SIDNEY — David R. Fogt, of Sidney, will be celebrated during an open house, Friday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Peoples Federal Savings and Loan, 101 E. Court St.
That’s the day he will retire as the bank’s vice president of operations, ending a career that has spanned more than 43 years, the last 34 of which have been at Peoples Federal.
It was a career he was born to have.
“I grew up in a banking family,” he said, Monday. His father was in banking in Sidney for 47 years and retired from what is now Chase Bank. An uncle sits on a bank board of directors. A brother is the president of a bank in Indiana and Fogt’s wife, Katherine, is the mortgage loan and IRA coordinator at Peoples Federal.
After Fogt graduated from Sidney High School, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Eastern Kentucky University. That’s where he met Katherine. They married and moved first to New Carlisle, where Fogt started as a drive-in teller at the Security National Bank.
“I was there less than a year,” he said. He spent the next 10 years at the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Anna.
“I did everything. I made loans and worked with investments,” he said. Doug Stewart, now the president and CEO of Peoples Federal, offered Fogt a job when the savings and loan business was beginning to offer new products.
“A typical savings and loan didn’t have checking accounts, didn’t have a consumer loan department,” Fogt said.
“I hired him in 1982 to open up consumer lending,” Stewart said. “He’s a good employee. We’ve worked hand-in-hand on a lot of projects. He’s a workaholic, I can tell you that.”
Eventually, Fogt added mortgage loans to his responsibilities. He has been the vice president of operations for 15 years, handling day-to-day issues and also overseeing information technology (IT) and Bank Secrecy Act regulation compliance.
“A lot of regulations were in place before Sept. 11, but after Sept. 11, they put more emphasis on them. After Sept. 11, it took on a whole new meaning,” Fogt said. Changes in regulations, complying with them and reporting on the compliance have been the biggest difference in banking from when he started his career.
“The amount of change in the last five to 10 years is more than in my first 20 years,” he said. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has increased regulations since the bank crisis of 2008. Fogt thinks some of that was probably needed, but much of the crisis was not caused by banks, especially community banks like Peoples Federal.
“Small banks like this got caught up in the problem,” he siad. “IT has changed a lot, too. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in what we do — from in-house systems to portals on the web. In the last 10 years, I’ve spent a lot of time with computers.” The institution converted its core precessor in 2005 and has updated various software programs and systems several times.
Fogt is self-taught in how to handle IT problems.
“The Internet is an amazing place. There’s a lot of valuable information there,” he said. It’s cyber security that he’d advise young finance majors to study.
“You need to specialize in specific areas (to have a career in big banks). In a small, community bank, you need broader interest,” he said.
As the banking business continues to evolve even as he leaves it, Fogt says it’s the people he’ll miss most.
“The job has gotten hectic,” he said. “I enjoy talking to people and relating to people. I’ve met a lot of good people over the years. That’s what I’ll miss.”
It was the “hectic-ness” of the job that caused Fogt to leave the political arena in the late 1990s. He had been elected to Anna Village Council and served as Anna’s clerk/treasurer when he lived there. As a Sidney resident, he sat on the Sidney City Schools Board of Education from 1988 to 1994 and served as its president for four years. He followed that with an election to the Sidney City Council, where he served from 1994 to 1999.
But then, the bank opened branches in Jackson Center and Anna and at the Sidney Walmart, and Peoples Federal became the sole focus of Fogt’s attention.
Now, he sits on a committee of St. James Lutheran Church in Anna, but his political days are over. Retirement hours will be filled with completing home-repair projects, traveling, spending time with his grandchildren and, maybe, a nonbanking part-time job.
“I would like to go to Australia and New Zealand,” he said. “We would like to do the South Pacific area and a river cruise in Europe.” He and Katherine returned recently from a church-sponosred trip to Brazil, have visited Europe several times, walked on the Great Wall of China and cruised through the Panama Canal.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.