GBA Member Profile

Brent Sammons
President and CEO
Altamaha Bank & Trust 
GBA Board or Directors, Group 1

How did you get into banking as a career?
I’m from Mount Vernon, GA, where my father was president of the local bank so I grew up around banking. I spent a summer working as a loan teller at the bank but had no intentions of seeking a career in banking. I ended up getting a degree in Finance and then got a job in the Farm Credit system. A few years later, I got a call from my father in which he offered me a job as a branch manager with Altamaha Bank.

What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today? 
I got my first “real job” the day I turned 16 and that was working at my uncle’s Ace Hardware store in Vidalia. Prior to that, my brothers and I had a few yards that we mowed including our church and the bank. Because Dad signed our paychecks for keeping up the church and bank lawns, he taught us to be very meticulous about our work. That’s the way Dad ran the bank and I think he instilled that in me. 

What are the biggest challenges for you and your team at the bank these days?
Change is certain with most anything but it seems in all facets of our industry it occurs at an ever-increasing pace. The regulatory environment has been a challenge for us but our team has stepped up our game to make sure we comply. Certainly the breaches we’ve seen with several major retailers have been a challenge to us as well as the fraud we see almost daily are a huge challenge. Technology is a big one and a big part of our budget. We’ve got excellent people on the IT side and we’ve partnered with solid companies to be able to offer what our consumers will demand while doing so in a secure environment. 

How does your involvement in GBA help you and your bank? 
I’ve been involved with GBA since right after I started in banking. I’ve developed relationships with other bankers over the years and several of those I call on when I need wisdom about banking matters. Those relationships are invaluable to me in improving Altamaha Bank’s operation. The quality of the resources that GBA provides are second to none and I think we receive a great return on our investment in GBA.

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most? 
We live in the country so I enjoy being outdoors whether hunting or just working around the house. Another life lesson I learned from Dad is that a tractor and a mower provide a tremendous amount of therapy for the mind! I also enjoy hunting and inshore saltwater fishing. My family and I enjoy travel, a life goal that Katy and I set when we got married. We are also very involved in our church.