An Interview With Greg Parsons, Jackson, Tennessee Market President
What’s your story? Where did you grow up and have you always lived in Tennessee?
I was born and raised in Dalton, Georgia, which is known as the “Carpet Capital of the World”. I graduated from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee in 1999. After living in Alabama and Georgia for a few years, I found my way back to Jackson as a member of the FirstBank family in 2007.
How did you get into banking?
I started during my senior year at Union, working at Union Planters in Humboldt, Tennessee where I verified insurance on Agricultural Equipment. After I graduated, I received an offer from Sterling Bank in Montgomery, Alabama as an analyst.
How is the culture different at FirstBank compared to larger banks?
FirstBank has a strong team culture where we work together to achieve our goals. The larger banks where I’ve been are all about the next sale or product push. FirstBank continues to be about what’s good for the customer and the communities we serve.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Solving problems for people, businesses, and the community. Being able to help our customers become successful as well as making a difference in the lives of the people where we live.
Describe a typical day at the office.
Each day presents new opportunities to help my fellow associates and customers. I’m usually in the office early, spending most of my time on the phone or visiting with customers trying to generate activity and solve problems. I’m a big believer that activity brings about opportunity.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be either a professional basketball player in the NBA or a professional soccer player in the English Premier League.
What do you like best about being a community banker?
I enjoy making a difference in the lives of our customers. We don’t just offer products and services; we get to offer advice to help our clients become successful.
As a Market President, what’s your vision for FirstBank in Jackson?
To be the “go-to” bank in Jackson that is known to be a leader in the market.
How do you think FirstBank’s local banking model gives customers more?
Because we live, work, and play in our community, we see the heart of our community. When we utilize our local decision-making ability, we can make decisions that will directly impact the quality of life for our customers.
Describe your market area in three words from a banking perspective.
Growing, competitive, challenging.
What is Jackson known for?
To me, the Hub City is known for its connection to music. Located between Nashville and Memphis, we have diverse and creative people in our community.
What do you like best about life there?
I love my community in Jackson. We have a diverse population of people, several institutions of higher education, and a community that is not afraid to address its issues. Jackson is a unique place in that our community truly works together across many areas.
If we got in your car and turned on some music, what are some songs that would be on your playlist, CD or favorite radio station?
The Blessing, Different ‘Round Here, Sinners Like Me, Crash Into Me, Back Where I Come From, Red Dirt Road, God Only Knows, When I Grow Up, The Search and State of Love and Trust.
If you could give your 20-year old self one piece of advice, knowing what you know now, what would it be?
“Enjoy what you have while you have it,” and “Take a break and laugh more.”
Have you ever had a mentor who made a difference in your life? How so?
Dr. Walton Padelford, Econ Professor at Union. His wisdom helped me through some tough times. He walked me through the Book of Ecclesiastes and the Book of Proverbs and helped me learn to seek God’s wisdom when making decisions.
What is your life motto?
Play hard and have fun.
Describe your perfect vacation.
My perfect vacation would either be on a beach with my family or skiing down a mountain in Montana.
Do you prefer indoor or outdoor sports?
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