BY JACLYN ROSE –
Cindy Long was born the second of four sisters and one adopted brother and was raised in Wilburton, Oklahoma. It was there that she entered the workforce, long before she even graduated high school. “My father was a supervisor for Arkla Gas, which later became Centerpoint Energy and my mother was mostly a stay at home mom, but at times she worked in a restaurant. I began working with her, washing dishes at age 13. I was raised to be a hard worker; my parents had four daughters so if we wanted certain clothes we had to work for them. We also had to work to buy our own vehicles. I feel like that is what helped me to become the type of hard worker I believe I am today,” explained Long.
Long and her late husband, Dean, moved to Mena in June of 1988, so that Dean could begin work at U.S. Motors, a job he continued until retiring in 2006. In October of 1988, Long began working in the bookkeeping department at Union Bank. In 1997 she was promoted to Assistant Vice-President over new accounts and in 2003 was promoted to Vice-President. In 2008 she began working for Union Bank Shares, Inc., a two bank holding company and in January of 2011 was promoted to Senior Vice President of Retail Banking and Human Development, the position she currently holds. After 25 years in the Union Bank family, Long has nothing but praise for her employer and her co-workers. “It is a wonderful place to work. They are so good to their employees, the Board of Directors is wonderful and the people I work with are like family to me. I feel like Union Bank really focuses on the employee and their needs and they are such community minded people who volunteer a lot,” said Long.
Long has two daughters, Ericka and April and a step-daughter, Monica, and six grandchildren. “I loved to be able to raise my children in Mena. It is such a safe place and my girls were very involved in sports and cheerleading. They really enjoyed life and I feel like they had great opportunities. We moved from a very small town so Mena was like moving to a big city. In regards to raising children, I believe you need to cherish every moment you have with your children because they grow so fast and are gone from home before you know it,” said Long with a smile.
Volunteerism is of extreme importance to Long and she helps out the community in many different ways. Currently she serves on the Board of the Rotary Club and is a member of the Mena Lioness Lions Club, she is also the current Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Purple Onions Relay for Life Team. In 2009 she graduated from Leadership Polk County and she previously served a seven year term on the Board of Healthy Connections. Long is also on the Special Olympics Committee and her face lit up when she began speaking of her work with that wonderful organization,
“It is very rewarding to volunteer in any capacity, you always get back more than you give. Especially with the Special Olympics, I work with the group that does the awards and seeing their smiles and hearing their giggles as they receive their ribbons is wonderful, it is so rewarding.”
Long loves to travel all around the United States and her sisters and a group of girlfriends try to take a yearly trip together but she also loves her home, “I have made so many great friends living here. I love the size of Polk County and that anything you need you can find within an hour and a half. It is a wonderful place to live.”