Business View Magazine | August 2020

126 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE AUGUST 2020 aligning with an organization that has a desire to remain independent and to continue to create shareholder value.” “Shareholder sustainability and being able to remain independent by creating value is just one element,” Stevens responds. “It’s a necessary element, but it’s not the endgame for us. Our vision is the DNA of our institution; it’s more than just words on a wall. It’s truly something that we are infusing into the lifeblood of our company, so it’s not just lip service; we’re truly living out that vision. It’s not just about shareholder returns – it’s about total stakeholder returns. We have six stakeholders: our shareholders, our team members, our customers, the communities we serve, the regulators, as well as the vendors that do business with us. So we think that we’re providing great value to them in order to live out the vision and mission of our institution, which is to create remarkable experiences that significantly mark the lives of others. That’s what we’re all about.” PREFERRED VENDORS n The Bank Cleaning Company n Mauldin & Jenkins n Southern Bank Equipment & ATMS time and the place where they want to do their banking. Technology is a huge driver of our ability to do that. We place a lot of emphasis on digital transformation and technology innovation in order keep us competitive with some of the larger institutions as well. The traditional way of doing banking is definitely not a thing of the past, but it’s not what’s going to help us grow; it’s not what’s going to help us meet the needs of our customers as they continue to evolve. So, technology is a tremendous driver of our future growth, but not only that, it affords us the ability to onboard, recruit, and retain our consumer and commercial customers, going forward.” Bernardi adds that the bank’s focus on its culture also helps it to onboard, recruit, and retain the best employees. “The thing that I think that really sets us apart is our culture and the ability to attract talent from outside the marketplace who desire a place where they have the ability to chart their own course, create a path, and grow in their career. Our team members are passionate about