Born: Vicksburg, Miss.
B.S. in banking and finance, Mississippi State University; MBA, University of Texas
First job: Management trainee
Whom do you admire most in business?
Walter Johnson, who is the chairman of our board. He has been a mentor of mine for 26 years. He’s an incredible talent and never ceases to impress me. He has a genuine concern for fellow bankers and clients, and is one of the most responsive people I’ve ever met.
What is the greatest business lesson you’ve learned?
Simply put, you can never invest too much in customer service.
What are some universal truths you’ve learned about leading a business?
Remember that people want to be challenged. Some of the strongest friendships in life begin in the business arena. The vast majority of people are very loyal if you treat them right.
What are some of the most important traits a business leader needs?
A business leader needs honesty, integrity, flexibility, aptitude, motivation, attitude and commitment.