Local bank executive branching out

Moni Grushkin teaching financial classes, looking for new endeavors

Grushkin Enlarge photo


In the current economic times with unemployment at 8.2 percent, most people who have snagged a job are staying put, not willing to risk future unemployment.

Not Moni Grushkin, former senior vice president of First National Bank of Durango. She recently resigned from her position to explore other opportunities and challenge herself after spending her entire career in the financial sector.

Im very fortunate to have the means and opportunity that I dont have to decide (whats next) right away, Grushkin said. In the current economic situation, its easy to stay with whats comfortable. I still have those Holy cow! What did I just do? moments.

Grushkin has been putting money into an emergency fund for years in case she ever lost her job. Now that her daughter, Chelsey, has graduated from college and is working in Denver, the timing seems right to make a change.

Shes been involved in just about every facet of the community throughout her seven years with First National Bank, particularly with local organizations.

She was in charge of strategic philanthropy for the bank, which included sponsoring events and donating money. She also sits on multiple boards of directors and was president of Durango High Noon Rotary in 2011.

Shes touched virtually every area of the bank very positively in the time shes been here. Thats a tribute to her ability to contribute in almost anything shes been asked to do, First National President Mark Daigle said. Are we going to replace Moni? I dont know how we would.

It hasnt always been easy for Grushkin. She was a single mother struggling to make ends meet while raising a daughter and trying to advance her career.

Now shes paying it forward through her philanthropy work and teaching financial classes, and she hopes to help others in whatever job she takes on next.

I want to feel like what Im doing is helping somebody. I get energy from others, she said. If you support organizations in the community, at some point it will come back to you.

She currently is considering executive director positions at two local nonprofits: the Durango Area Tourism Office and the Durango Adult Education Center.

Paulette Church, executive director of the education center, is retiring next spring, and the center has started a national search to fill the position.

Grushkin said she also is open to for-profit positions.

Im leaving myself open to all opportunities, she said. Im not going to close any doors.