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Tony Carasso




The state of Tennessee has three distinct sections, all known for their individual landmarks that make them unique. But these three sections also have a common thread running through them. Tony Carasso is that common thread.

Carasso is currently working and residing in Knoxville but has spent much of his career in both Middle and West Tennessee as well. “Memphis has its BBQ, the Mississippi River and Beale Street, while Nashville has the Titans, country music and the downtown scene,” he explained.

“However, you don’t have to live in Knoxville long to see why the city ranks so high in the ‘best places to live’ polls. The revitalization of downtown and Market Square continually sparks new restaurants, retail stores and festivals; a short drive to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park allows for great outdoor activities; and quality time at Neyland Stadium adds icing on the cake. Knoxville is truly a unique place to raise a family.”

As the Knoxville Market President for Citizens Bank, Carasso understands the value of being local. “I am fortunate to work for a locally owned bank with deep East Tennessee roots dating back to 1934,” he proudly stated. “Citizens Bank is a big supporter of our Vols. The bank owners all graduated from the University of Tennessee and remain committed to the university to this day.”

Being a local bank also allows for a more personal approach for customers. “Our loan approval process makes us unique and sets us apart from other banks,” Carasso noted. “Loan decisions are made right here in East Tennessee where we live. No toll-free numbers or out of state credit decisions made by bankers who never meet the customer. We visit the businesses, get to know our customers and develop relationships. Simply put, we practice old fashioned community banking.”

Not one to talk the talk, but not walk the walk, Carasso takes the local aspect to the next level in his personal life as well. He is currently serving on the Farragut/ Knox County Education Relations Committee. He has served on boards and committees for Knoxville Opera, Second Harvest Food Bank, the YMCA, Gods Food Pantry and Tusculum College. Giving back to the community and helping others is an important part of his life.

When counseling customers on financial decisions, Carasso emphasizes how important it is to save money. “I am continually amazed at the number of Americans who have no emergency savings or, even worse, have reached their 40s or 50s with no retirement savings,” he said. “A recent report reflected that 63 percent of Americans could not come up with $1,000 in an emergency, and 21 percent have no savings at all. Now that’s a problem.” Carasso recommends saving money early in a career, while taking advantage of matching 401k’s. He goes on to suggest talking with a trusted financial advisor and building up the asset side of the balance sheet with IRAs, CDs, mutual funds, stocks and bonds, all of which are effective wealthbuilding tools. “If you want to build wealth, learn the difference between an asset and a liability. Hint: your car is not an asset,” he quipped.

Lifelong learning and listening are two things Carasso highly endorses. “Wisdom comes from listening to people wiser than you are, so become a good listener. You can save yourself a lot of pain by listening to someone who has already traveled the road you are headed down,” he noted. “Never step outside of your conviction zone; however, always be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. It’s where life begins.”

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