By Jerry Woods, Senior Vice President, National Sales Manager at Core Bank.
I have had the privilege and exhilaration over the last 35 plus years in banking to open many bank branch locations and new markets around the United States. I have enjoyed discovering under-served or temporarily out of favor markets with great trends in business vitality and a strong workforce of highly educated and motivated bankers to join our teams to build a presence in these markets. As I come upon my tenth anniversary of moving our family to Nashville to build a business presence here I continue to be awestruck by the level of business energy found here and how it has far surpassed my hope and projections for this market.
I am equally excited about learning the two existing markets of Core Bank in Omaha and Kansas City from a high energy and fun loving group of dedicated and experienced colleagues. I’m looking forward to expanding the footprint of Core Bank beyond these three markets to opportunities where we may identify other relationship oriented bankers that have a strong presence in similar high growth markets around the country.
It all started in Toledo, Ohio
I began my banking career in Toledo, Ohio (which is my original hometown) at Toledo Trust which is now Fifth/Third. I earned my Bachelor and Master’s degrees in business at the University of Toledo, met my wife Gwenn at the high school we both attended in Toledo, and our families remain in Toledo. After Gwenn and I finished with our college careers in 1986, we struck out for the big city of Chicago and I quickly learned what it was like to work for a bank that did not have a 70% market share; frightening.
We would literally go door to door in those days with a stack of D&B cards that told us about who owned the businesses we were calling on that day. Between 1986 and 2002 I held increasing levels of responsibilities at various privately and publicly held banks before becoming a regional president just prior to leaving Chicago in 2002.
Family health issues took us out to Scottsdale, AZ in 2002 where I landed with no job and not knowing anyone in the state. That is where I decided to use my SBA knowledge and sell the idea to a new local bank; and I started my first SBA group from scratch. I joined various chambers of commerce, ate a lot of rubber chicken on the chamber circuit, and called people every day to ask them if I could come over to talk to them about the future of their business- and it worked! Over our time in Arizona, I became active in SBA nationally, was elected to the board of NAGGL, met many national SBA leaders who became very close friends, and carved out a career niche in SBA lending.
We moved our family to my adopted hometown of Franklin, TN in 2009 to join a former colleague and strive to turn around a bank that he had started but had struggled through the recession. We fell in love with the culture, the green hills, and mild temperatures of middle Tennessee. As a good friend and client told me that in May and October, “your soul will leap” in middle Tennessee, and he was right.
My passion outside (and inside) business is mentoring great young and energetic minds and encouraging others to reach goals they have not yet contemplated. We are involved in education in the Nashville area; teaching business at Lipscomb Academy/University. I enjoy travel with our family around the U.S. and to the ends of the earth; experiencing cultures very different than ours, establishing lasting relationships, and assisting in various ways.