GBA Member Profile

Kelly Smith
Senior Vice President
First National Bank of Griffin, Griffin, GA
Chair-Elect., Leadership GBA Board of Directors
Published June 21, 2023

Q: What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?
A: My first job out of college was working for a property management company in Breckenridge, Colorado. Not a bad place to work for a first job. While on the job, I learned that genuine customer service goes a long way into turning a frustrated customer experience into a happy and loyal customer.

Q: What was the most useful piece of advice you received from a mentor (or in the early/formative years of your career)?
A: My first banking job was at a larger bank in Atlanta, and I had a mentor that stressed the importance of finding real purpose in both work and personal life. These discussions ultimately helped me in making the decision to move from the “big bank” atmosphere and pursue a career in community banking where I felt I could make a real contribution.

Q: Tell us about one experience you’ve had that exemplifies being a banker or your role at the bank.
A: I feel like my position as a community banker is no different than anyone else in community banking. We enjoy taking care of our customers and at the same time being closely involved in our communities. One particular example is for the past 20 years, I have been delivering meals to homebound residents in Griffin twice a month. There are many times I feel too busy with my normal workload to break away from the office, but in the end, I always find it rewarding to be able to find the balance of managing my work at the bank and being able to be involved in helping others.

Q: What is the hardest part about your job?
A: The thing I find toughest about managing my loan portfolio is transitioning a loan relationship to another lender to allow me the time to take on other responsibilities. In so many cases, there is a long history of trust and comfort that has been established and it can be difficult to pass that customer off to someone else.

Q: First tap/click of the day?
A: I like to start off my mornings on our patio with a cup of coffee and the first app I open is the Bible App. I like to start my day with a devotional first before moving to the morning news and market updates.

Q: When you’re not on the job at the bank, what do you like to do?
A: I enjoy spending time with my family and my favorite hobbies are fly fishing, bow hunting and jogging. My hope is to one day be able to spend more time backpacking and fishing out West.