ABA Banking Journal - January/February 2016 - (Page 32)

PROFILE > JIM EDWARDS Banking in the Sweet Spot Community Bankers Council Chairman Jim Edwards charts a course for hometown bank success. BY EVAN SPARKS f you had to describe Jim Edwards' bank, you might say it's in the sweet spot-in virtually every way. United Bank is a $1.1 billion bank based in central Georgia. Its footprint stretches from rural farm areas to the Atlanta exurbs. It's a full-service bank, offering consumer products, mortgages, business loans and services, cash management and investment services, but "we try to do that with that small-bank, high-touch feel," says Edwards. United has grown into a classic community bank with a strong future orientation. Edwards' colleagues and customers agree: as United has grown, Edwards is a model for community bankers in the 21st century. A family feeling Jim Edwards is part of the third generation in his family to work at United Bank. In the 1920s, his grandfather, Joel Edwards, began working with the Bank of Zebulon, which dates back to 1905. In 1996, the bank took on the name United to reflect the merger of other banks in the holding company. Edwards worked at the bank during summers as a teenager. "Compared to baling hay in the Georgia heat, it was a pretty easy decision to work on a teller line," he jokes. After college at Emory, work at a large insurer and an MBA at Virginia, he and his wife, Laura, returned to Griffin, Georgia, where he 32 ABA BANKING JOURNAL | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - January/February 2016

President's View
Upfront
Picture This
Economic Outlook
Community Engagement
Cover Story: Train To Your Advantage
Filling The Trust Gap
Banking In The Sweet Spot
Safe Banking, Savvy Seniors
Human Resources
Payments
Marketing
Agricultural Banking
Board Matters
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
Legal Briefs
From The States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers

ABA Banking Journal - January/February 2016

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