If one phrase could define Alexandra Ridgeway’s career, it would be “I worked my way up.” She admits she was not a straight-A student when younger and it took a while to find her passions.
“I was headed on the wrong path,” she says. “One day, I woke up and realized this isn’t the life I wanted to live. I knew that my past would not define me.”
Now 28, Ridgeway started working as a part-time cashier at a boutique in Southern California, where she grew up. She worked her way up to assistant manager. After three years, she moved to Missouri and got a job as a merchandise associate at a department store — and soon became the customer experience coordinator.
A Missouri bank recruited her as a part-time teller and, you guessed it, she advanced to a full-time banker position.
When Ridgeway and her husband moved to Texas, she found a banking job there. She worked her way up from teller to assistant branch manager within three years. She also was able to focus on training new team members.
“I grew strong relationships with my customers and my team,” Ridgeway says. “It gave me a strong sense of what I wanted to do in banking.”
When her husband, Blake, learned he’d be stationed at Fort Carson, Ridgeway started looking for banking jobs in Colorado Springs. She quickly decided that Adams Bank & Trust would be the best fit because it’s family-owned and shares her values.
Ridgeway started at Adams in January 2022 and is a retail services manager focusing on training and operations. She’s already developed a new training project, participated on a committee that focuses on culture, and joined support teams.
“I get to give back to my teams every day.”
“This, I can honestly say, is a dream job because I get to give back to my teams every day and get involved in the community,” she says.
Nominator Stephanie Ford writes, “Alex has welcomed all the changes and challenges and has made the most of it for her family and the community.”
Supporting children has always been important for Ridgeway. In June 2022, she joined Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Pikes Peak Region as an advocate for abused and neglected children in courts and the community. She also worked with Adams Bank & Trust and CASA to establish a business partnership.
“Every chance I get, I share about what amazing things CASA does and I have already inspired two others to join and become advocates,” Ridgeway says.
Last year, the Ridgeways’ daughter, Brayleigh, wanted to play soccer. Ridgeway started getting emails asking her to be the coach, so she said yes and enjoyed the chance to mentor children in the community.
During the 2022 holidays, Ridgeway volunteered with the Salvation Army and plans to do that again. She’s also inspired others to do the same.
Last July, she learned about the Women’s Community Leadership Initiative, a Leadership Pikes Peak program.
“After reading the description of empowering women and getting involved in the community, I just knew I wanted to be a part of this,” Ridgeway says.
She’s also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Somehow, she finds time to work on her bachelor’s in accounting and finance from Southern New Hampshire University and expects to graduate in 2025.
Ridgeway feels she’s a better employee because her volunteer activities have inspired her to try to be part of the change she wants to see.
“It started to feel less like work and more like making a difference,” she says. “They say do something you love and it won’t feel like work, and it is true. I get excited every time one of my team members calls me with questions and I can guide them to finding the answer.
“When you have knowledge and skills,” she says, “it is your responsibility to use that and share it with others.”