GBA Member Profile

Heather Mead
Marketing Officer
Georgia First Bank, Vidalia, GA
Member, GBA Marketing Committee
Published Sept. 7, 2023

Q: What led you to a career in banking?
A: I believe that my natural knack for connecting with people guided me towards the world of banking. Despite not having the chance to pursue a college education, I leveraged the relationships I formed to secure an interview at the very bank I opened my first account with as a high school senior. This marked the beginning of my journey as a float teller, a role I embraced, moving seamlessly between branches as the need arose. Fueled by my genuine passion for customer service and interpersonal interactions, I've not only sustained but flourished in my career. June marked the beginning of my 25th year in banking.

Q: What was the most useful piece of advice you received in the early/formative years of your career?
A: One invaluable lesson imparted to me by a banking mentor revolved around my transition into a managerial role. I was encouraged to empower my team to make decisions and to wholeheartedly stand by those decisions, even in instances where the outcomes might not have been optimal. I fully believe that acting as a steadfast advocate and champion for one's team is one of the greatest assets in a leader's toolkit.

Q: Tell us about one experience you’ve had that exemplifies being a banker or your role at the bank.
A: I've recounted this story on numerous occasions, and it still warms my heart every time. Over the course of my career spanning four different banks, there's one customer whose journey has left an indelible mark. Our connection began at the first bank that I worked for in 2008, during a time when she was grappling with the loss of her husband and the responsibility of raising two children single-handedly. I changed jobs in 2010 and she managed to locate me at this second bank. After another job change, we lost touch. I lost my husband tragically in 2016 and made the decision to move back to my hometown and work for what is now Georgia First Bank. Unexpectedly, I received a phone call from this customer, a voice from the past that I hadn't heard for over six years. She mentioned hearing me on a radio advertisement and was determined to locate me once more. This led her to follow my path to yet another bank, where she remains a steadfast patron of my services to this day. Instances like these are the heart and soul of my vocation. The countless times I've been touched by the people I've encountered solely through my banking career are simply beyond measure. "Rewarding" barely captures the depth of emotion and fulfillment that define these relationships and experiences.

Q: What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
A: It might come as a surprise, but I have a fear of public speaking! Despite serving as the Marketing Director of our bank, it remains my least favorite activity.

Q: Pet peeve?
A: “That’s Not My Job”

Q: Most used app?
A: Canva

Q: TV show or series you love?
A: “A Million Little Things”