20 under 40: Nicole Stone, Yampa Valley Bank | SteamboatToday.com

20 under 40: Nicole Stone, Yampa Valley Bank

Nicole Stone

Ever since she was a little girl, banking fascinated Nicole Stone.

"I'd love to bring my deposits into the bank," says Stone, 34, an assistant vice president/commercial loan officer at the Yampa Valley Bank. "I've always been good at math and got my degree in business finance, which led me to where I am today."

Born and raised in Steamboat Springs, Stone started babysitting at a young age then worked in the restaurant industry. After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado, she became a bank teller, leading to her current position.

"I get to do what I love: help people," says Stone, who moved back to the Yampa Valley with her husband after graduating college.

Her life outside of work is also centered on helping others. She chairs CASA's Dancing with the Stars fundraising committee and is a volunteer and advocate for abused and neglected children. She also serves as secretary on the board of directors for Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA and donates time to Junior Achievement in local classrooms.

"Nicole gives an incredible amount of time and energy back to this community," says Sue Fegelein, executive director of LiftUp of Routt County. "She has a full-time job, is a wife and the mother of a toddler and commutes from Hayden almost daily. Yet, she still finds the time to give back. She gives so much of herself and does so with promptness and an amazing personality. This community is lucky to have her."

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Stone says one key to her success on the business front is customer service.

"This is a referral-based business, and if you treat customers well, they remember and tell others about it," she says. "I like my customers to know what to expect when they work with me, and it doesn't take long in a small town for word to get around."

Looking back, Stone says she always had the "big plan" in mind – college, career, followed by marriage with a house and kids – but if you asked her out of high school if she would have lived here, owned a home and worked for a local bank, she would've answered, "Not likely."

"This community is very special and you don't understand that growing up here until you leave and realize what else is out there," says Stone. "The Yampa Valley Curse is alive and well for this hometown girl."

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