Smith is retiring after 40 years of service at the downtown bank, which during her years of employment carried the names of Deposit Guaranty, First American, AmSouth and finally Regions.
Regions Northeast Mississippi and Corinth City President David Dixon said Smith is an institution in the Corinth banking arena.
“To me, Paula has been a real key asset for Regions Bank,” said Dixon. “Reaching a 40-year milestone needs to be celebrated. She’s an excellent banker. I very much appreciate her — and so does the whole team.”
Beginning her bank career straight out of college, Smith has shared her workplace with two other 40-year employees, Reta Baswell and Caroline Pettie, who she says are just like part of her family.
She said she has always enjoyed banking, especially dealing with customers and helping them with their finances.
“I like the loan part. I’m into numbers, have always been a math person. When you figure a way to make a person a loan, it’s a good feeling,” said Smith. “It’s always a good feeling to figure out how to help customers, to find a product that fits their situation.”
Smith emphasized that she has always worked well with her team at the Regions branch in downtown Corinth. She credits the bank’s success to their teamwork. The bank won the 2012 Chairman’s Award and was recognized as being in the top 15 percent of banks in the nation.
“We work well together,” she said. “We have a lot of knowledgable people who all have a lot of years with banking.”
Smith was born in Chewalla, Tenn., and moved to Corinth at the age of five. She graduated from Corinth High School and Northeast Mississippi Community College.
She lives in Corinth with her husband, Danny Smith, the principal of Burnsville School. They have two grown children, their daughter Johnna Smith, an occupational therapist at Magnolia Regional Hospital, and son Shay Smith, who owns a business in Corinth. Smith has one grandchild, six-year-old Taten Smith.
Looking ahead, Smith said she just wants to enjoy every part of her life.
“You get to an age that you feel like you want to enjoy your life and make the most out of every day, to spend time with the family and our grandson — and to make the best of whatever the day brings,” said Smith.