Workforce Spotlight: Robyn Lewis

Nevada High School graduate Robyn (Leighty) Lewis (Class of 2010) was going to be an eye doctor, until she encountered organic chemistry at Iowa State University and realized, “I despised it.” Today, you’ll find Robyn at First Interstate Bank in Nevada (formerly Great Western Bank), where she’s a financial services representative and often helps out as a teller.

She’d worked as a CNA at Story Medical Senior Care while attending Iowa State, and was clearly on the healthcare/medical career path. When chemistry wasn’t her thing, she tried biology for a while.

During her three years at Iowa State, she’d gotten married to Tyler, a 2008 graduate of Ames High School, and soon she was expecting a child.
“I decided (when expecting), to take a break from college for a while,” she said. That led to the eventual decision to leave the medical science field for good.

Career-wise, she turned to banking.

“I was hired by Laurie Rohlfing (when it was Great Western Bank),” she said, and working in banking agreed with her.

“I went from part-time teller to full-time teller and then to personal banking representative,” she said. Earlier this year, in May, when Great Western was purchased by First Interstate Bank, her job title changed to financial services representative.

Day to day, Robyn said, she still does a lot of teller duties, but she also works at opening new customer accounts, ordering debit cards, working on wires and loans, and other various banking tasks. “The thing I like most about my job now is that being from this community, I like that I’ve had a personal connection with many of our clients outside of the bank. Those connections help me to know more of their personal story, which can help me provide them with what they need in their banking.”

Her favorite part of the job, she said, is opening new accounts. “I like to build relationships with people and work with people who are new to our community. It’s nice to have people come in and be able to help them.”

Robyn is one member of a five-person team at First Interstate Bank in Nevada. “We’re a family. We do things outside of work together, and we do little things during the week, like bring coffee for each other. I enjoy coming to my job every morning.”

As a staff, Robyn is proud that her co-workers have adopted a section of Lincoln Highway to keep clean. Several team members also help at Harmony Clothing Closet on many Mondays. This December, the full five-person team plans to volunteer for Christmas On Main, on Saturday, Dec. 10, in Nevada’s Main Street District.

Even though Robyn, her husband and their son, Graycen, 8, live in Boone now, she hopes to relocate her family to Nevada in the near future. Her son actually attends school in Nevada, where he’s a second grader at Central Elementary.

“My husband works for Northwest Systems out of Boone,” she said, about why their first home is in that community. Nevada was a great place to attend school, she noted, and she has always loved the small-town environment of Nevada. “I love this town. It’s a place you stay forever, or you leave and eventually return,” she said.

She’s very excited about the future of Nevada. “I like that the community is working more at getting the whole community involved in activities. I like the Main Street Christmas event, love the Downtown Trick-or-Treat… It’s really nice to see everyone get out and do things together at so many events.”

As for her career, Robyn believes banking is where she belongs. “Ultimately, I want to keep growing and take more business and finance classes. I would love to someday be a branch manager. So any steps I can take toward that, I will.”

• Robyn’s favorite hobbies are taking photos and painting.
• Robyn’s favorite places to stop in Nevada are FarmGrounds (“I’m a coffee drinker”) and Cozy Home & Table.
• In high school, Robyn’s favorite activity was cheerleading for football and wrestling. “I’m a very outgoing, spunky person, so I loved cheering on the sports. Wrestling was my favorite. I came from a wrestling family, and my brother, Kaine Leighty, wrestled.” Kaine, a 2011 graduate of Nevada High School, is now in Iowa City, working security at the hospital and taking fire science classes. He was in the Air Force for a while and is now married.
• In high school, Robyn was also involved in drill/dance team, FFA, and Key Club.

–Written by Marlys Barker, City of Nevada