EVP – Chief Financial Officer
Pinnacle Bank, Elberton
Chair, GBA Asset/Liability Management 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 served in city management for 18 years before receiving an offer to become a banker. The stated vision and strategic goals for the company appealed to me. I took a deep breath and changed careers at 40 years old, joining a successful, growing bank. I can’t say there haven’t been challenges to overcome, but I can say that the change has been satisfying and rewarding. As an aside, I was in banking part time in the early 1980s, filling in as needed as a courier, delivering mail, working as a teller or proof operator etc…. The bankers in Macon were really good to me back then, even keeping me on the job after I wrecked my boss’ company car.
Q: What are some leadership lessons you learned early on that you still use today?
Communication is extremely important and you have to make sure both parties actually listen. Problems just don’t go away; you have to deal with them. Vision has to be coupled with accountability to succeed. If those that support me are successful, then I will be successful as well – find the best and brightest). Work is great and satisfying, but make time for yourself, family and friends today. Related to the wrecked car mentioned earlier, we all make mistakes. Apply grace when possible.
Q: The most misunderstood thing about banking or bankers is…
The term “bankers’ hours” just isn’t right! Pinnacle Bank employees work full schedules, giving 100 percent, as do most bankers I know.
Q: What are some of the reasons why your fellow bankers should attend the GBA Financial Risk Management Conference Nov. 3-4?
After a long painful period of bank closures, intense regulatory focus and low interest rates, times seem to be changing for the better. It may be slow improvement, but the economy and our business are moving in the right direction. It is a great time to network and develop resources, ideas and strategies to improve your bank’s performance. The sessions are geared to help you succeed.
Q: When you’re not on the job at the bank or fulfilling your GBA duties, what do you like to do?
I enjoy the lake, reading and traveling when I can. I love all parts of Georgia, but a nice, cool evening in the mountains of north Georgia goes a long way toward recharging my battery. Of course, very little can beat a fall Saturday in Athens, Georgia, on game day. Go Dawgs!