Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

She Prefers Rapid Transit: The Earth's Surface Is Two-Thirds Water. It Suits This Banker Just Fine

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

She Prefers Rapid Transit: The Earth's Surface Is Two-Thirds Water. It Suits This Banker Just Fine

Article excerpt

When Jennifer Griffith witnessed a bank robbery at her bank, she said that the effect was similar to an automobile accident--time seemed to slow; almost to stand still. But when she first ran a Class IV rapid (the second hardest) in a whitewater canoe on her own, she said the effect was just the opposite. Rather than time slowing down, it seemed three times faster.

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"Everything happens so fast and furiously," says the Ohio banker. "You're really relying on muscle memory--turn, roll, find an eddy. It's wet, cold, scary, and exhilarating, and you're proud when you make it."

Griffith has been whitewater canoeing for a decade. Her husband, Andy, taught her when they were dating. That was about the time Griffith, then 26, joined Columbus-based Commerce National Bank. Twelve years later she was named president of the business-focused community bank, a division of Indiana's First Merchants Corp. As her responsibilities grew at the bank and at home--she has two children, now 6 and 11--she hasn't been able to get out on a river as often as she used to. But trips to Ohiopyle State Park and the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania are something she still looks forward to. There are other good rivers closer to Columbus, but the "Yough" is a favorite. It has sections for all abilities, including some Class V rapids on upper sections, which Andy can handle. …

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