Banking on Opportunity
When April Book was a young girl, she used to love going to the bank with her parents.
“Little did I know at the time how much more involved the industry was,” she said.
She has been in retail banking management for eight years, and today, Book is the market manager at the Citadel branch on Rohrerstown Road, Lancaster. She has definitely come a long way from that little girl who was fascinated with visiting the bank.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Book was adopted and grew up in Buffalo, New York. She completed her undergraduate work at Messiah College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and received her MBA from the University of Texas.
Book and her husband now live in Lititz but greatly enjoy exploring the world through travel.
“One of my favorite words is Fernweh, which is German,” Book said. “It means ‘to miss a place you’ve never been.’ Travel is a learning opportunity and can expose you to so many different things … I love exploring and going on adventures.”
Prior to her work with Citadel, Book had worked with Fulton Bank. She joined Fulton Financial Corporation’s management trainee program upon graduating from Messiah and worked there in a branch-management capacity.
Citadel reached out to her to see if she would be interested in helping them open a new branch.
“This was a new opportunity for me as I had managed other teams before, but I was being given the chance to open a branch and select my team,” Book said.
It was an opportunity she definitely wanted to pursue.
In her current position as market manager with Citadel, Book is directly responsible for the overall success of the branch.
“This not only includes objective goals, but also the success of my team and our members,” she said. “These goals are reached through dedication and effort, on both my part and the team’s.”
One of her biggest responsibilities includes developing and maintaining member relationships. She does this by attending networking events, holding individual meetings with key players in her industry, and being actively involved in her community.
She is also responsible for the growth and development of the internal branch staff, a team of which she is very proud.
“I rely on my team to support the internal operations of the office, as one of my primary responsibilities is to grow and invest in a market to increase brand awareness and profitability,” she said. “I love my team — big shout-out to them. We truly are our own kind of awesome.”
As a woman in the banking industry, Book believes that much success can come when people are willing to share their unique perspectives.
“We all have different backgrounds and come from different walks of life,” she said. “My life experiences, which include being a female, help me bring a unique perspective to not only my work and volunteer life, but also my everyday life. I try to have an open mind [and] try to be understanding of all people and all situations because we don’t always know what the other person has been through.”
Book has made it a personal career goal to be able to lead and develop others who have been given leadership opportunities and to be able to support and nurture them.
In 2016, Book took another step toward that goal by joining the Lancaster Young Professionals’ board of directors as the director of professional development, and she became president-elect in June 2017.
“I have a strong passion to lead and develop other individuals, which is one of the reasons why I ran for the president role,” she said. “I could have direct impact on a growing organization.”
Now, serving as president, she is able to see that her leadership skills, education, and work experience have been truly beneficial, and she said that in more recent years, there has definitely been growth in the organization. Of course, any time there is growth, there are also bound to be growing pains, but as president, Book believes she is able to have direct influence on the development of the organization.
“I truly believe LYP has a significant impact in the community,” she said. “We offer a lot of different events/programs to our members for a nominal membership cost.”
These include professional development opportunities, networking events, a college outreach program, and community service opportunities for other young professionals in the area.
“I give a lot of credit to the individuals on the board,” Book said. “We all put in a lot of time to ensure that the organization runs [well], and we are all volunteers. I think this is a great reflection of each individual’s character and support for the community we live in.”
In addition to participating in LYP-sponsored service opportunities, Book also helps the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partners plan their annual “All Things Home” fair.
If there was any advice that Book might share with other young professionals, it would be to not take yourself too seriously and to never stop learning.
“I’ve learned … to be kind, humble, and to laugh — a lot,” she said. “Honestly, I’m still learning. I’ll never have all the answers, but I have the determination to work through the challenges.”