Birthplace: Newark; grew up in Heath
First job: Cutting grass and sorting pop bottles for a grocery store in Heath
Education: Bachelor of arts degree, business education, Ohio University
Greatest business challenge:
Moving the ship forward at a pace we think we should in a market that isn’t giving us much lift.
The job loss in the state of Ohio and the special circumstances we find ourselves in these days has been the single greatest challenge we have had. If you go back to 2002, that’s the last year we experienced a double-digit increase in earnings.
If you [look at] the 40 years that preceded that, we averaged easily a double-digit increase. 2006 will be the fourth consecutive year that we’ve not done that. We’ve averaged about 5 percent, which isn’t bad by most standards, but it’s way short of our standards.
That has really caused us to look within metro markets more, Columbus and Cincinnati most specifically. And finally, and importantly, it’s caused us to find another banking company operating in a far more robust market than Ohio. That is the Alabama and Florida answer.
We are (expanding) there because the markets are much more dynamic.
Most important business lesson:
Hire good people. Attract the best and the brightest talent you can find and keep them.
That’s really why we’re successful because our people are so good. It’s not me; it’s them. And they would be quick to tell you that.