Longtime Humboldt banker cashing out next week

Janeice Frisbee will retire this month at BancorpSouth.

Miracle survivor of bank robbery was shot twice, played dead

One of Humboldt’s favorite bankers has decided it’s time to cash out. Janeice Frisbee says she’s ready to retire.

Frisbee’s last day on the job will be August 31. She invites all her friends and customers to attend a reception at BancorpSouth that day from 2 to 4 p.m.

For the past 32 years Frisbee has worked in the banking industry. She first got her taste of banking in 1985 at Peoples Bank in Covington where she and her husband, David, and son, Zack, lived prior to moving to Humboldt.

In 1995, Frisbee was transferred to the Humboldt branch. At the time, David had been offered a job by Stan Little at Humboldt Utilities.

“Covington was the main office at the time, first known as Peoples Bank,” Frisbee recalled. “Then it changed to Tennessee Community Bank. We merged with BancorpSouth in 1995 and changed the name again in 1996 to Volunteer Bank. The name changed again in 1997 to BancorpSouth.”

Through all the years, Frisbee has worked for the same bank, just different names and holding companies. In 32 years, she has only had three offices, two were in Covington, and the past 22 years has occupied the exact same office in the Humboldt branch.

Frisbee said the biggest change she’s seen in the banking industry was going to computers, ATMs and debit cards.

“In Covington, I had the first personal computer. I used it to balance accounts and write dividend checks,” Frisbee said. “Now, tellers don’t make tickets. Everything is electronic.”

Another change, for the good Frisbee said, was not allowing smoking in the bank.

One thing Frisbee said hasn’t changed is customer service. Customers still like that personal touch.

“Our employees haven’t changed. We all have the same attitude toward our customers,” Frisbee added. “The fact is, we treat everyone the same way. It doesn’t matter if they have $10 or a large amount—we treat them all the same. And we don’t judge by appearance. We’re fair to all.”

“I want to make my life stress free. I’ll clean out my closet, take trips and travel, just de-clutter myself,” Frisbee said of retiring being bittersweet. “But I’ll miss the employees and customers. Our employees are like family and a lot of my customers are like family too. I’m the personal banker for a lot of our customers.”

In 32 years of banking, one of the most rewarding parts of her job is helping a teenager or young adult open their first checking account. Then later helping them with their first loan and later their first mortgage, and continue assisting them with their retirement. “I’ve watched them grow up!” she said with pride.

There have been many wonderful stories Frisbee could tell of her banking career, but one event in her past is the lowest of the low. Everyone in Humboldt and the surrounding area remembers the worst day of her life.

Tragically, on March 18, 2015, as Frisbee was leaving for work, an armed gunman, Dominique Williams, was stalking her. As she was getting in her car, Williams forced her to take him to the bank. Once inside, he demanded money but Frisbee said the money was in the vault and it could not be opened at that time before the bank opened. Williams panicked and shot Frisbee. One shot in the shoulder, traveled through her chest and exited about an inch from her heart. Another shot to the chest was miraculously stopped by a Tree of Life pendent. Frisbee pretended to be dead when Williams broke through a side window to escape.

Police Chief Rob Ellis captured Williams within minutes.

Although Frisbee has fully recovered, she still bears the scars from the bullet and emotional scars of the tragedy.

Her tragedy brought Humboldt closer together and spawned a new community catch phrase: Humboldt Strong.

Now, Frisbee uses her story to help others. She has spoken to groups, teaching security sessions for banks. At one session in Millington, Tenn., after her speech she fielded questions from the crowd for over 45 minutes.

“Some of those people (at the seminar) had been robbed,” Frisbee said. “If you work in a bank long enough, banks are robbed.”

Frisbee is also scheduled to speak at the TBI agent training at the upcoming TIBRS Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Now as retirement nears, Frisbee says she will still be involved. She will continue to be a Rotarian and plans to be civically active as always.

Frisbee’s retirement will leave a void in the community and at the bank. Celia Callahan will transfer from the Bancorp’s Greystone branch to Humboldt and assume part of Frisbee’s duties and accounts. If you ask most Humboldtans, they would say Callahan has some mighty big shoes to fill.

Humboldt may be losing a favorite banker but Frisbee will still be a Humboldtan, active in the community, just having some well deserved, free time on her hands now.

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