It came as no surprise to anyone who has lived and done business on the Peninsula for the last three decades that Charlie Weimer was chosen to receive this year’s Don Gilman Service to the Community Award at Industry Appreciation Day. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski in announcing the award said, “Charlie Weimer found a home on the Kenai Peninsula in 1984 and over the past 30 plus years he has continually demonstrated a level of dedicated service to the local community rivaled by few. Truly, there are few organizations and businesses in our community that haven’t had the opportunity to work with Charlie firsthand and benefited from his service. A regular volunteer with numerous organizations, you can often find Charlie quietly working away at lunch at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank or spending an evening or weekend at an event at the Soldotna Senior Center. He has the reputation as someone ‘just gets it done.’ Whether that means rounding up donations and financial support, gathering volunteers or rolling up his sleeves and getting to work himself. His commonsense, honest and trustworthy approach to his career in banking as well as his significant volunteerism in the community over the years has been appreciated by all. The Kenai Peninsula has been fortunate to benefit from Charlie Weimer’s contributions over the past 30 some years and hopefully will continue to do so for many years to come,” said Senator Murkowski.
Weimer who was unable to attend Industry Appreciation Day this year told the Dispatch in an interview, “I arrived back in Alaska and passed Lisa Murkowski in the airport as she was returning from Industry Appreciation Day and I figured she had been here shaking hands with those in our community but had no idea she had presented me with the award. I’m looking at the award right now on my desk here at the Soldotna Branch and it truly is an honor to even be considered for this award. I’ve seen some of the other recipients over the years of the award and it’s humbling not only to be considered, but to be the recipient of the award,” he said. Weimer worked in Alaska’s canneries, the Yukon River fishery and Interior construction to earn his way through college. Upon graduation, Weimer joined First National’s management trainee program, working in Anchorage before finding a permanent home on the Kenai Peninsula in 1984, where he served as regional manager. In April of this year Weimer was the bank’s new Branch Lending Administrator while remaining based in First National’s Soldotna Branch while working closely with bank leaders in Fairbanks and the Mat-Su Valley, as well as those on the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak, Valdez, Glennallen Bethel and Southeast Alaska and continues to help Alaskans meet their banking goals. “You get involved and before you know it 30 some years goes by and it really has been my pleasure to be here with this bank this long in this community and watch people and their businesses grow and now seeing the second and third generations of those folks taking over those businesses and it continues being a joy to come to work and help folks meet their goals and dreams. My parents taught me you have to give back to your community and this community and our bank does that in spades. Heck when I visit the lower 48 and see what they are trying to accomplish and then come home and it’s something we do in a weekend, it makes me realize how fortunate we are to live in this community,” said 2016 Don Gilman Award recipient Charles Weimer.