Gene Lovell assumed the role of president and CEO of First State Bank in 2008, after more than 17 years of experience with the bank. Lovell previously served as chief financial officer, senior vice president and auditor. He earned his bachelor’s of business administration from Western Michigan University and is a certified public accountant.
Q. What role does a bank play in assisting businesses in a down economy?
The success of a bank really depends on its customers, and I think, with most businesses, their own success is going to depend in part on their banking relationship. In a down economy, we want to work with our business customers to help them overcome their difficulties, see them rebound and once again thrive.
Q. What are ways a business can save money and become more efficient?
We have several financial products and services that may be able to help, but we want to know as a businessperson what your needs are, especially in these difficult times. Managing cash, liquidity, financing, investing these are critical in the best of times and even more so when the economy falters as it’s doing right now. We can provide services that will help businesses better manage their cash position. Even though in a down economy there are some obvious weaknesses, there’s still likely to be some areas of strengths. I think we can help businesses to identify those areas, and we can often find products and services that can help facilitate positive change and improvement.
Q. How can a business develop a strong relationship with its bank?
Provide us as much information as you’re able to about your business. We’re going to want to look at your general business plans, look at your projections, go over your financial statements. Discuss with us where your business is going what you think some of the strengths are, what you think some of the roadblocks are going to be on the way. It’s important that the information you provide us is accurate and complete and just as important as the promptness of it.