Our Community - Noel Blanco - "San Pedro's 'Friendly Bank' Manager"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 20            May 18, 2000

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Mr. Noel Blanco

San Pedro has reached the point where fast and reliable technology is required to move forward with the daily operations of businesses. One of the most crucial aspects of ensuring a successful business is the proper handling of its finances. Used worldwide to manage this is the banking system, to which we entrust our finances. San Pedro has wonderful banks who offer convenient and reliable service. This week we are pleased to introduce the San Pedro Branch Manager of the Atlantic Bank - Mr. Noel Blanco.

    Noel was born on February 15th, 1966 in Douglas, Rio Hondo in the Orange Walk District to parents Teodoro and Anastacia Blanco. He grew up with six brothers and three sisters in this beautiful village surrounded by scenic sugar cane fields. He attended Douglas Roman Catholic School, finishing at the age of twelve, but because of laws requiring that children attend school until the age of fourteen, he spent two more years in the same class. Noel received no encouragement to take his studies to a secondary level, so he went to work in the sugar cane fields like the rest of his brothers. It was during the next four months of hard labor that he realized this was not what he wanted for his future and sought ways to continue his education.

    This turning point came at a time when applications for enrollment into high school were past due, but Noel convinced his mother to speak to the principal. Lady Luck was on Noel's side and after several interviews, he was accepted on a trial basis to Muffles College in Orange Walk. He proved to have what it took to succeed, graduating as an Academic student in 1984. He then moved to Belize City and enrolled at Belize College of Arts, Science and Technology (BELCAST) where he continued to excel in his studies. He had switched to business studies at sixth form level even though he had been cautioned it would be difficult for him, having majored in Academic studies. Unfortunately, after only attending one year, BELCAST was forced to close its doors. Fortunately for Noel, the dean at BELCAST made arrangements with the Executive Board of St. John's College to accept his credits so he could complete his studies. Mr. Blanco noticed that jobs in the business sector were readily available in Belize, hence he continued studying business courses. Noel proved that strong will power and determination can be the key to success, graduating with an Associates Degree in Business Administration in 1987.

   Noel returned to Orange Walk immediately after graduation in search of a job, with a preference for banking-a field he had developed a special interest in. Once more luck embraced him and he was hired as a counter clerk at Barclays Bank, being promoted to teller three months later. In February of 1989, Barclays Banks sold its branches in Orange Walk, Corozal and San Ignacio to the Belize Bank Ltd. and Noel was given two options: either to work with the successor or move to Belize City and continue working with Barclays. He opted for the second choice and went to work in the main office as a Data Capture Clerk (Computer Operator). He continued to climb the ladder of success earning additional promotions to the Cash Department in 1990; the Risk Management Department (Credit Department) in 1991; and transferring to the Belmopan Branch as a Barclayloan officer in June of 1994. Noel returned to the Belize City main office in 1995 and shortly afterwards was promoted to Supervisor in the Risk Management Department, until 1997.

    Looking for a better opportunity, Noel had to make a crucial decision. Atlantic Bank offered him the Manager position of the Albert Street Branch in Belize City, a position he accepted and held for two years. In February 2000, he was transferred to San Pedro Town. When asked if San Pedro was a different working environment for him, Mr. Blanco commented, "Working in Orange Walk, Belize City and San Pedro have been totally different because of the different industries in each area. Orange Walk had different commercial activities dominated by the sugar cane industry; Belize City was imports and distribution of goods and San Pedro is tourism." He continued by saying, "It is a challenge every time I move. However, loving what you do helps you immensely when adapting to different communities."

    Mr. Blanco says that dealing with his customers is very pleasing and enriching at the same time. It is a mutual exchange, where he can help and learn from them. In speaking of his relocation to San Pedro, Mr. Blanco said, "Moving to San Pedro was certainly a great challenge. For me it was something totally new. The people of San Pedro have been very friendly to me. I find that they are very enterprising, with a strong desire to succeed. I feel I can assist them through the bank and I am pleased to say that I have been received warmly by the residents of this beautiful island.

    Mr. Noel Blanco's short period in San Pedro has gained him many friends and the respect of this community. He leads with a vision and a philosophy based on good will to all. He believes in hard work and dedication, and in working intelligently with a view of achieving optimum results. He gives recognition when it is deserved, believes in team work and most importantly, serving the people with quality, efficient and friendly service. Mr. Noel Blanco has made a lasting impression in the world of finance and is a "leader in innovative banking" in "Our Community."

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