WATERVILLE — Neither sleet nor snow nor the end of a business day can keep Darla Frost from working with clients.

Frost, a loan officer at Kennebec Federal Savings, earned the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Customer Service Stardom Award for her unwavering commitment to helping people and her positive, professional attitude.

Sharon L. Etscovitz, vice president of operations at Kennebec Federal Savings, heralded Frost’s expertise in the field, her sincere desire to do what is right for clients, and her unflappable work ethic in her nomination of Frost.

“Being the only full-time loan officer at the bank, Darla is very busy, but never leaves until all customer calls are returned,” Etscovitz wrote.

“Whenever someone needs to see her, she will make time for them. Even if it means she is the first one in and the last to leave (which is often) or when she decides to stay for a customer even when the bank is closed due to a raging blizzard.”

Criteria for the Customer Service Stardom Award include that the winner illustrate pride in his or her job and demonstrate examples of exceptional customer service.

While Frost is known for starting work early and finishing late, she laughed recalling that after graduating from New Hampshire Technical College with a degree in community social services, she took a part-time job as a bank teller because the hours would be great and she would have time to figure out what she really wanted to do for a career.

As she worked her way to becoming a loan officer, it turned out nothing compared to being at a closing with first-time home buyers whose dream was coming true.

She said some buyers take pictures when they are handed the keys to their home and that others can’t wait to get outside to scream for joy.

“Darla worked very hard on my behalf. She provided me with a wealth of information and answered my many questions with patience and professionalism,” wrote a customer who filled out a bank survey after working with Frost.

“Darla’s knowledge inspired my trust and confidence. She is top-notch!”

Frost, who grew up in Rome and Oakland, lives in Sidney.

The graduate of Messalonskee High School joined Kennebec Federal Savings in 2001.

After working at a large mortgage company in Michigan, Frost said she appreciates being at a small, local institution.

She said she welcomes having a variety of responsibilities and interacting with customers.

She is the youngest of 11 children and enjoys camping in the summer, snowshoeing in the winter and reading Stephen King novels.

Frost and the other award winners will be honored March 28 at the chamber’s 49th annual awards dinner at Waterville Elks Banquet & Conference Center.

Frost said chamber president and chief executive officer Kimberly Lindlof called her at home to tell her that she had won the award.

“I had to ask her twice what I had won,” Frost said. “I just do my job.”

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]

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