A native of the area, Moore is a banker by trade and says taking an active role in helping grow the quality of education in his hometown as well as attract and help maintain businesses has played an integral role in his life’s work.
Name: Wayne Moore
Occupation/Title: I have been a banker now for 35 years. I am the Community Banking Executive/Senior Vice President for Georgia Bank and Trust, a division of Synovus Bank.
Family: I am married to the former Carolyn Owens and we have been married for 26 wonderful years. Carolyn works with Bartow Family Resources Relationship Center and is a full-time student at Liberty University working toward her degree in psychology with an emphasis in Christian counseling. We have a daughter, Hannah, who is a sophomore at Cartersville High School.
Education: I am a 1974 graduate of Cass High School, a 1978 graduate of Berry College with a B.S. in business administration with a minor in economics. I am also a 1986 graduate of the Georgia School of Banking (University of Georgia), and a 1989 graduate of the Graduate Banking School of the South (Louisiana State University).
City of Residence: Cartersville
What inspired you to become involved in the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce and what role do you feel the chamber serves in our community?
A: I am a native of this area and this community is my home. I love it here. I know that I have an obligation, a responsibility, to leave our community better for future generations to enjoy, just as I have enjoyed it. This is what inspired me to be involved in our Chamber of Commerce. We, as a chamber board, a chamber staff and chamber members have that same obligation and responsibility to help grow and support large and small businesses alike, so our citizens can have jobs and raise their families in the most wonderful place in world, Bartow County.
Do you feel that unity is an important factor in the economic development of Bartow County?
A: As I stated earlier, I’m 57 years old and with age not only comes maturity, but experience. I have seen little accomplished when people are at odds. As a community we may not always agree on specific issues, but we should know that at some point we need to settle our differences and unite to make our community the best it can be. I believe that the success and growth we are seeing today in Bartow is because we are united. We may not recognize this, but on a global scale others are looking at us, and at this point in time, they like what they see. And what they see is a united Bartow County. We are showing the world our very best, and you can’t beat that.
Never has there been more “unity in our community.” Never forget that the chamber is the one organization that can sit at any table in this community. The chamber is supposed to bring businesses and people together, which allows both parties to grow and prosper. The Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce motto, “Chamber serving businesses … Businesses serving the community,” really says it all.
What do you feel sets Bartow County apart when attracting new businesses?
A: Let’s start first with what truly sets us apart. What truly sets us apart is our desire to be open about our faith in God. There are many people who pray often (and openly) for our community and our families. We unfortunately live in a global society where sometimes (far too often) this is not acceptable. But, many (and most) in our community know better. We know that asking our Father to bless and show favor on our community and its people is a good thing, the proper thing. Our faith in God, our faith in our county and our faith in our people is what truly gives us an edge in attracting new business to Bartow.
Also, other things, such as the interstate highway system that runs through our county, our proximity to Atlanta and Chattanooga, along with our quality of life are all very important factors for companies to consider. But, we must take it even further. We as a business community must have an “intense desire” to grow jobs for our citizens so they can prosper and raise their families. Ultimately, it is people that make our community and we must give them every opportunity possible to truly enjoy their lives. Our business community, our development authorities and our local government entities realize this and I believe that we display that “intense desire” for job growth every time our development authorities sit across the table from a potential industry that is looking to locate in Bartow County. This is a good time for all of us to thank those who are involved in working so diligently to help bring new businesses and jobs to our county. Their wisdom and diligence truly help grow our county in the right way.
About December 2007 when communities everywhere began to feel the crunch of the recession, banks not only saw financial problems, but many say their reputations were hurt as well. How do you see the banking industry turning around in the 2010s in terms of finances and reputation?
A: Anytime you get away from the basic “blocking and tackling” in operating a business you will, at some point, struggle. As banks looked to grow their asset size as well as grow their revenue, we got away from the stringent credit qualities that were needed to not only strengthen bank assets, but to provide a strong and consistent source of revenue to banks.
We got away from making financial decisions based on a company and/or an individual’s financial strength. Banks did a “disservice” to their customers by allowing them to over-leverage their debt. We loaned money based on speculative projected returns with little or no secondary source of repayment if the projections failed to materialize. That, in itself, is a formula for failure.
Now in saying that, we must understand that for many years these things took place and our economy saw unprecedented growth. The demand for real estate alone (with the ease of borrowing money) drove real estate prices “sky high.” Each of our U.S. presidents would brag about the growth in home ownership. Everyone (all of us) was happy. It is usually about this time that “the other shoe drops” and boy did it. Real estate values plummeted and we were all “eating crow.”
Throughout your life you will make mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from them. You must realize what your mistake was and why you made it. You must reason and decide how to correct those mistakes and try to never return to those events that made you falter in the first place. The turnaround in the financial sector was a slow process, but today as we analyze loan requests, we are diligently looking at consistent sources of cash flow, adequate down payments and sufficient pledging of collateral to protect us against loss. Lending money will always have its risk, but I believe we have taken steps to minimize that risk as much as possible.
As far as our banking systems reputation is concerned, I’ll leave that to others to discuss and judge. It is important that we, as bankers, are always there to help businesses grow and prosper, and help individuals to realize their dreams. But, this time around, let’s do it the right way.
How long have you been involved with the Bartow Education Foundation and why do you feel it’s important to have such an organization in Bartow County?
A: It’s been my pleasure to be on the foundation board for five years. I am now in my second term as president. It’s been said many times that our children are the future, but it goes further than that. The jobs that I spoke of earlier in my bio are going to be filled by our children at some point in time. We need to give them the very best education possible so they will be prepared for life and work. The Bartow Education Foundation provides a helping hand to our teachers to make learning fun and interesting. If we can peak a child’s interest and win them over, we can motivate them to do great things with their lives.
Since your time serving on the foundation as both board member and president, how have you seen the program grow and aid not only teachers, but students as well?
A: Let me start by saying this. There is no one I can think of, that I admire and respect, more than Ms. Dot Frasier, the foundation’s executive director. Her respect for our teachers and her overwhelming, unconditional love for our children makes her a very special person in my book. Since the foundation’s humble beginnings in the late 1990s, when in its very first year it awarded $2,500, to today when we award on average between $80,000 to $95,000 per year. Now, that’s growing a program.
We have great teachers in our community that are truly “called” into their profession. If you think about it, the pressure is on them. They can’t fail because the children are our future, and for society to succeed and flourish, our children have to grow into well-educated successful adults. The foundation recognizes this and our board and volunteers work very hard each year to raise funds to award grants in hopes of assisting the teachers with their lesson plans. Also, allow me to thank the Bartow County Board of Education, our Bartow County Superintendent, Dr. John Harper, our central office staff and all of our school principals who work with our teachers and the foundation to provide a quality education for our children. There are many others to thank that play a vital role in a child’s education, the school bus drivers, maintenance and custodian workers and our lunchroom staffs. As you can see, it takes a team to educate the children. Also, I would be remiss, if I did not also thank the parents of our children, for allowing us the privilege to be a part of their family and to play a part in the education of their children.
Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
A: Wherever my family and friends are gathered together will always be my favorite place to be.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: The best advice I was ever given came from my late father, William Moore. His advice was, “to be short on mouth and long on ears.” My father was a man of few words. I guess he was saying in his own way that “listening is a true virtue.”
Do you have a personal philosophy?
A: My personal philosophy actually comes from my late uncle, Orville Wills. As I worked in our family business, and my uncle Orville would give me a task to perform, he would always look at me and slightly nod his head and say, “get it done” and then he would wink at me. I can remember him saying that to me, just like it was yesterday. So my personal philosophy is quite simple, “get it done.”
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m pretty much an open book, there aren’t many surprises. There are a couple of things that I would like to say. I have talked about my father and uncle in this bio, but I wanted to mention someone else who played a loving role in my life. My mother, the late Doris Wills Moore who was the best mother a little boy could ask for. She loved me, prayed for me (which in my youth, I needed often), cooked the greatest meals and always was my biggest fan. My sister, Linda Collum, and I talk about our father and mother often. As you read this, I hope you can tell that I miss those in my family who are in heaven just waiting for me to join them.
Also, I want to thank my wife and daughter. I love Carolyn and Hannah very much and they are the reason why I go to work every day and try to make a difference. It’s hard on them sometimes when I have so many meetings, but Carolyn will always be the love of my life and Hannah is a blessing that I don’t deserve, but I thank God every day for her. Family is special, and I have the best.
All of the things I have spoke of in this bio is why I love our community and want to sincerely help in any way possible to make it a special place not only to live, but for it to be a special place in our hearts.