Morris Bank, Warner Robins
Leadership GBA Executive Committee, Group 6
Can you share with us how you first got involved with GBA?
My first experience began with the GBA’s Leadership Roundtables in 2011 shortly after I’d moved to Morris Bank. At the time, I had been in banking for 11 years. My Roundtable provided me with a more comprehensive understanding of community banking. It has been an invaluable asset to my career since then. Among other things, I’ve found lasting relationships with other Georgia bankers that have helped me navigate different issues and opportunities.
What are the goals you most want to accomplish through your work at the bank?
My primary goal is to support the Morris Bank team in Houston County in a way that reflects the bank’s commitment to excellence in all that we do. Through a dedication to the highest standards of ethical behavior, and a lot of hustle, I want to help Morris Bank grow in our thriving, local economy, and to continue to help customers experience a common sense approach to banking. Throughout my career, I also hope to use the relationships formed with customers and co-workers to reflect God’s love through my actions.
Can you tell us a little bit about two people who have significantly influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life?
My parents had the most influence in my life prior to meeting my wife. My dad taught me how to live and work with integrity. He encouraged me to think about integrity as more than an ideal to live by, and instead apply it consistently to make decisions that reflect honor and character on me and my family. My mom taught me empathy and how to find strength in restraint. She also taught me how to be a gentleman.
When you think of the future of the banking industry in Georgia, what makes you concerned? What makes you hopeful?
I’m concerned by the accelerated pace of consolidation with larger banks in Georgia. Due to the higher cost of compliance and changes in regulatory requirements, it may become more attractive for larger banks to merge or purchase smaller community banks, leaving some non-metro areas of Georgia without a true community bank. Community banks are so critical in some of those places, where a localized approach to economic support is necessary for growth. I am hopeful for the industry because of the amount of growth in Georgia, as compared to other states. Although a disproportionate amount of growth is occurring in metropolitan areas, the rest of the state does benefit in unique and unexpected ways from growth in those areas. More importantly, I am very encouraged for the future of the industry by the leadership I see from other bankers around our state.
What is one thing that your Morris Bank co-workers and GBA friends might not know about you?
I have a little bit of an animal magnetism; let me explain. Growing up in a farming community in Appling County, I’ve always had a love for animals and nature. I’ve also enjoyed jogging for many years. However, these affections have not always co-existed harmoniously in my life. While jogging I’ve been bitten by a bulldog, attacked by a pit bull and two schnauzers, struck at by a rattlesnake and chased through a cornfield by an angry black lab. On one of my favorite jogging routes, I have been frequently buzzed within an inch of my head by a territorial hawk that lived nearby. Perhaps one of the most startling experiences was being chased over a quarter of a mile by a tenacious wild Burmese rooster in my wife’s hometown of Fitzgerald. I would like to attribute these experiences to possessing some type of special “animal magnetism,” but my wife assures me that’s not the case. A neighbor once told me that she was inspired by the sight of me saying a prayer one morning before going for a run. I was too embarrassed to tell her that I was just asking to make it through the jog unscathed!