Though Doria Goodrich holds a degree in education, she started her career with First State Bank more than three decades ago and has ascended the ranks to Executive Vice President/Personal Banking Executive.
This month, she’s celebrating 32 years with the institution, and while she’s thankful for the flexibility and growth the bank has offered, she selfishly admits she wanted to go be a teacher so she could spend summers and holidays with her two children, Talia and Arlen Fernandez.
Doria’s professional profile lists nearly a dozen seats on the boards of various foundations and organizations in Key West. Her civic contributions as a representative of First State Bank have allowed her to remain connected to her passion for education.
“The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize that it’s what you do for other people and how you give what you can to the best of your ability that really defines who you are,” she explained.
As a career woman and a mother, this has been one of the greatest life lessons she’s tried to impart to her children.
This Key West native tragically lost her father when she was fresh out of college at only 24 years old.
“As the youngest of four children, it was a pretty traumatic experience,” Doria admitted. “Losing my father to cancer really began a change for me personally.”
When one of her best friends and classmates from Mary Immaculate High School told her she wanted to start a foundation to help Florida Keys residents battling cancer, Doria initially hesitated.
“People come to you because you’re the banker,” she said of the county’s radiation oncologist’s invitation, “and I told her not to sign me up for another board, but she told me it was too late.”
Doria serves as the Director/Vice President for the Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys with her pal and Chair Mercy Hiller, and confessed that among her various charitable services, this seat is personally one of the most invigorating.
“We are so far from the mainland and our unique communities have to work extra hard to remain self-sufficient, be it through hurricanes or with battling cancer,” she said emphatically.
The foundation offers financial and emotional support to qualified cancer patients living in the Keys and enables them to continue expensive treatments they may not otherwise be able to afford.
A large part of their focus is to keep locally raised monies local.
Doria is also an active member of her alma mater’s Star of the Sea Foundation that strives to assist the working poor.
As part of the Key West Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, Doria shares her love for her community as well as remaining connected to her truest passion – teaching others.
Some of her greatest life lessons have come from her mother, who at 84 years old faithfully calls her daughter every morning at 7:15. With the challenge of raising a strong-willed 17-year-old boy, Doria relies on her own mother’s constant reminders to be firm but gentle.
“She told me just the other morning that boys will be boys and they naturally like to push the envelope,” she laughed. “With my daughter, it was so easy. I joke with Arlen all the time that I hope he has not one little boy but three!”
Talia, 23, recently graduated from the University of Florida and will pursue her career as a physician assistant. Doria said it was only recently that Talia expressed an interest in following in her mother’s footsteps and returning to her hometown after her formal education is completed.
In conjunction with the celebration of her anniversary, Doria also spoke on The Weekly Newspaper’s “Working Mothers” edition.
“Working moms can juggle 88 things at once,” she laughed. “It’s a woman’s natural instinct to juggle because we are the caregivers. After working all day and then coming home to cook, clean, do laundry and help out with homework, you wake up exhausted the next day. We still have to go to work in the morning with a smile on our faces. Oh, and we’re constantly making lists. Lots and lots of lists.”
After selflessly giving herself to her job, her family and her community, Doria finds solace in reading and working in her garden.