While “bankers’ hours” are often perceived as working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Katrina Rice can easily bust that myth. As a Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager of Commercial Lending at Bank Of The James, she must be flexible to the demands of the industry, meeting with clients at all hours of the day. Despite the intensity, Rice wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s always great because I get to meet people from every facet of life,” said Rice of her 18-year career at Bank Of The James. “I can spend the morning with a couple who’s starting a business, then that evening I can be visiting an established real estate investor and then that night I can be at a fundraiser for a nonprofit. I get to meet a lot of people with diverse backgrounds. It’s super fun.”

Rice specializes in commercial clients, helping them pursue their dreams with various banking products. When determining what type of loan is best suited for each client, Rice tries to get to know each one personally, including what long-term goals they have.

She tries to understand not just where they are currently, but also where they want to be five, 10 even 15 years from now.

“When I know what the big picture is and what the long-term goals are, it helps me structure certain loan products or even deposit products and treasury services to help them meet those goals,” Rice said. “When I make a loan, I jokingly tell them, ‘We’re sort of married now. We’re in this together.’”

The big picture has always been something Rice values with her clients, but she could have never predicted how her career would have played out in the long run. She started out in the banking world in a temporary position with Central Fidelity Bank, but after just three days she was offered a full-time position. Through this chance, Rice took full advantage and didn’t look back.

“I never wanted to let anybody down,” Rice said. “I always tried to work as hard as I could, as much as I could and I tried to exceed expectations.”

As she has climbed her way up the ladder, Rice acknowledged the challenges along the way. Between raising three children and persevering in a very competitive industry, she has not let any of it stop her. Early on, she saw what those around her were accomplishing in banking and felt like this was something she could do too.

“If they could do it, [then] I could do it too,” Rice said. “I wouldn’t let the challenges back me in a corner or slow me down.”