GBA Member Profile

Tony Collins
President and CEO
Southern Bank and Trust, Clarkesville
GBA Board of Directors, Group 9

Q: How did you get into banking as a career?

After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1975, I was looking for a career when a family friend suggested banking. The friend was well acquainted with the president of First National of Bank of Gainesville, GA, and recommended me to the bank president. Within days my banking career began. It was a great fit for me as I am now in my 41st year as a banker. 
Q: What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today? 

My first job, which was from ages 13-18, was working in a family-owned grocery store in Lula, GA, where I grew up. It was at this store where I received my first valuable lessons in management that have stayed with me throughout my career: the significance of  working with people of all socioeconomic levels, how a business is run from a financial, operational and customer service standpoint, and the importance of a good attitude by the leader. Team members respond positively to a leader with a winning, positive attitude.

Q: What’s your favorite part of any given day at the bank?

I really enjoy meeting with key staff members and helping them set directions, plans and priorities that help the bank meet our goals. 

Q: How does involvement in GBA help you and your bank?

Our involvement with the GBA greatly helps our bank in numerous ways. The roundtables are extremely helpful in discussing banking issues, problems and solutions with our peers who are facing similar issues in their banks. The overall GBA educational program is a vital part of our training and staff development efforts. The efforts of the GBA staff working on key governmental issues provide a service we could not perform as individual banks. And, the GBA Insurance Trust and other employee benefit products and services offered through the GBA are invaluable.

Q: When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?

My wife, Deborah, and I have been married for 42 years. We have two adult sons and three grandchildren. We enjoy watching our two oldest grandchildren participate in their various sports, and we enjoy trying to keep up with our youngest grandson who is 17 months old. We have enjoyed being members of and being involved in our church, Dahlonega Baptist, for 35 years. I enjoy golf, which I play regularly.

Mr. Tony E. Collins