What I do now: I am a commercial lender for Cross Keys Bank, a mid-sized community bank based out of St. Joseph, LA. We handle loan requests up to $6 million for a variety of businesses in the Ark-La-Tex region.
My work/job consists of: Managing existing business relationships, identifying new opportunities for the bank, growing the commercial loan portfolio in Northwest Louisiana, and assisting the regional president with special projects as needed.
How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS): It's in my own hometown and the academic quality is excellent!
My Job Path: I began my banking career as a personal banker at the former AmSouth Bank on Youree Drive. I took advantage of an opportunity to move to the commercial real estate department. There, I watched the commercial lenders and saw how much fun they were having playing golf and taking clients out to lunch and I thought to myself, “That’s what I want to do!” I was offered a job at a small bank to perform credit analysis and it was a great training ground for a future lender. Eventually, I became a commercial lender and I know now that the work is much more than golf and lunch!
Fond Memories of LSUS: I met my wife in the HPE building even before I was a Pilot!
LSUS faculty who helped me: Dr. Bill Bigler's capstone course in the MBA program opened my eyes to many advanced management topics. It was the best class I have ever taken.
How LSUS helped me succeed: Without my education and development at LSUS, it would be much more difficult to set myself apart!
Advice to college-bound students: Remember that you are there to learn and hone professional skills! Of course, you will make some friends along the way.
Advice to someone who wants to enter my field: Get the MBA! It is worth it a hundred times over.
Tips on choosing a major or career: Focus on what you love and where your talents are, at the intersection you will find success. The money comes automatically.
My toughest professional challenge: As a commercial lender, I become very invested in my clients and their businesses. It is sometimes difficult to say "no" when you really do believe in someone. I make a lot of friends and I try to make my "nos" constructive.
My toughest personal challenge: Remaining focused on my family while managing work and investments! Success is nothing without my girls.
Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
LSUS Cum Laude Graduate – 2008 & 2011
2011 Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Top 40 under 40
LSUS Alumni Board Director - 2011 to Present
Chamber Diplomat Advisory Board – 2011 to Present
Chamber Young Professionals Initiative Finance Co-chair – 2014 to Present