. “I think we gave away over 2,000 tomato plants. It is a big event, and a lot of the folks take the six packs of tomatoes and bring back prize tomatoes. This is our unique way of saying ‘thank you’ to customers, but it was open to the public as well.”

Shepard said several hundred folks dropped by the Hunters Crossing Drive office throughout the day. “We gave away 600 hotdogs, so there were some hungry people,” he said.

Shepard said the tradition of giving away tomato plants on Customer Appreciation Day was started years ago. “I think that goes back to our heritage of when United Community Bank started in Blairsville, Ga. We are a community bank and back then had lots of farming in that community. We kept it going as the bank has grown into a publically traded institution with $7 billion in holdings. We still hold to that tradition with customers. Even though we’re a much bigger bank, our customer base hasn’t changed.”

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