By Tegan Burkhard
Step into the Quail Creek Bank lobby, and admire the expansive, two-story building before you scan the room and catch the eye of your regular teller. At Quail Creek Bank, relationships are key; the family-like atmosphere is so strong that employees and customers not only celebrate the holidays together but also plan joint cross-country and international travel trips.
“We just kind of have that family atmosphere, since we’re in one location,” says Carol Fehrle, Executive Vice President. “Everyone knows each other.”
Fehrle says this community bank treats both its employees and clients like family, with local giveaways, personal exchanges and outstanding customer service. She suggests that the secret to Quail Creek Bank’s success is its positive, fun work culture with monthly entertainment activities and flexibility when it comes to health and family matters.
“If you have happy employees, that translates into happy customers,” Fehrle says. “Because if you have people that are happy working for you, it’s just going to trickle down. They’re very friendly with our customers, and our customers have come to expect that from us.”
This recipe, along with free cookies on Fridays, has attracted an ever-expanding clientele for its loan, checking, savings, credit and investment services. Despite the company’s growth since its beginnings in 1974, Quail Creek Bank has never opened a second location, opting instead to expand to a second building, which connects to the original building via an enclosed walkway.
“Even though we’ve got two buildings now, we still maintain that continuity as far as knowing each other,” Fehrle says.
To counter the possible “assumed” inconvenience of its single location, Quail Creek Bank keeps up with the constant influx of new banking technology, offering mobile deposit options for business accounts, a wearable Apple watch app for personal accounts, and many more options to conveniently bank remotely. When new clients open new accounts, representatives walk them through the entire online banking process with iPads before helping them install and understand the mobile app.
The bank even recently installed a new ATM to ease the burden of depositing cash and checks. Customers simply feed all forms of payment into the machine at once, and after a quick count, the ATM will spit out a receipt with images of each check deposited. This deposit feature will soon be available to Quail Creek Bank customers. The bank goes so far as to reimburses customers for up to $25 of monthly ATM charges to make up for the fact that it only operates one ATM.
Besides plugging into the technological advances, Quail Creek Bank plugs into the community as a partner with local schools. Since Oklahoma high school students are now required to complete a financial literacy class to graduate, Quail Creek Bank sponsors the Dave Ramsey financial curriculum for area schools. The bank provides teachers with the learning materials and visits classrooms at least once per school year to share banking basics with the eager students. Once the benefits of opening checking and savings accounts click, some students go so far as to take advantage of the LINQ accounts offered at Quail Creek Bank.
“Having them open a checking and savings account gives them that life experience…,” Fehrle says. “They’ve learned the personal finance, so that’s kind of the next step for them.”
As for its senior customers, Quail Creek Bank offers extra care with its Quail Classic personal checking accounts, which grants them access to a special seniors-only party each year. All of its clients gather and mingle at the annual Christmas party as they converge on Northpark Mall for finger foods and cocktails, as well as conversation with their favorite tellers, account officers and commercial lenders.
Fehrle has joined in on the Christmas parties since their inception, and she has been developing relationships with fellow staff and longtime clients for more than 25 years. She worked her way through various onsite jobs before settling into her current executive vice president role.
Fehrle first joined the ranks of Quail Creek Bank in 1988 while pursuing her accounting degree at Central State University, today’s University of Central Oklahoma. While starting her career as a teller, she soon moved to the accounting department and then later to an internal audit position. After landing her CPA certificate, Fehrle subsequently ascended to a supervisory role over the accounting, data processing and teller departments.
When Fehrle started focusing her attention on building her own family, however, Quail Creek Bank supported her family ambitions by granting her a part-time position. Over time, Fehrle made less of an appearance in the office as a Bank Secrecy Act analyst, yet her family became as much a part of the Quail Creek Bank family as the clients.
A few times a year, in fact, Quail Creek Bank hosts family movie nights for their employees, and families spread their lawn chairs out in the parking lot. Employees introduce their spouses and children to one another before sitting back and chowing down on pizza and hot dogs before the film starts to roll on the outdoor screen.
“We all know each other very well, because this is like our second family here,” Fehrle says.
Although Fehrle left the company in 2010 when her husband’s career moved the family to Maryland for a three-year military stint, as soon as his term ended, Fehrle came back to Quail Creek Bank, this time as the senior vice president of operations.
Once Fehrle returned to her work family in 2013, her mentor began the three-year transition process to hand the executive vice president reins over to her. By December 2016, she had landed her biggest role yet at Quail Creek Bank as one of only 10 directors at the bank.
As she climbed the ranks over the years, Fehrle watched many of her fellow employees, as well as lifelong clients, continue on with the bank, with almost half the staff sticking around for at least 10 years.
“I love the people that I work with,” Fehrle says. “And so it makes coming to work every day fun.”
how to find them
Quail Creek Bank
12201 N May Avenue, OKC