GBA Member Profile

William Tuttle
President, Barnesville Division
United Bank
Barnesville, GA
Group 4 Rep., Leadership GBA Board of Directors

Q: What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?
A: My first job was at Last Chance Liquor in Athens. One of many things I learned was the importance of forming personal relationships. Whether it’s knowing a customer’s beverage of choice or knowing the families and children of your bank customers, these relationships are lasting and will keep them coming back.

Q:  What drew you to the banking/financial services industry?
A: My family has been involved with United Bank since the early ‘70s when my grandfather, Jack Tuttle, was a founding board member of Lamar State Bank (now United Bank). My father, Doug Tuttle, also worked for United Bank, starting as a lender in our Barnesville Division in the mid-‘70s and retiring as COO in 2013. Initially, I didn’t consider banking but was going into the insurance business. Out of college, I worked at the headquarters of Georgia Farm Bureau in Macon as an underwriter. I quickly realized I needed more human interaction than I was getting in my cubicle. I was lucky to get a call from John Edwards and he offered me a job as a management associate in 2005. The rest is history. I now hold the position of President of the Barnesville Division, a title my father once held.

Q: When you think about the future of the banking industry, what makes you hopeful and what makes you concerned?
A: I’m optimistic about the future of banking. Our industry has had many challenges the past 12 years and these challenges have made us stronger and better bankers. We are, and have always been, at the forefront of helping our communities and its citizens. The recent PPP loans are a good example. Not so much of a concern but a necessity going forward will be the ability of financial institutions, mainly community banks, to keep up with growing technology needs in order to continue serving our customers the way they want to be served. Whether or not branch banking continues to be a viable delivery method for our products and services remains to be seen, but our industry will have to continue to adapt to best meets the needs of our customers.

Q: If you could thank someone for becoming the professional you are today, who would it be and why?
A: There are two people who stand out. First, my father. He has always supported me personally and professionally. He taught me the importance of treating everyone with respect. His common sense and the ability to see all sides of a situation before making a decision is something I will always strive to imitate. A lot of what my father learned, personally and professionally, he learned from my second person, Mr. Joe Edwards. It was a privilege growing up watching my father and Mr. Joe as community bankers. I’ve never seen anyone who cares more for the customers he serves and the community around him than Mr. Joe. He instilled this as the culture of United Bank and it continues today. At 85, Mr. Joe was coming into the office almost daily, from 9 to 5, until Covid altered his schedule. We talk several times a week about customers and all the happenings around Barnesville and Lamar County. I’d like to thank both of them for laying the foundation for what United Bank has become today. Their commitment to customer service and the communities we serve has made us all better people and bankers.

Q:  What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
A: I climbed Mt. Rainer a few years back, love fly fishing, and played guitar in a band in college. We played downtown Athens once and were never asked back.