GBA Member Profile

Mark Wills
SVP/Commercial Lending
Georgia Bank & Trust Company, Augusta
Chair, GBA Credit Committee

How did you get into banking as a career?
I started working in banking right out of college. I had just finished my business degree from the University of South Carolina and I enjoyed marketing/sales, but I wasn’t quite sure what career path I wanted. I picked banking because it would expose me to all types of businesses. Little did I know that I would still be in banking after 34 years.

What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today? 
I had just turned 15 and took a job bagging groceries down the street from my house. At the time, I just looked at it as a way to make a little money. As I got older, I realized the importance of that first job for a person and how it helps mold your character as you get older. It really hit home when my two boys were in high school and needed a little direction and maturity in their life. We worked on getting them a job and it was like they changed overnight. 

What’s your best elevator pitch about why banking is a great career?
Banking is more than debits and credits and sitting behind a desk. Banking offers many career paths if you are willing to explore them. During my 34 years, I have spent time in retail banking, mortgage banking, real estate appraising, municipal trading and commercial lending. Each area has helped me grow as a banker.

How does involvement in GBA help you and your bank?
If the only benefit was to meet other bankers around the state, I would be satisfied. But, Joe and the staff at the GBA do a great job of keeping us up to date on the issues facing the banking Industry in Georgia and across the country. They are our voice in Atlanta. 

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
I love nature, so getting outdoors for a run or finding a good hike through the woods excites me. It’s even better when I can get my family out there too.