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NOTEBOOK: Chance interview leads to 43-year career


Patty Ashbaugh is retiring after 43 years at Bankers Trust, making her the company’s longest-serving employee.

How’s that for workforce retention?
She’s wrapping it up May 15 after a dozen positions that led to her final job as an institutional custody administrator for the bank’s wealth management division.

When Ashbaugh was 18, she noticed on a walk in downtown Des Moines that the firm was hiring. She liked the word “trust,” wandered in, sat for an interview, and left as Bankers Trust’s most recently hired safe deposit clerk. 

Heck, she was there when the company opened its headquarters in the new Ruan Center. As a tour guide, Ashbaugh wore rust-colored clothes, because the building was designed to look rusty. (And it does.) It was the tallest building in the state at the time.

Among the other eventful moments: She met her future husband (now of 37 years) through a former colleague. 

Ashbaugh was featured in Bankers Trust’s centennial publication, and maybe she would sign one if you can find her. Thing is, she’ll be traveling, spending time with family and looking for good hobbies. So good luck.

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