Local Life | Hello Q&A

Dawn Pruett

This year, the president of the Bank of Jackson Hole is becoming a grandmother and taking up golf while continuing to help her staff and the Jackson Hole community reach their potential.

// By Jennifer Dorsey

For Dawn Pruett, 2022 was a big year. She was promoted to president of Bank of Jackson Hole—making her one of only a few female bank presidents in Wyoming—and then went through the bank’s acquisition by National Bank Holdings Corporation. This year’s big news for Pruett is of the personal kind: The 52-year-old Green River, Wyoming, native is going to become a grandmother; the middle of her three daughters is scheduled to give birth to Matthew on June 21. “We have not had a boy in my family in 47 years,” says Pruett, who’s thinking she’ll have her grandson call her “Gigi.”

Pruett moved to Jackson Hole in 2007, and no, it wasn’t for the skiing, it was a job transfer. In addition to work and community, Pruett, whose first banking job was in 1999, as associate to the bank president at American National Bank, found a husband here. Michael Pruett is a real estate agent with Keller Williams. The couple shares a love for travel—this past winter they went to Costa Rica; a future trip is to Israel—and also for their golden retriever, Caleb. 

Q: There’s a saying, “Jackson Hole is in Wyoming, but not of Wyoming.” Moving here from “real Wyoming,” did you find Jackson Hole to be a culture shock?
DP: It was a big culture shock. In Green River I knew everybody. It was a huge “village,” a huge network, and more of a blue collar community. Moving here, the awareness of health and mental fitness and self-care was really unknown to me in a lot of ways. And that was enlightening to me—to see how much better you live and feel when you prioritize health.

Q: How long did it take you to feel like a local after you moved here?
DP: Sally Rogers, a bank colleague and longtime Jacksonite, she was a dynamo. She literally took me to every event, every nonprofit, every local thing: the Chicken Fry, Teton Science Schools, the Library Party. I felt a part of the community really quickly. And I was thankful for that.

Q: Why did you get into banking?
DP: A friend said I’d be good at this. With residential mortgage lending, my brain fired in that direction and those kinds of relationships. It never seemed like a struggle for me. I never minded going to work. I was excited to go and learn.

Q: Was being a bank president something you dreamed of?
DP: Yes, I always knew I wanted to be in a role where I had the ability to influence and shape the direction of the bank, and impact the community.

Q: What has been the most difficult part of being a bank president so far?
DP: Adapting to the unexpected and the unknown. I have appreciated being able to hone my leadership skills in this rapidly changing economic environment.

Q: The most rewarding?
DP: Watching the growth of my team, and the support of the team. My team has continued to rally around me to ensure our success. People have stepped up and stepped in, and we have all grown immensely individually and collectively in the last year.

Q: With you being a banker married to a real estate broker, is there a lot of shop talk in your house?
DP:  Yes. The joke at home is he sends me a lot of referrals and I don’t send him any. When they come to me, they already have a realtor.

Q: Even though you didn’t move here for skiing, are you active in the outdoors?
DP: I’m not very coordinated. I did surf in Costa Rica, and I’m not terrible. I really like to cross-country ski and snowshoe in the winter. In the summertime, we like boating. We have a boat and like to go on the river and Jackson Lake. We like water skiing, wakeboarding, and all of that stuff. This summer I’m taking up golf.

Q: Are you taking up golf for business or pleasure? It seems like a very bank president thing to do.
DP: I’m taking up golf for several reasons. First, for my marriage, so that Michael and I have a pastime we can enjoy together for many years to come. And it’s definitely a perk for the bank president role, assuming I can learn how to hit the ball

Do Like Dawn 

3 Recommendations:

1. I’m a foodie and have specific things I like to eat: the salmon potato pancake at the Snake River Grill; stuffed mushroom caps at the Blue Lion; a margarita at Hatch. An appetizer here, an appetizer there, my husband calls it an “appe-tour.” If I want a steak, I go to the White Buffalo Club. And if the tour ends with swing dancing at the Cowboy Bar or The Wort, even better. 

2. I’m a huge shopper. My husband says he’s on a one-one-one basis with UPS. I like Oden (on North Glenwood). I went in with a colleague who wanted to consign a watch, and I ended up with a tennis bracelet. Lisa Knapp is so kind and makes you feel so welcome.

3. Get on the water. I think everyone should do a float trip. I like Deadmans to Moose on the Snake River. We love seeing the eagles and wildlife. We bring lunch. We bring cocktails. We bring music. We fish sometimes. 

Leadership Read

I’m a voracious reader. I hate TV. Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Barry Conchie and Tom Rath talks about leaders who have been super successful in creating businesses. The key is to home in on your strengths and weaknesses so when you go into a leadership role, you’re looking at team members who can balance you. JH

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