When Casey Holcomb arrived in northern Idaho in October 2011, winter was a heartbeat away, and it was dark and cold. The rest of life didn’t look to be so cheery, either.
Holcomb stepped off the plane from California recently divorced, her financial life in tatters, with a tiny three-month-old baby girl in her arms. She’d come to Idaho to be near her parents and, in almost every sense, start over.
“I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled,” Holcomb says. “I worried that my perception of Idaho’s slower-paced living wouldn’t be a fit for me.”
Five years later, however, Holcomb’s tune has changed.
“Idaho has been good to me,” she says. “I’ve learned more about myself and my leadership abilities here in five years than I did in the 10 years prior.”
Holcomb, a native Californian, had worked with Wells Fargo previously, and began working as a service manager in Lewiston upon moving to Troy, which was roughly a 50-minute commute in good weather. She was soon up for a promotion to branch manager, but unlike other times when offered advancement opportunities, she paused at this one. The long hours and the significant commute meant she wasn’t getting much time with her daughter – on some days, she didn’t see her at all when she was awake.
Instead of taking the promotion, Holcomb found an opportunity closer to home and took it. It was technically a step down, but it was worth it, she says.
“This was the first time in my life that I chose family over career, and that learning to balance ‘mommy guilt’ with career aspirations is a challenge many women face,” Holcomb says. “It was the right choice to make.”
Within five months at the new office in Moscow, Holcomb became branch manager, and today, she wears the title of North Central district manager. Though she’s grateful for the “wealth of experience in retail banking” that she gained working in bigger markets, she says Idaho’s smaller towns have given her a whole new outlook.
“Living and working in a small community lit a fire within me to make it better for my customers, neighbors, friends, my daughter and those less fortunate,” she says.
And her community certainly benefits from that passion. Having once lost her own home, Holcomb finds deep satisfaction in her work helping Moscow’s homeless with the Sojourners’ Alliance, the Moscow Affordable Housing Commission and the Community Action Partnership Board. She’s also proactive in making sure her co-workers have a chance to help: in 2016, her team members logged nearly 900 volunteer hours in the community.
“I feel a great responsibility to represent not just my company, but who I am,” Holcomb says. “In my position, I can’t say ‘you have to volunteer’; I have to lead by example.”
Outside of work, Holcomb enjoys playing slow-pitch softball – “that’s what retired softball players do” – and coaching her daughter’s soccer and t-ball teams. She’s also recently remarried and has added two stepchildren into her life.
In a nutshell, Holcomb says she’s just trying to do her best with each new day.
“We have one shot at life, and I want to look back and know I made a difference,” she says simply.