GBA Member Profile

Brad Serff
President & CEO
Providence Bank, Alpharetta
Chair, GBA Community Bankers Committee

How did you get into banking as a career?
I was a finance major at the University of Tennessee and interviewed with Citizens & Southern National Bank in Atlanta after graduation. C&S had a well-known Management Associate training program, which I started in July 1988.

What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?
My first job in banking was as a Management Associate with C&S. I trained on the retail side of the bank, which included learning all the positions in a branch as well as consumer and commercial lending. The lessons I learned included always being appreciative of the efforts of those who trained me to be a banker and always treat people the way you would like to be treated. I know that sounds simple, but early in my career my dad served as a sounding board when I experienced things I liked and disliked. He always reminded me to take the negative experiences and handle them differently when I was in charge while continuing to do the positive ones. I believe that philosophy has helped me grow into a better banker and person.

What’s your best elevator pitch about why banking is a great career?
A career in banking allows you to learn financial management skills, help clients reach their financial goals and stay involved in the local community while continuing to learn. I think it’s important to do something you like and I have always enjoyed being a banker.

How does involvement in GBA help you and your bank?
The GBA has been a great resource for Providence Bank, whether through its training programs and group meetings or Insurance and Retirement Services. The GBA brings bankers together, and the interaction I have with my peers at GBA sponsored events has been invaluable in operating a community bank. I am appreciative of Joe Brannen and the staff for being the voice of community banking in Georgia during a time when the economy and political environment was not very favorable for community banks. I know that the GBA is always working to support Providence Bank and all the member banks in Georgia.

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
I like spending time with my wife and daughters, and doing almost any outdoor activity. I enjoy the lake and hunting and just completed an eight-day, 2,700 mile motorcycle ride around Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Montana and Wyoming.