GBA Member Profile

Mike Sale
President and CEO
The Commercial Bank, Crawford
GBA Board of Directors, Group 10

How did you get into banking as a career?
I began working for First National Bank of Elberton when I was a college student. I would work there whenever I was home from the University of Georgia (summers, Christmas, some weekends). When I graduated, I decided to stay in banking since I already had some experience in the industry and found it enjoyable.  
What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today? 
My “after school” job when I was 16 years old was at a full-service gas station. Even in the 1980s, this was one of the few places remaining in town where you could get your gas pumped for you. The gas that was sold was considerably more expensive than the self-service stations right down the street. The experience helped teach me that the extra service that we provided (cleaning windshields, checking tires, etc.) was the only reason why our customers would pay more to do business with us. When I got into banking a few years later, I realized our business was basically a commodity business with service (once again) being the reason why a customer would do business with us instead of the bank down the street. 
What’s your favorite part of any given day at the bank?
I enjoy the mornings at the bank just before opening for business. It is a good time to finalize your plans for the day or discuss pertinent issues with team members before the day’s interruptions begin.
How does involvement in GBA help you and your bank?
GBA has been a foundation for my career development during the past 20 years. From Georgia Banking School in the 1990s, Leadership GBA in 2000s, to President/CEO Roundtables today, the GBA valuably positions bankers in this state to be successful. The banks in Georgia are served extremely well through the GBA’s advocacy, strategic partnerships, and the educational opportunities.
When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
I enjoy almost anything outdoors. When I am not at the bank, I like to spend my time hiking, skiing, traveling, and attending my three teenagers’ sporting events.