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Checking in with Janet Johnson

Fast Facts about Janet Johnson

Janet Johnson is the Program & Events Manager for National Exchange Bank and Trust in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

National Exchange Bank and Trust is a locally owned and independent bank and has been a pillar of stability in the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, community since 1933. Today, the company has 32 offices in southeastern Wisconsin. National Exchange Bank and Trust has offered the Golden Years Club for its customers for 35 years. One of the benefits of the Golden Years Club is group travel. 

Born: Between Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin

Employment: Has worked in the banking industry for 48 years. She has enjoyed growing with the bank’s Golden Years Club, which just celebrated its 35th anniversary last November.

Family: Married to Frank for 47 years; three children and eight grandchildren 

Hobbies: Cheering on her grandkids at sporting events, spending time in the backyard and cooking 

 

Janet Johnson didn’t grow up with many travel opportunities. Living on a dairy farm in a small Wisconsin town between Milwaukee and Green Bay didn’t offer much travel. But in adulthood, she has made up for her lack of travel as a child. She leads the Golden Years Club at National Exchange Bank and Trust, which offers about 28 tours a year.

“We offer one-day tours, several local overnight three to four days, several fly destinations, and one or two international tours,” Johnson said. “I am so thrilled to be part of this program. Who would have ever thought I would be traveling to these awesome destinations?”

Being from a small town in Wisconsin, Johnson has great respect for National Exchange Bank and Trust and its Golden Years Club.

“So many of our travelers would never have had the opportunity to experience travel if not for the opportunities that National Exchange Bank and Trust provides to our customers,” she said.

Working Her Way Up

Johnson began working for National Exchange Bank and Trust right out of high school. She planned to work the summer before heading off to college. However, she ended up staying and learning the banking industry. She has worked in several departments and has been a part of the banking world for 48 years. Her recent work with the Golden Years Club has proved to be a highlight of her career.

“I have worked in various departments and watched our bank grow from one office to 32 offices,” she said. “I have been part of the bank for 48 years, working full time for a few years before taking off a little time to start my family. I worked in marketing part time and grew with our senior program, returning to work full time.”

Jumping Through Hoops

Johnson recently took her group on a river cruise on the Rhine and Moselle rivers in Europe. Her customers were the only passengers on board.

“How awesome is it to sail with only your group on a cruise ship?” she said. “After being canceled three times, our travelers were anxious to hit the road or, should I say, rivers.”

International travel is a little more difficult these days, but Johnson explained the details of her group’s recent experience.

“Preparation for our cruise took a little time — or maybe a lot of time,” she said. “Forms to enter each of the five countries we were visiting had to be filled out ahead of time on our cell phones, and hard copies needed to be in hand for each traveler. Thanks to our travel vendor, Cruise and Tours Worldwide; their assistance made this process easy. The forms included pertinent info on COVID vaccines and health information. Group COVID testing was on Sunday, with our departure from Chicago on Monday evening.”

An Unforgettable Experience

Johnson was unsure at first about taking her group on a cruise with no other customers. She worried she and others would not get to meet new travelers. However, she found the trip to be unforgettable. 

“We arrived in Amsterdam on Tuesday and proceeded to our cruise ship, the Ama Prima,” she said. “To our surprise, our group of 21 travelers were the only passengers aboard this sailing, besides the 42 crew members. At first, I was a little disappointed not to be able to meet new travelers, but in the end, it was a great way to get to know my travelers, and the crew added so much to our experience. 

“We traveled to Cologne, Rudesheim Mainz, Lahnstein, Cochem, Traben-Trarbach, and motorcoached to Paris. This experience will never be forgotten. Traveling during this time with smaller groups gave us the personal touch and many inside, behind-the-scenes opportunities. One of the many highlights was our tour of the Eiffel Tower. Before COVID hit, the line to get in the gates was very long. But on this trip, we just walked in, and the tour began. 

“Now definitely is the time to travel. We felt very safe and comfortable in all our visits.”

Travel is undoubtedly different now, but safe travel is still possible with extra care and precautions. Johnson isn’t ready to give up. She is a planner and planning 2023 and 2024 now. And she has no plans for retirement.