Frequent Flyer

Nannette Sheaffer, vice president and senior marketing specialist for USAmeriBank, knows about the confluence of marketing and travel.

In fact, her current work with USAmeriBank centers on the bank’s Prestige Program, which offers their mature customer base special benefits. The benefits range from simple lunch-and-learns on current topics that are important to their lives to social events to trips—lots of trips.

“Our trips range from one-night trips to Scott Antique Markets in Atlanta to literally around the world,” says Sheaffer, a Pell City native and University of Alabama grad with a background in banking and sports marketing. “In 2017, we will have gone to Africa on safari, to Southern Italy and Sicily, on a Baltic Sea cruise, to Savannah, Chicago, Yellowstone, the Badlands and then Vermont in December. These trips are offered at fantastic pricing for our customer, and every detail is taken care of. Literally all you have to do is show up with your suitcase and have a passion for fun.”

Prestige was created in 1988 by John Russell Thomas in Alexander City as a way to create a social atmosphere around the bank. USAmeriBank is the only bank in Alabama to offer a program with such a wide range of options. To participate in Prestige, you must be 50 or older and have a personal deposit relationship with the bank of $10,000 or more.

“Why would someone travel with their bank? Well, the answer is simple. You already trust the bank with your most precious possession, your money. Why not take the opportunity to travel with people that know you and understand your life? This gives you an opportunity to travel with friends close to your age and someone associated with the bank,” Shaeffer says.

Shaeffer’s sports-marketing background included stops at the University of Alabama, Penn State University and the Bruno Event Team.

“I realized that working in athletics was not conducive for being a mom with children. I am the proud mom of Logan (18) and Lacee (14) and very active in the community,” she says. Shaeffer moved on to communications and marketing at SouthTrust Bank, Red Mountain Bank and National Bank of Commerce before joining USAmeriBank (formerly Aliant Bank).

Prestige has been a fascinating program to manage, Shaeffer says. “Our customers that take full advantage of what Prestige has to offer have found it to be very rewarding. It takes customers a while to grasp it. They don’t understand why a bank would host events or invite them to a lunch-and-learn and not be trying to sell them something. We do it because our customers are the most important thing we have, and we believe it is our duty to offer them the very best services we can.”