GBA Member Profile

Zach H. Giddens
Commercial Lender
Morris Bank, Dublin
Group 6 Rep., 2021-2022 Leadership GBA Board of Directors

Q: What led you to a career in banking?
A: I really thought that I would pursue a career as a CPA, given that my undergraduate degree was in accounting at University of West Alabama, where I had a football scholarship. I grew up in Irwin County, Ocilla, GA, but I was able to make my way to West Alabama with the help of a few people who believed in me. I was the only accounting major on the football team at the time. I credit my career and opportunity to become a banker to George Slappey. George hired me fresh out of college and has been a great mentor and role model to me since hiring me in 2006. Larry Young, a retired Georgia banker, was very influential in my life in Ocilla and was a reference on my resume out of college. Larry played a big part in connecting me with George Slappey.

Q: What was the most useful piece of advice you received from a mentor in the early/formative years of your career?
A: “You can’t eat/live on pipeline” (potential deals), and “We want workhorses, not show horses.” - Spence Mullis, CEO at Morris Bank

Q: Tell us about one experience you’ve had that exemplifies being a banker.
A: A local collision center husband/wife owner team was referred to me by a local real estate broker, who is now a great customer of ours. The owners were in dire need of a bank to believe in them and help them refinance their loans away from a private group that bought their notes during The Great Recession, which came with a lot of baggage for Morris Bank and I to sort through. After several conversations and meetings with this married couple, I knew they were great people and experts at their business. They just needed some constructive coaching and a relationship bank to help them and believe in them. Ultimately, Morris Bank and I were able to save their business real estate and personal real estate from foreclosure. This couple became personal friends of mine, good customers, and local advocates for Morris Bank with a real story of their own to tell what our bank is about.

Q: Top Three…

  • Book that you love/has made an impact? “Extreme Ownership,” written by two Navy Seals. This book was gifted to me by Kelly Harrington, a teammate of mine at Morris Bank, and it really opened my eyes to taking ownership in individual purpose, and thinking about your team and your organization above yourself.
  • Most used app? Barstool Sports (Dave Portnoy is incredible)
  • TV show or series you love? I’m patiently waiting for my wife, Mary, to watch Yellowstone with me.

Q: When you’re not on the job at the bank, what do you like to do?
A: My kids - Abby (12), Nolan (10), and Elleanor (4) - occupy my time. My wife, Mary, is a pediatric nurse practitioner and works after hours so most of my afternoons are spent chauffeuring my kids across Houston County to cheer, soccer/baseball, and gymnastics practice. My family and I love to go to the beach and the mountains when we all can get away. My family is a huge supporter of the GBA Leadership Conference in Ponte Vedra! I love to spend time with my father, Eddie, and my brother, Sam, deer hunting in South Georgia (Irwin County), fishing and hunting arrowheads. I also love to read the Wall Street Journal, listen to Bloomberg’s Morning Surveillance, and read fiction and non-fiction novels when I can.