GBA Member Profile

Doug Wren
Executive Vice President/Chief Lender
Persons Banking Company
GBA Group 6 board member

How did you get into banking as a career?
When I was a sophomore in college in 1967, I got a part time job in the proof encoding area at the old First National Bank of Atlanta. When I finished college, I went into the management training program at First Atlanta.

What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?
One of my first jobs at the bank was flying large checks to New York City and running up and down Wall Street to get the deposits made at the various banks before their 2 p.m. cutoff. Now, all the deposits are sent to the banks for collection within seconds from the branch where they are deposited. I learned very early on to embrace change, particularly technological change. I have always tried to keep up with technology. I was in a Chick-fil-A in Tifton a few weeks back. As I was checking out with the cashier I realized I had left my wallet in the car, but I had my phone and remembered I had just installed Samsung Pay. I held my phone up to the card reader and it beeped to say transaction complete. The Millennial-age cashier said it was the coolest thing she had ever seen. I told her, “Not bad for a 70 year old.”

What is the biggest challenge at your bank these days?

The regulatory changes have to be the biggest challenges at our bank. All the Dodd-Frank requirements sometimes make it difficult to help the very customers that the CFPB is trying to protect.

How does your involvement in GBA help you and your bank?
I have been involved with the GBA since the late 1970s and have met so many great people that have had an impact and influence on my banking career.

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
Outside the bank, I consider myself a foodie wannabe. I love good food. I love to cook and continually look for good cooking classes. I try to get my exercise in with a goal of 10,000 walking steps a day so I can eat good food.