GBA Member Banker Profile

Leesa Anderson
Chief Technology Officer, State Bank of Cochran
Chair, GBA Operations and Technology Committee

Q: By words alone, operations and technology doesn’t sound like a very personal or “human” part of our business. How do you personalize what you and your colleagues do for customers and the bank?

A. Our role in the IT department is to support the bank's internal users and to make life easier for them. We are here to make things run smoothly in the background so that our colleagues are not frustrated with technology, and we make ourselves readily available so that we can ease the stress when the technology does not cooperate. Although we may not be face to face with our co-workers or our customers, we aim to be the friendly voices that help to lessen the tension and solve the problems that hinder our front line folks from giving the best customer service possible.

Q: What’s the biggest change in bank operations and technology you’ve seen since you began your career?

A. Computers! When I started in banking as a teller 19 years ago, we were still using Sharp machines and had only one computer behind the teller line. Once we started implementing computers at every desk and every teller window, things changed dramatically!

Q: What’s your own personal biggest technology challenge?

A. My biggest challenge is the general resistance to change. People do not like change in whatever form, and it can be a challenge to help them see the benefits and efficiencies gained by implementing new technologies.

Q: Why are programs like GBA’s Operations and Technology Conference and Southern Operations and Technology School good for bankers?

A. The greatest benefit to these programs is the opportunity to network with other bankers in the same role. There is something reassuring about knowing you're not the only one going through a particular challenge. It always helps to get the insights of others who are either facing the same issue or have already found a way through it. Additionally, these programs help to keep us all abreast of new technologies and new compliance and regulatory requirements. Knowledge empowers!

Q: What’s something you’ve learned from a mentor or another banker you’d like to share?

A. When I started in the IT role more than 10 years ago, another banker was kind enough to reach out to me and share information. He made a comment to me that the best way to achieve success in this role is to surround yourself with others who are willing to share information. That was the best advice I could have received, and I have taken it to heart! I have attempted to learn everything I can from others who are willing to share and then to pass on that knowledge to others who also need the information. In the banking operations and technology world, we are all in this together!

Q: When you’re not on the job at the bank or helping out on a GBA committee, what do you like to do?

I am very involved with my church as a pianist and Sunday School teacher, among other things. I have also been privileged to participate in several overseas mission opportunities. My two nieces and two nephews are my heart, and I love to spend time with them and the rest of my close-knit family!