Lifetime Member Gary Broady (’77, ’84) recognized for business achievements
A WKU graduate and area business leader was recently inducted into Junior Achievement’s South Central Kentucky Business Hall of Fame. Gary Broady (’77, ’84), a Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, was nominated by his peers and selected for the honor by an independent committee. A Franklin, Ky., resident, he is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Franklin Bank & Trust Company.
Though he is grateful for the honor he received from JA, Broady indicated that he owes the organization far more than it owes him, in a very personal way. He and his wife, Gail (Arterburn) Broady (’79), are both from Barren County and are both Hilltoppers, but the two did not meet until 1982, when they were both serving as advisors for Junior Achievement. “We met in February of 1982, had our first date in March at a WKU basketball game, were engaged in April and married in November,” he said. “We’ve now been together for 35 years.”
Broady also acknowledged the impact WKU has had on his life. Born in Glasgow, Ky., he graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Accounting in 1977 and with an MBA in 1984. He said his time at WKU gave him the skills he needed to succeed in the financial world.
“Dr. Jack Hall in the Accounting Department was one of my favorite professors, and I had him for four different courses,” Broady reflected. “He said something that will stick with me forever, and that was that 90 percent of what you learn in class you may never use again, but what will stay with you is the process and the ability to think critically. That comes back to me all the time. When I am faced with a difficult decision, I am able to take a step back from it and realize that I know how to come to an answer due to what I learned as an undergraduate at WKU.”
After graduation, Broady’s career in the financial world began in public accounting with J.C. Holland and Company (now Carr, Riggs & Ingram) in 1977. In 1979 he made a move and entered the banking industry by accepting the title of Vice President at The Citizens National Bank of Bowling Green (now U.S. Bancorp). In 1982, Broady transitioned to a new career at Franklin Bank & Trust Company and began his journey to becoming CEO. Broady quickly rose through the ranks of Franklin Bank & Trust Company, becoming Vice President in 1982, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 1986, President in 1994 and CEO in 1998. Broady also serves on the Board of Directors for Franklin Bank & Trust Company and its parent company, Franklin Bancorp, Inc.
With a strong desire for community involvement, Broady has continuously found ways to give back to the south central Kentucky area through various organizations and causes. He has contributed to several community boards and foundations in the Simpson and Warren county areas over the years, and he has been an active WKU donor and volunteer, serving on the WKU Foundation Board of Trustees, the WKU National Alumni Association Board of Directors (including a term as President), the Gordon Ford College of Business Executive Advisory Council and the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation.
“I just try to give back to the University that’s given me so much,” he said. “I think it’s important to do that. I come back to WKU many times in what I do. At Franklin Bank & Trust, we’ve expanded our business into Bowling Green, and WKU is so tied to the community. The Gordon Ford College of Business Executive Advisory Council has also opened a lot of doors for me and for the bank. The University is so good for the local economy, and we owe a lot of our growth and success here to WKU.”
Franklin Bank & Trust Company is strong corporate supporter of the community and WKU, and Broady acknowledged the impact of the University and community partnerships. “Western is a leader in terms of what it can do for economic development,” he said. “For one thing, at Franklin Bank & Trust, we have 12 people on staff who have either completed their MBA while they were an employee or who are in the process of obtaining it. We have a tuition assistance program to help put as many people through school who want it, and I’m happy to be one of those.”
“Western Kentucky University has such a tremendous effect on the community,” he said. “I consider it a partnership that we support them and they support us. We have had so many opportunities to grow our business through the opportunities WKU has provided for the community. You give so much, but you receive so much in return, and that’s what we’re all about here.”
In addition to his strong support of WKU as a business leader, Broady feels a great deal of personal affinity for his alma mater. “I have a tremendous amount of pride in having gone to WKU,” he said. “I’m very proud to say I’m a graduate of WKU, and I try to be an ambassador in any way I can.”