President & CEO
ServisFirst Bank, Atlanta
Group 7 Board Member
Q: You’ve got a little more than 40 years of experience under your belt - will you share with us a little about the how/why you chose to pursue a career in banking?
I was influenced by a former banker in Douglasville that was a friend of our family. He was one of the most respected and accomplished leaders in our community. He always told me that once I graduated from college to come and see him. I majored in Economics and in my last semester I visited him in his office. He made a phone call to get me an interview that landed my first banking job.
Q: What’s your quick pitch to young people who may be considering getting into banking as a career?
I always tell young people to study business and try to find a position that will allow them to see all parts of the bank. Because there are not many training programs at the larger banks I tell them to consider bank operations/accounting. That is how I got my start, and it allowed me to learn the fundamentals of how a bank operates. I tell them to eventually make the transition to lending.
Q: What’s your favorite part of any day on the job at the bank?
My favorite part of any day at the bank is to spend time with my associates. We spend more awake time together Monday through Friday than most spend with their family. I am always interested in their happiness.
Q: How have benefited from your participation on GBA Boards and at GBA events like the upcoming President/CEO Conference scheduled Oct.1-3?
I have made a living for 41 years as a banker. Our industry is always changing and the GBA is the best resource we have to keep our bank and my career on track. I depend on them for so many needs. Participating on the board has been an honor and an added benefit for me and the bank to be involved in the dynamics we face on a daily basis. The changes in technology, regulations, business trends and consumer needs are always challenging. The GBA stays in the forefront of all of this. The educational offerings including the conferences allow me and all the bank employees the opportunity to stay in the game.
Q: When you’re not on the job fulfilling your ServisFirst Bank or GBA duties, what do you like to do?
When I’m not working I spend as much time as possible with my family. My 10-year-old son and 6-month-old grandson keep me pretty busy. If there is time after that I do like to play a round of golf every now and then. My lack of play has me begging for strokes!