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Baith retires from Great North Bank after more than 40 years

CELESTE BAITH is shown in 2017 when marking 40 years at Great North Bank, formerly The State Bank of Florence. Baith retired last week after more than 42 years at the bank.

FLORENCE, Wis. — Celeste Baith, who worked on the bookkeeping/data processing staff at Great North Bank, retired Tuesday after 42 1/2 years.

“Bank management, employees and our customers will all miss Celeste and all she offers to our operation,” said Tom Wittkopf, president and CEO of the bank. “We are grateful for her work ethic, her loyalty, the special relationships she has developed with customers and for her willingness to take on just about any task asked of her throughout the years.”

Baith began working as a teller at The State Bank of Florence — now Great North Bank — on Sept. 26, 1977, after graduating from Florence High School and a couple years of employment in Green Bay and Iron Mountain.

She witnessed major changes and challenges in the financial services industry in her four decades at the bank. Baith has seen a great transition from paper transactions and delivery of services, to electronic and digital processing and delivery of items. She has been part of three major computer conversions of the bank’s core processing systems, which placed a great reliance on the data processing department and Baith’s ability to learn and accept new ways to get things done.

Over-the-counter banking evolved to more convenient online banking and bill pay and other services that offer customers 24/7 access to their accounts.

Baith was an important part of the operation that provided a connection between the customers, the employees and the banking system.

Baith loves her gardens but said she cut them back by about half the last few years. They will keep her busy in retirement. She also loves to travel and hopes to do more in her retirement years.

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