GBA Member Profile

Tessa Nolan
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Newton Federal Bank, Covington
At Large, 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 12 years, starting out as a part-time teller while finishing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia. I quickly became interested in understanding all there was to know about banking. I am grateful that Newton Federal allowed me to pursue this passion. I love that community banking focuses on building relationships and finding ways to make a difference in the communities we serve. It’s something I do from my heart. In fact one of my favorite quotes is from Steve Jobs, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.”

Q: What's your favorite part of any given day working for the bank?

Interaction with people. And by people, I mean my coworkers, customers, community members and investors. I love working for an institution that understands the importance of giving back. In fact we have labeled our outreach efforts as “Gold & Black Give Back.” We have found that through giving we’re able to make the biggest difference in people and the communities we serve. At Newton Federal Bank we believe we’re at our best when we’re serving others. 

Q: The most misunderstood thing about banking or bankers is… 

People often think that money means the most to banks and bankers. Not so. The thing that means the most to us is our purpose – our reason for existing. When we connect with people, share in their struggles, work alongside them for the things in which they believe, we fulfill our purpose for existing. We like to say that purpose is our bottom line.   

Q: How have benefited from your participation on GBA Committees and at GBA events like the upcoming Financial Risk Management Conference?

I have been able to meet some great people through the networking opportunities these events facilitate. Banking, much like life, is about relationships. When we’re able to connect with others that share our interest and commitments it makes for a more meaningful experience. The GBA sponsored conferences are a great way to expand my thoughts and explore the idea of others.     

Q: When you’re not on the job fulfilling your Newton Federal or GBA duties, what do you like to do?

I enjoy spending time with my twins, Elsa and Wyatt, and my husband, TJ. Having two three-year olds is a full-time job itself. Just call me chaos coordinator.