GBA Member Profile

David West
Director of Information Technology
BankSouth, Watkinsville, GA
Member, GBA Operations and Technology Committee
Published March 20, 2024

Q: What led you to a career in banking?
A: Prior to transitioning to community banking, my background was rooted in the healthcare industry. In 2010, an unexpected opportunity came up, leading me to venture into the territory of banking. Working in the banking sector exposed me to the profound impact of relationship-building and the support provided to small businesses in achieving their financial objectives. The combination of making genuine connections and engaging in community outreach captivated me, ultimately becoming the driving force that has kept me committed to the banking field.

Q: What was the most useful piece of advice you received in the early/formative years of your career?
A: Having been in technology management for over 30 years, a pivotal piece of advice that has influenced my approach is to prioritize my understanding before being understood. Ask questions and lots of them. In the fast-paced world of technology, where resolving issues and implementing improvements is often urgent, it's easy to overlook the importance of taking a step back to make sure you understand. I've found that investing time to thoroughly grasp the situation before diving into resolutions not only refines my problem-solving skills but also ensures a more thoughtful and effective approach.

Q: Tell us more about one experience you’ve had that exemplifies being a banker or your role at the bank.
A: I've been actively involved in various technology initiatives within the banking sector, but perhaps the most impactful and service-oriented was during the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) rollout amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While we had automation tools and workflows in place for back-office tasks at that time, none of them matched the customer impact achieved by automating the PPP process. This initiative played a crucial role in streamlining and expediting the assistance we could provide to our customers during a critical period.

Q: What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
A: Living the beautiful Georgia Mountains, I have been blessed with the joy of hiking all my life. I have done most trails in the northeast Georgia in local, state, and federal parks. And of course, one can’t say that without mentioning the Appalachian Trail. Through my years of sectional hiking, I have completed the Appalachian Trail from Georgia through the Smokey Mountains.

Q: First tap/click of the day?
A: Outlook email

Q: Most used app?
A: Instagram

Q: TV show or series you love?
A: The Big Bang Theory