Where did you grow up? I grew up in Tipton county, near Stanton. I’m a country boy.
What are some of your hobbies? I think everyone knows I teach Karate (7th degree black belt) and have been doing that for about 27 years. I am a private pilot and have always enjoyed flying, especially when my son was playing ball, because I could fly some of us to the games, which sure beat driving. I still like to draw and paint when I have time and have enjoyed The Bank allowing me to do the bank calendars for the last couple of years. Right now, my favorite hobby is out shooting McCall Wilson with a pistol.
Where did you go to school? I went to Byars-Hall High School in Covington, TN. From there, I went to Mississippi State University, and graduated from Memphis State University. I went through the School of Banking at Vanderbilt and also the School of Banking of the South at LSU.
Are you married? Kids? Pets? I am married to Carla P. Dawson and have been for 37 years. She has put up with me through a lot. I have a daughter, Jill, who teaches at Fayette Academy, along with her husband Jason. They have given me two wonderful grandchildren, Dawson who is five years old, and Ainsley (AKA “Hot Sauce”) who is eight months old. I have a son, Layne, who is an engineer with Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. Layne played professional baseball for the Phillies organization for five years, and then worked for The Bank while going back to the University of Memphis and getting his degree.
As for pets…most of our employees know that I have one pet: Buford Banks, Esq., my English Bulldog. A big bunch of our wonderful employees got together with Joe Burnette and bought him for me five years ago, after my other bulldog, Junior, died. He has been a really good friend. The biggest challenge with Banks is trying to keep him from eating something he shouldn’t (i.e. tennis balls, watermelons, cantaloupe, ropes, napkins, wheat, corn, shoes, bullets, coyote drippings, etc., etc., etc.).
What is your favorite book? One Second After by William Forstchen. McCall gave it to me and it will scare you silly. It makes me want to go out and buy guns and ammunition. At least that is the excuse I have given Carla for the guns and bullets I have bought. “It’s McCall’s fault!” I would rather read magazines, like Guns of the Old West.
What TV shows do you watch religiously? Anything on the Western Channel. That’s channel 538 on DirecTV®.
How long have you worked at The Bank? I worked at the Federal Reserve Bank while I was in college. From there, I went to First State Bank of Fayette County in 1974. I became President and CEO in 1982 and in 1993, Union Planters merged with us and I was the regional president until 2002 when The Bank of Moscow was kind enough to hire me and put me back into a community bank.
What do you do at the Bank? I am a loan officer, resident artist, babysitter for all of the Somerville branch employees, and marksmanship instructor for the bank president.
What is your favorite thing about the Bank? Honestly, and no joking, my favorite thing about The Bank of Fayette County is the people who work for it. I have been doing this kind of work for a long time, and I have never worked around a better group of people. The care and concern that everyone has for one another is really special. I am very proud to be one of the lucky people working for this bank.