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Frank O’Brien, Owner of Christy Industrial Holdings, believes in the value of hiring great employees. “You can't grow a business without very good people. My goal was always to hire people better at their job than I am - and I've been fairly successful at that. Most of the people that work in here, whatever they're doing, they do better than I do.”
“I work for Christy Industrial Holdings, which is a privately-held St. Louis-based company focused on the industrial ceramic markets. The various businesses that we hold include mining concerns, manufacturing, and distribution. You'd be very hard-pressed to find an application or an area that you go throughout your daily life in that industrial ceramic products are not prevalent,” says Chief Executive Officer Brian Osborne.
Having a great team is only one crucial element to the long-term success of a business, though. Those teammates must also strive to provide outstanding service to their clientele and end-users of their products. Jim Spellmeyer, Chief Financial Officer, speaks to the importance of that service, stating, “The defining feature of Christy, to me, is adding value for customers and solving problems for customers.”
“We started in 1922. It's our 96th year. We've spent all these years trying to develop a team and my goal is that each year that comes about, our teammates are better today than they were last year. And, so, far and away finding and retaining talent is, for my case as the CEO, is the most important job that I have,” says Osborne.
O’Brien expounded on the importance of valuable people and the respect that goes in to all of Christy Industrial Holdings’ relationships. “We came up with our mission statement and that is that we're going to do our work as a pleasing offering to God. We're going to treat people the way we want to be treated, and that doing business with somebody that's going to treat you the way you wish to be treated is an attractive thing.”
“Here's who Christy is. Here's the mission and here’s the values. Here’s the code of conduct. If you can get on board with that, then we're interested. And with that, most people that will resonate with,” continued Osborne.
First Bank Relationship manager Sandy McCandless explained how Christy Industrial Holdings and First Bank’s relationship came to be. “I first called in to this company over 20 years ago. I learned a little bit about their business; business has changed a lot in those 20 years. I think one of the things that we value more than anything else is the people that are behind the company; their ethics, their morals, their values, and their honesty.”
Osborne says, “In working with Jim, Sandy's been able to get us the financing set up in the way that we need to be able to achieve those goals.”
Jim continued, stating, “It's great to be with a bank that supports the need for a company to invest in the future. We've never felt the need to cut important expenses that build for the future just to meet a quarterly number.”
McCandless and First Bank appreciate the complexities and hard work small-business owners invest in to their company. “And with our relationship with Christy - well, we've [First Bank] been around a hundred years and they've been around the same time – we’d like to see what the next hundred years looks like.”
You don’t grow to be one of the biggest family-owned banks by standing still. And you don’t do business for 100-plus years by forgetting where you came from, or who you’re here to serve. Because helping clients reach their goals is our goal, and planning better for tomorrow starts with achieving more today. For individuals, for businesses, and for the whole community.
This is what it means to be a part of First Bank.
Where being treated like family means something. Where the success of our clients means everything. And where relationships come first.