VP/Swainsboro City President
Durden Banking Company, Inc., Swainsboro, GA
Member, Georgia Banking School 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 a teller while in high school with Durden Banking Company, where I am still employed today. I learned from the head teller at the time to get to know the customers well and interface with them as much as possible, both at the bank and outside of the bank. This has proven to be excellent advice that has served me well in my career in banking.
Q: What drew you to a career in the financial services industry?
A: Working in high school and college at the bank naturally influenced my career path as well as my college professor, Ed Sibbald, who taught bank-specific courses at Georgia Southern University. He deserves so much credit for making banking fun and sharing real-life banking scenarios and situations with young students. The ability to help small businesses and my community has kept me highly interested and involved within the industry. In my opinion, there is no better way to serve the place you live and raise your children than through community banking.
Q: When you think about the future of the banking industry, what makes you hopeful and what makes you concerned?
A: I think the available workforce and talent pool is a concern for any industry, including banking. Being able to train young bankers and keep them engaged will be key in helping our industry thrive. The banking industry has always adapted to change, and I feel confident it will continue to do so through professional development, government advocacy and staying tuned in to what our communities and customers need.
Q: What drives your involvement with the Georgia Banking School?
A: The Georgia Banking School provides a rare and valuable opportunity to learn about all aspects of the bank. The school is also a wonderful resource for managers and mentors to develop the existing talent within the bank. Being able to learn about the industry away from the day-to-day stressors of work, in addition to the networking opportunities, was invaluable to me as I attended the school. I am now a grader for the second year home study assignments, which gives me a chance to interact with other bankers and help them grow in their careers.
Q: What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
A: My wife and I have three daughters and we love all sports and sporting events. Most of all, our girls are really into the Atlanta Braves. They know all the players’ names, positions, batting lineup, numbers, everything! My oldest daughter aspires to be the trainer who goes on the field to check on the hurt players.