GBA Member Profile

Martha Brown
Independence Bank of Georgia, Braselton
Chair, GBA Asset/Liability Committee

Q: How long have you been in banking, and will you share a little insight with us about how you became a career banker?
I have been in banking 33 years. I studied financial institution management at Iowa State University in addition to economics, and I graduated during the recession of 1983. My father got me a job as a Loan Teller, and since then I have held every position in a community bank except president. I have a passion for banking and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Q: What are some leadership lessons you learned early on that you still use today? 
The first bank president I went to work for told me he was not there to solve my problems. If I came to him with a problem, I was expected to have three solutions. That is the absolute best advice I have ever received because it made me think for myself and not rely on others when issues arose. If the president didn’t like the solutions, he shared what he would do, which was a great way to learn and look at things from a different perspective. I have shared that advice so many times over the years.
Q: The most misunderstood thing about banking or bankers is… 
That we just work 9-to-5. Bankers are active in their communities promoting local businesses, charities, and schools. Many of those functions happen after hours or before hours. And we don’t all play golf, though I’m looking forward to the day when I can!
Q: What are some of the reasons why your fellow bankers should attend GBA’s Financial Risk Management Conference Nov. 16-17? 
The conference provides such timely and current information about asset/liability management, risk management and the economy. This year’s conference will be no different. We have an excellent lineup of experts ready to share their most recent experiences on all of these topics and more.
Q: When you’re not on the job at the bank or fulfilling your bank duties, what do you like to do?
I love to do home improvement projects, I find it very relaxing. I recently installed a cast-iron kitchen sink for my mother with all of the plumbing and … no leaks! I also recently restored a tile floor in my home. This past summer I refinished my dining table. Home Depot and Lowe’s love me!