Run with Your Heart and Not Just Your Legs!

Heidi Finniff is a member of our Advisory Board, a financial professional and an ultra-runner turned long distant cyclist! Her passion: doing what she does best by touching lives and making a huge difference. If that sounds like a person who would know Cokie Cox, then you got it right!

Heidi met Cokie not long after she came to First Capital Bank in 2022. “It was obvious we had a lot in common. We talked about her climbing Mt. Everest and what it means to stand on top of that amazing summit. She was doing something that was so above average, and it resonated with me.

“The training alone spoke to me because it involves discipline—sort of like life today and sort of like I have done all my professional career.”

It’s discipline that Heidi understands. You don’t start a journey with an option to quit. You finish. “I’m an ultra-trail runner turned long distance cyclist,” says Heidi.

How I became a Member of Cokie’s Advisory Board

But my passion for life does not only travel on a long trail. Heidi has a unique passion for working closely with people to see them change, grow and become successful. The very life principles that work well. And ones that probably led her to join Cokie’s advisory board.

They have a common thread that involves much more than a closet full of New Balance shoes.

“Like Cokie, I enjoy connecting with people,” says Heidi. “It comes naturally. I see a situation or a problem or an opportunity, and I look for a way to turn it into a winning moment. Work is creative. I like to bring a solution to the table for a great outcome. This is what I seek to do for Cokie’s clients.”

I also like to invest in female business owners. Sometimes they are the last people to think about themselves and can get taken advantage of. I know that I can be very helpful. I take the products we have and offer them with a higher touch. We work together for success. That means a lot!

Shift, Pivot, Succeed

Heidi moved to coastal South Carolina from Ohio, miles and weather environments away. “It was a big adjustment for me,” says Heidi. “I came from a state that had rugged terrain and amazing long-distance views to a state that has amazing views but very flat terrain.

“I knew immediately I was going to have to adjust and up my outdoor game, which I did by becoming a long-distance cyclist.”

Often in life, especially when we are doing the right thing, we face times when we must adjust, make a change, or life shift. The terrain looks very different, but the goal remains the same getting it done, matching people to the products that work for them, and teaching them that life is a journey—not a short sprint.

This is one of the things Heidi has learned and something she teaches her clients. It’s the long distance ultra run that gets you where you need to be.

Before coming to First Capital, she was Vice President of Business Banking for F.N.B. Corporation, and earlier Vice President for CresCon Bank.

Charleston the New Tip of the Trail

The position that brought her to Charleston a few years ago was the one she held with PNC Bank. She helped to launch the Charleston office and she served as Vice President for several years. “I had such a feeling of launching my own bank and that was a rare accomplishment. I got to see something take shape from the ground up!”

“We worked ‘smart’ through Covid, which included limited personal contact with clients. This is when I knew what I really enjoyed: connecting with people. I longed to have that personal touch again with my clients.”

Today, Heidi as VP of a smaller, private, full-service bank where she has personal the personal contact with her clients that she enjoys. It provides the opportunity for her to clients by name and not by a number.

“This is why working with Cokie is rewarding. She works the way I like to work —having that one-on-one touch and watching relationships develop into something successful. I really got to know Cokie by attending her lunch and learns. I gave feedback and that made a difference.

“Cokie’s clients are busy professionals, but I get to know them and their needs. Our products that are tailor-made for them, and I’m able to be creative with my approach to their long-term needs.”

The southern charm of Charleston feels like home now for Heidi, but she continues her love for ultra running and cycling extreme trails. She owns a gravel bike that carries her well over the trails in South Carolina and North Carolina and in the future north Georgia.

Passion is the Drive that Changes Things

“The trails in Charleston are far different than those I learned to run as an eight-year-old when my dad was my track coach,” says Heidi. “He was a competitive runner, so he started a running club, and it didn’t take long for me to get hooked.

“I ran through high school and college becoming a successful long-distance runner and then an ultra-trail runner. Vacations were spent in upstate Pennsylvania in the Allegheny National Forest hiking and trail running with my dad and sister. It was a lifestyle that I love but in an odd way it prepared me for what I do each day.

“I’ve run Boston’s Emerald Necklace which consists of an 1,100-acre chain of nine parks linked by parkways and waterways. This is just an amazing green space. But I have also run some of the toughest trails in western North Carolina.

“Running is like life. There are distances to travel and giving up or stopping is not an option. The summit, the trail, and the roadway all lead to a greater destination. It’s amazing being on top of a mountain and then to go back down through a forest. It changes you, bring hope, and it refreshes you. All the things that I want to bring to all my clients.”