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By ROBERTA CODEMO
    When Donna Luechtefeld-Tebbe was growing up, she recalls a grownup asking her if she was going to be a secretary. “I said: ‘No, I think I’ll have a secretary’.” She always pictured herself running a business.
p16 Luechtefeld TebbeLuechtefeld Tebbe    She grew up in Okawville and credits her mother for the person she is today. “My mom showed me I could do anything,” she said.
    After high school, she worked as a teller at the First National Bank of Okawville and during the summer while in college. “I liked the atmosphere,” she said. “I was good with numbers. I liked helping people.”
    She graduated from Saint Louis University in 1994 with a degree in finance.
    “I thought about becoming a financial planner or doing research for companies,” she said, but found herself gravitating towards the banking industry.
    “It felt like the right fit,” she said. “I never left.”
    She joined Central Bank in Fairview Heights as a credit analyst after college and was promoted through the ranks, becoming a business banker. After eight years and three buyouts, she was looking for a change when a former colleague reached out and asked her if she’d be interested in coming to work at First Bank in O’Fallon. She started there as a commercial relationship manager in 2002 and stayed for 15 years.
    Last September 2017, another former colleague asked if she wanted to come to Town and Country Bank.
    “It was the right opportunity,” she said, and joined the staff as a commercial relationship manager and is now vice president, commercial banking officer in Fairview Heights.
    Luechtefeld-Tebbe enjoys the family-oriented atmosphere.
    “The people are wonderful,” she said. “I just feel so lucky.”
    Every day is different and she enjoys learning about each business in the community. She credits her success to colleagues who have mentored her along the way and guided her in her career.
    Throughout her career, she has tried to live by the motto: “Autograph Your Work With Excellent.” Her first employer gave her a desk tchotchke with that saying on it and she’s had it on her desk for the past 25 years.
    “It’s a good thing to try to live by,” she said.
    Luechtefeld-Tebbe, who lives with and her husband and their two daughters in Okawville, is proud to work where she does.
    “Banks are a vital part of the community,” she said. “The success of the bank depends on the success of the community.” The bank is involved in several local chambers of commerce and employees are encouraged to volunteer with not-for-profit organizations and are given paid time off through the bank’s community connect program.
    The bank believes in helping the community one person at a time. “It’s rewarding to be part of that success,” she said.