Vicky Wheeler has retired after a 47-year career in the banking industry with Bank of Botetourt.

Wheeler started on October 1, 1970 and was one of only eight employees in the bank’s sole office in the Town of Buchanan. The bank now has over 110 employees and 12 offices throughout the region.

Since the bank’s founding in 1899, there have only been six bank presidents. During Wheeler’s career, she has worked with three of them: Darnell Brugh, H. Watts Steger III and current President G. Lyn Hayth III.

Wheeler also experienced numerous changes in the industry and worked in almost every area of the bank. When she first started, the bank used manual operations before its migration to computer systems.

She was witness to the bank’s name change from Bank of Buchanan to Bank of Botetourt.

Her first assignment was in bookkeeping; she then worked as a teller, customer service representative, loan officer and in human resources. She knew the importance of building relationships with the bank staff and helped create a solid foundation for the current culture, bank officials said.

In her final role as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Retail Officer, Wheeler oversaw all bank offices and supervised its branch managers.

For over 10 years, Wheeler was a member of senior management. She served on the bank’s Education Committee, Asset Liability Committee (ALCO), Training Committee and on the Branch Administration Committee, and was the bank’s board of directors secretary for more than 15 years.

Wheeler has always been passionate about people and about banking, bank officials said. An integral part of the bank, she helped organize and plan all employee appreciation events including picnics and holiday dinners.

She is a James River High School graduate and in order to burnish her banking fundamentals she completed classes from the American Institute of Banking at Virginia Western Community College. Her advocacy on behalf of the industry has allowed her to attend hundreds of conventions, seminars, committee meetings and events. For six years, she served as a committee member on the Virginia Bankers Association Human Resource and Retail Committee.

She is a lifelong resident of Buchanan and Botetourt County and a lifelong member of Virginia Presbyterian Church in Buchanan. She and her husband Tommy have been married for over 45 years. Their daughter, Amy, and son-in-law, Dave, live in Harrisonburg and have a 21-month-old son named Keegan.

In retirement, she said she looks forward to more play dates with her grandson and to checking items off her bucket list.