SunMark Community Bank
Chair, GBA Asset/Liability Management Committee
Q: What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?
A: My first job was at a Honeybaked Ham store. I would work during November and December doing anything from wrapping, glazing, or cleaning the hams. The main lesson I took away from that job was to respect and appreciate the hard work and sweat it takes to perform any job, no matter what the position or the pay. I try to take that into account today when working with others.
Q: What drew you to the banking/financial services industry?
A: I started out of college as a bank examiner for the state of Georgia. I would travel to various banks throughout the state and work directly with community bankers. Seeing the impact these bankers made on local communities and individuals was always appealing to me. I also enjoyed seeing how creative each banker was at making the most of their bank and market they were in. That challenge has always been intriguing to me and I have always enjoyed seeing how different bankers approach it.
Q: When you think about the future of the banking industry, what makes you hopeful and what makes you concerned?
A: I’m concerned with all of the consolidation and mergers in our industry. I believe community banks are an integral part of each community and worry that some of these places will not have a local bank. Without those institutions, the community will not be able to grow and flourish in years to come.
I’m excited about the future of this industry in our state. I believe we have great leadership in all of our banks and that a younger generation is beginning to make their mark. I think the opportunities for that generation will be plentiful.
Q: If you could thank someone for becoming the professional you are today, who would it be and why?
A: My parents played a very important role in my upbringing and molded me into who I am today. They have always been my biggest supporters and somehow put up with me so far. My mom taught me to be respectful of others and treat everyone the same. My dad taught me the meaning of a hard day’s work and pushed me to set lofty goals for myself. Without their love, support, and confidence in me, lord knows what I would be doing today.
Q: What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m a pretty open book, so there are not many surprises. Although my fiance’ may tell you otherwise, I am actually a decent cook. I do my best to bring various food items up to the bank to test on my coworkers. Usually I get the stamp of approval, although it can be a tough crowd to please.