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Citi in town for 20 years

June 16, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN

Twenty years ago, Citigroup hired Elizabeth Mader as one of 21 telephone customer service representatives for its new Citi Hagerstown site.

She joined 1,500 other employees Thursday morning at an outdoor rally to mark the company's 20th year in Hagerstown.

"I like talking to the customers. I love talking on the phone," said Mader, of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Of the hundreds of service representatives answering phones at the Hagerstown site, Mader is the last original, she said.

About 70 employees have worked at the Hagerstown site for almost 20 years, said Phil Kelly, Citicorp's director of public affairs.

Citicorp employees said they hold on to their jobs for the job security.

"I like what I do, like the people, and have seniority in my department," said Linda Stinebaugh. "I get my choice of vacation."

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Betty Burker of Sharpsburg worked up through the ranks of the company to unit manager for the credit evaluation department, she said.

Burker started working as a telecommunications representative nearly 20 years ago.

"The people are what keep me here," Burker said. "My staff is like my extended family."

At the rally, local officials were joined by those who had held office in 1986 when Citicorp first moved to Hagerstown.

"Citicorp is the No. 1 company in what they do for the community, what they do for their employees," Washington County Commissioner James F. Kercheval said.

Citicorp is the largest private employer in the county with almost 2,500 workers.

Deb Gorbsky, Citicorp's site manager, has been with the company for 11 years, but with the Hagerstown site for 2 1/2 months. She said that the "wisdom and tenure that come with the employees who reside here" makes Citi Hagerstown a special place.

Several Citigroup executives also spoke at the rally. Matt Jenkins, Citi Cards business operations officer, praised Citi Hagerstown's record of service.

"The community is better, the community is strong because Citi is here," he said.

In 2005, Citicorp employees performed more than 10,000 hours of community service, said Ed Garofalo, managing director of Citi brands.

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