|Executive Vice President, Senior Credit Officer, IberiaBank|
You helped guide Racom Technologies to impressive growth. How does your experience as a CFO growing a business help you make decisions as a banker?
I can truly say that I know what their side of the table looks like. I know what it takes to manage working capital, which is often the biggest challenge our clients face. I learned a lot about the operating and accounting systems of businesses, which is very different from banking. There is no doubt that the experience has made me a better banker and, therefore, a value add to our clients.
You've spent most of your career working in Louisiana and the greater region. What have you learned over that time and how has the region changed?
I traveled a tremendous amount while I was with Racom and I learned that we live in a great place with great people. We have the best food on the planet and people work and play hard. While the migration of some jobs to places like Houston have been a disappointment, I have seen our communities and institutions advance. I am concerned about the coastal erosion that I have witnessed knowing that my life is a geological nanosecond. I believe our universities have also progressed and government leadership seems to have improved, which makes me consequently very bullish on the future of the Louisiana and the South.
Why do you do what you do?
Because I love it and I have three kids! Seriously, quality of life improves when economies improve. I take my job seriously in that we allocate capital on a micro and macro basis. On a micro basis with our clients, we are at the table as our clients grow and create economic improvement for "their world." Good decisions result in growth for their businesses and our community or a good decision can prevent waste or loss. It's a big job and working hard at it makes me happy.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Talking a client out of deal that ultimately went bad and winning them as a client for life. Earning the confidence of teammates and clients is my greatest accomplishment and is always a work in progress.
What was your first job?
Planting sugar cane for $1.50/hour.
Think a lot, say little, write nothing.
If you could have any job other than your own, what would it be?
What is the greatest personal or professional obstacle you've overcome?
I've lived a charmed life – I'll have to think about that – I have a good habit of forgetting the negative.
If you started over, what would you do differently?
A lot but I'll share that with my kids only so that they don't make the same mistakes.
What is your prescription for life?
It's short—who have you helped? No matter what, tomorrow is a new day.
What book are you currently reading?
This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. I just finished Full Black by Brad Thor and I recommend it.
If you could have dinner with any three living people, who would they be?
Ben Bernanke, Drew Brees, and my wife.
What do you do to unwind?
Anything outside – mainly hunt and fish.
What is the most expensive purchase you've made for yourself?
My boat because every time my wife buys something, she reminds me of it.
What is your favorite weekend activity?
What's your favorite spot in Baton Rouge?
Tiger Stadium, DiGiulio's & my home.
How do you take your coffee/tea?
What is your favorite movie?
The Borne series
What is your favorite gadget?
I love gadgets and the question should be which one now? The Ghost Blind.
What is something that you can't live without?
Water (it's a dynamic answer).
If you could change one thing about Baton Rouge, what would it be?
What is your greatest hope for Baton Rouge?
Our city offers a good quality of life. The city seems to have more engineers than any place that I have been and I think that is a great thing. It also has more oak trees than any place I've been and that's a beautiful thing. You get the sense that Baton Rougeans have the attitude "we can grow this place."
What is your greatest fear for Baton Rouge?
I don't have one. Fear is from the Dark side.
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