Reengineering-minded Trans Financial Inc. of Kentucky has formed an employee training subsidiary and hired an experienced banker-educator to run it.

Trans Financial "has the opportunity and ability to reshape competition in the industry," said Susan Newkirk-Moore, the new president of Trans Financial Strategic and Human Development Co., in a press release. Until Tuesday, Ms. Newkirk-Moore was a business management professor at the University of Louisville.

The $1.7 billion banking company, based in Bowling Green, said it hired her to "establish a framework for ongoing strategic analysis of Trans Financial's competitive activities and implement educational systems to develop and support Trans Financial's human capital."

Such consultant-speak is nothing new to Trans Financial, either, which has pared its work force 10% in the last two years.

Chief executive Douglas Lester has said that he has been trying to keep the company "ahead of the curve," positioning it to be a "bank of the future." He has hired executives from larger banks and has embraced restructuring with a zeal unusual among leaders of banks Trans Financial's size.

Trans Financial said it plans to double in size without increasing its work force.

It has diversified by acquiring other banks, starting a broker-dealer and a travel agency, and expanding its mortgage subsidiary.

Ms. Newkirk-Moore should fit right in. She's spent a career researching and implementing employee development programs for banks and other companies in Tennessee and Kentucky.

For the last three years she's been at the University of Louisville, but before that she was vice president and director of education for the Kentucky Bankers Association. She started and was executive director of the Kentucky Telebank Network, forerunner of the American Bankers Association's American Financial Skylink.

"Training employees is right up her alley," said Jeffrey S. Owen, executive director of American Financial Skylink, a television-based educational service for bank employees that the ABA provides its members. American Financial was started in 1992 when the ABA bought the assets of Kentucky Telebank Network.

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