ISheila Schauer loves math, opened her first checking account at age 11, and started work as a part-time bank teller when she was a junior in high school. But she says it's her passion-even "obsession"-for detail that best explains her success at Four Corners Community Bank.

After wading through mountains of regulatory requirements and details, Schauer along with Four Corners Board Chairman Frank Macaluso and Vice Chairman Greg Anesi successfully obtained a charter and founded the Farmington, NM community bank in 2000. Since then, and under Schauer's leadership, the bank has expanded to five locations, amassed total assets of $163 million and continued to grow in each of the last three years despite the recent downturn in the economy.

"I have always been extremely detail-oriented," she says. "I like organized structure and the ability to be challenged daily. If you give me the problem, I'll find a solution. I'm not afraid to ask and there's never a dumb question. I'll ask until I wear you out."

From June 30, 2005 to June 30, 2007, Four Corners achieved the second-highest percentage increase in market share of all banks in its footprint. And Schauer's performance in 2008 shows she hasn't lost her Midas touch for mastering infinite details.

In the first half of 2008, the bank racked up 38 percent growth in loans compared to the same period in 2007, the largest loan growth in Four Corners' history. Assets grew by 14.7 percent, deposits by 13.6 percent, net income by 17.1 percent and return on equity was 26.3 percent for the same period.

Four Corners opened its first location outside of New Mexico in Cortez, Colorado in June, and apart from resolving the regulatory issues and getting the highly coveted bank charter, Schauer found herself knee deep in environmental and health regulations when renovations at the new location uncovered a pre-existing asbestos problem.

As if opening a new location in another state wasn't enough to keep her busy, this year Schauer lit the fuse on her newly created customer contact program to bring in new loans and deposits. The program involves 90 to 100 personal monthly visits to customers by bank officers and directors, including Schauer.

Return to the 2008 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking

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