GBA Member Profile

Chuck Copeland
President and CEO
First National Bank of Griffin
GBA Insurance Trust Chairman and GBA Group 4 Representative

How did you get into banking as a career? 
A family friend served on the board of a community bank in my hometown. I had a tremendous amount of respect for him, and he encouraged me to look into a job with his bank.

What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?
I worked in a small town general store, doing everything from bagging groceries, to working in the meat market, to delivering farm supplies. I learned respect and appreciation for my employer and how to interact with a broad range of people. Maybe most importantly, I learned the proper way to count change back to a customer without an electronic cash register. 

What is the biggest challenge at your bank these days?
Loan growth. We saw our loan portfolio shrink dramatically during the real estate downturn, from both defaults and orderly pay downs.

How does your involvement in GBA help you and your bank? 
The contacts and relationships I have made through my involvement with the GBA have been invaluable. The support and encouragement I received from fellow bankers as we struggled through the effects of the recession touched and lifted me in ways for which I will never be able to express appropriate thanks. Today, many of those same bankers have become a resource for opportunities to improve our bank. The GBA is the glue that holds us all together. 

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
My favorite activity outside of work is anything on the bicycle. I enjoy both road cycling and mountain bike riding. I also enjoy spending time with my family, particularly watching my son participate in sports.