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Happy New Year 2019

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Well hello, again. It’s good to be back online, connected to the blogosphere. It’s been six weeks since I released my last blog post. I religiously publish a new post every Monday morning (by 10am Sydney time) but take an annual break from my blogging duties over the Christmas/New Year period.

I trust that you had a wonderful time with family and friends during the summer holiday season. The weather in Sydney was amazing and I hope that you enjoyed the warm outdoors. Of course, my northern hemisphere readers would have been indoors and rugged up.

The month of January is named after the two-headed Roman God, Janus. His two heads face in opposite directions – one looking to the past (the year gone) and the other to the future (the year ahead). While I can’t predict the future, I know one thing for certain - this will be my last year at Gateway.

On 31 March, I will stand down as Gateway’s CEO and hand the reins to Lexi Airey. Lexi has been Gateway’s Chief Customer Officer for the past four years and is a most worthy successor. I’ll have more to say about Lexi’s qualifications and experience for the top job and my well-planned retirement from Gateway in my final blog post on Monday, 18 March.

For now, the good news is that you won’t have to put up with me clogging your inbox each Monday morning for too much longer. In fact, I will be publishing only seven more posts before I sign off for good. I could go crazy and make my remaining posts outrageous in the hope that they go viral. But now is not the time to shake things up, so I think it best that I maintain my conservative standards.

As I begin to clear the decks in preparation for my departure, my focus is on facilitating a smooth transfer of leadership. I will do everything in my power to ensure that Lexi gets off to a flying start and that the CEO transition process is seamless to Members. Lexi and I are working as one to ensure that the organisation does not miss a beat. The operating rhythm here is finely tuned to meet the needs of members and that will not change.

As I reflect on my time at Gateway, much has changed over the past 14 years. People have come and gone, rates have moved up and down and technology has bobbed and weaved its way into our operations. Despite this, we have been able to respect the past while embracing the future and have captured this paradox in the operating statement - constantly changing while forever staying the same.

Over the past decade, we have radically altered what we do and how we do it, but our underlying focus on member service remains untouched. We have remained true to the dreams of our founding fathers while simultaneously stimulating progress in everything that is not part of our core ideology. We have proved that we understand the difference between what should never change and what should be open to change, between what is truly sacred and what is not.

I will say a formal goodbye in my valedictory post on 18 March. Until then, it will be a case of head down and tail up as I complete my handover to Lexi. She will rapidly fill my shoes and quickly put her own mark on Gateway as she takes stock of what needs to be done in her first 100 days. That will be exciting for both Members and staff who will benefit greatly from Lexi’s collaborative leadership style.

Finally, it is with some sadness that I acknowledge that this is the very last time that I will be able to wish you a happy New Year in my capacity as CEO of Gateway Bank. I hope that 2019 is a great year for you and one to remember. For me, it will be a year of altered priorities as I intend to undertake a part-time encore career. So, the corporate world will see much less of me and my grandchildren will see much more of me. Now that will be a nice change!

Paul J. Thomas, CEO


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CEO Paul Thomas