GBA Member Profile

John P. Barker III
President/CEO, First Bank of Pike, Molena, GA
Chairman, 2022-2023 GBA Services, Inc. Board
Central Group Rep., 2022-2023 Georgia BankPAC Board of Directors
At Large Member, 2022-2023 GBA Public Affairs Committee
GBA Services, Inc., Rep., 2022-2023 GBA Board of Directors

Q: What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?
A: My first job was working in a local peach orchard and delivering peaches to grocery stores. That job taught me about working with all types of people and doing all types of jobs….in that case, from picking peaches to grading them to just delivering them. You have to be willing to jump in and do the manual labor with others in order to understand what they do. It helped me to learn how to earn the respect of others and become a more effective leader.

Q: What was the most useful piece of advice you received from a mentor (or in the early/formative years of your career)?
A: Some of the best advice I have ever received was from working in the land clearing business with my grandfather. He was always the first one on the job and the last to leave. He always said, “Never be too big to do the little things, and you will never be too small to do the big things.” It took me while to fully grasp that, but when I did, it made a world of difference in my career.

Q: Tell us about one experience you’ve had that exemplifies being a banker, such as a service story that really helped a customer or a quirky story.
A: The best experience I have had as a banker happens about every day. It is the ability to help people. Sometimes it’s hard for people in need to check every box for a loan, but when I speak with customers or my lenders, I seem to be able to get a good feel for the customer and their issue and can usually find a way to help them out. That’s the fun part of being a community banker, and in my position, I can make variances that make sense.

Q: What is the hardest part about your job?
A: By far, the hardest part of my job is personnel issues.

Q: First tap/click of the day?
A: Well, if it’s a Monday, my first click of the day is usually Joe Brannen’s email! Other than that, it’s our balance sheet and income reports.

Q: When you’re not on the job at the bank, what do you like to do?
A: When not at the bank, I enjoy UGA football in the fall and spending time on our family farm in Washington County.