Nick Oller succeeds mentor, Darrell Higginbotham, as he retires as Daviess County President.
People say if you love your job, you won’t work a day in your life. The joy that Darrell Higginbotham got from his 44-year career in banking was evident in everything he did. As he’s retired, his presence and impact will forever be felt at Independence Bank.
“When I think of Darrell, wonderful things come to mind. What a great leader he is, a great father and a role model for everyone here at Independence Bank. He is one of the best business partners I have ever had and I cherish our friendship,” said Chris Reid, Chairman and CEO. “Words can’t express how much he’s meant to the Bank, how much he means to me and to my family. He has made quite the impact during his time here, and his absence will be felt just as strongly.”
Darrell was first appointed Daviess County President at Independence Bank in 2004 after moving to Owensboro from Somerset, Kentucky. Under his leadership the Bank grew from $186 million to $889 million in deposits. And while his career leaves a trail of impressive numbers, it’s his personal impact that will be his legacy at the Bank, and in the Owensboro community.
Darrell has been a community advocate over the years, making an impact in sectors from education to economic development. He served as the Chairman of several prominent boards, and was a longstanding member of the Brescia University Board of Trustees and the Owensboro Health Foundation Board.
For his work, he was honored with the Kentucky Department of Education Award and the Joseph W. Kelly Award in 2014. He was named GRADD’s Charles Reid Regional Citizenship Award in 2017 and awarded the Mayor’s Distinction upon his retirement this past year.
Some of the projects he’s most passionate about include helping to organize the Feed Seniors Now program and the Bank’s opportunity to be a part of the Owensboro Public School District’s literacy initiative. He volunteered each year, sometimes reading to as many as two students and continues to follow those students in their education journey.
“The impression Darrell made before he even came to Independence Bank was evident by the overwhelming reception we saw as he stepped into the Daviess County President role. The impact he made here was immediate,” said Jacob Reid, Independence Bank President. “But that impact went far beyond the numbers. While he grew Independence Bank to four times what it initially was in Owensboro, what truly made a difference was his leadership. Darrell inspires others to be the best version of themselves. We look forward to his continued guidance as he serves on our Daviess County Community Board of Directors.”
One individual in particular that Darrell has served as a mentor to is Nick Oller, Senior Retail Lender and Corporate Underwriter who will be stepping into the role of Daviess County President.
Nick worked closely with Darrell over his career and credits much of his success to Darrell’s leadership and guidance. As he prepares to step into his new role, he reflects on how Darrell’s commitment to the community, and to the Bank helped shape his own journey.
“Darrell was a tremendous mentor to me over the years. His guidance and actions are what inspired me to achieve my goals and to pursue an opportunity like the one that I have been given,” Nick said. “My heart has always been one that enjoys helping others to accomplish their goals and to hold the position of Daviess County President is an honor that allows me to be part of a team that is truly revolutionary. This past year may have been full of obstacles, but our team sought out the opportunities and that exemplifies why we always say, we have the very best people. I truly believe the best is yet to come!”
Nick’s story with Independence Bank began in 2003 when he joined the revolution as a part-time teller while in college with aspirations of growing in the Bank. His eagerness to learn and infallible dedication to moving the Bank forward saw his promotion to various positions and departments over the years.
But no matter what role he served in, he earned the respect and admiration of his peers, often serving as a mentor to individuals working under leadership.
“From day one, Nick has always gone above and beyond no matter what role he served in. He has tackled every project and responsibility during his time here with heart and never-ending enthusiasm. He is the definition of leading by example, and I know that our entire team is excited to see him step into this new role,” said Jacob Reid. “He has big shoes to fill, but I know without a doubt that he will meet and exceed those expectations, and leave his own legacy here at Independence Bank.”
Nick is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Graduate School of Banking, Colorado. He has been actively involved in the Daviess County Public School System over the years, serving in various volunteer leadership capacities for their Foundation and other committees. He served on the Junior Achievement Board of Directors, as well as the Southern Little League Board and was a member of Emerge Owensboro.
Nick is looking forward to the opportunities he will have to get involved and give back to the community that has given him and his family so much over the years. Nick and his wife, Kelly are lifetime residents of Daviess County and have two children; Grant, 18 and Kaden, 14.
Independence Bank is a regional community bank with 25 locations in Calloway, Daviess, Franklin, Graves, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, McCracken, McLean, Warren and Webster counties with assets totaling $2.9 billion.