As part of our 75th Anniversary celebration, we sat down with some of our executives to get their thoughts about Bank Independent’s legacy of making a positive difference and what they are excited about for the next 75 years of our company’s future. This Q&A has been adapted from that interview.
Q: Introduce yourself and tell us what you do here at Bank Independent.
A: I'm Preuit Mauldin and I'm an executive vice president. I probably have one of the easiest jobs in the bank because of the people I work with. I work primarily with credit administration and facilities, but credit administration takes up most of my time. Credit Administration basically has two teams. The first team makes sure that we're making quality loans and that the loans are in compliance with Bank Independent’s loan policy and banking regulations. Malania Nesbitt and Will Alexander head up that team. The second team, Asset Quality, headed by Raleigh Green, is responsible for monitoring our loans after they are booked and working to identify weaknesses in loans and minimize losses. And then on the facility side, I work with John Bowling and his team, and they do an excellent job, too. So, because of the teams that I work with, I have probably one of the easiest jobs because I just listen to what they tell me and make sure that we continue on the right track
Q: How long have you been here at the bank and what was your first position?
A: Well, my experience in banking is somewhat unique. My brothers, Fennel, Macke, and I all grew up understanding banking from just the dinner table conversation at home since our father was leading the bank that our grandfather helped start. But, then I had a career in farming with cotton, corn, soybeans, beef cattle, cotton ginning, and cotton warehousing for 20 years. As that become became less rewarding, I decided to move over to the banking side. I joined the bank as a team member in credit administration and learned from JoAnn Beck. That was in 2002, so I've been here about 20 years.
Q: Share one of your favorite things about working at the bank and why Bank Independent is so special?
A: I would say, and I know, I know it's trite to give your parent a shout-out, but one of my biggest influences was my father. I grew up listening to my father say that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and I don't think I realized until I got older that Daddy didn't make that up. It came from President Kennedy back when he was president and I think the full quote was, “As we say on Cape Cod, a rising tide lifts all boats.” What Daddy meant, what President Kennedy meant, by that is if you can make a positive difference in your community and you can make your community more prosperous, everybody that you touch will become a little more prosperous and it affects everybody around them. It's a pretty interesting concept. As a community bank, one of the things I think we do well and that I'm most proud of is that we invest money back into our own communities and make a positive difference in a lot of people's lives by doing that.
Q: Who was somebody here at the bank that had a positive influence on you?
A: Well, I always say that the person who has the most positive influence other than my father was JoAnn Beck, who taught me all I know about credit administration. She had a very logical mind. She had a very good approach to credit administration and knew a whole lot about lending and making quality loans and making sure that we were well documented in case the loans did go bad. She continued to be a great influence as a board member up until her death very recently. JoAnne shaped my brothers and me into the bankers that we are today and her highly logical approach to community banking will continue to guide the bank well into the next 75 years.
Q: What are looking forward to for the next 75 years of Bank Independent?
A: Of course, I won't be here, and I don't know what the next 75 years holds, but I expect to be here for a portion of those at least. I don't know where we are going in the next 75 years, but I expect that Bank Independent will continue to be a force in our community for the better and that we will continue to operate as a community bank. I don't ever see us getting into a great big regional bank, but I see us continuing to grow within a northern portion of Alabama. We would like to grow, or I would like to see us grow, to branches that are anywhere that we can drive to in a day and get back home.