Honoring those who serve our clients and our country

John Hairston

November 10, 2017

Each November, our nation honors the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. At Hancock Whitney, we join in saying thank you to all veterans for their patriotism, courage, dedication, and service to our country. We are honored to have a number of veterans as part of our corporate family and would like to spotlight a few in celebration of Veterans Day and recognition of the sacrifices they have made to keep America safe and free.
 
Honoring those who serve our clients and our country
 Charlie Fenton
Commercial Banker
New Orleans, LA
Branch of service: Louisiana Air National Guard
4 years active duty, 12 years reserve
 
It is an honor to serve my country as an F-15 expeditor in the 159th Fighter Wing.  The Air Force Air National Guard has aided in my development of leadership attributes from an early age, such as dedication, perseverance, responsibility, and hard work. Little did I know that when I joined the military right before 9/11 that I would be thrust into leadership responsibilities early on. In addition to developing leadership skills, my military experiences have helped me to establish my worldview by affording me the opportunity to collaborate with people from all different backgrounds, belief systems, and cultures, both within the military and the people I've encountered on my many overseas tours.
 
The essence of my role in the Air Force shares a lot of similarities with my role as a Relationship Manager. As an expeditor, I work to ensure our fighter jets are always mission ready, which is much like the way I manage my portfolio at Hancock Whitney. I strive to ensure that all of my clients have access to the tools and resources needed to be successful.
 
One of the most rewarding parts about traveling with the military is being able to complete community service projects. For instance, on a recent deployment to Bulgaria, I was able to take part in beautification projects at a school and at a children's oncology hospital. I value how Hancock Whitney embodies a similar commitment to community engagement through its impact on the communities we serve. During my most recent deployment, I was overwhelmed by the amount of support my unit received from my bank colleagues, who donated financially to purchase much needed supplies. The service parallels between what I've done militarily and what I've observed in the bank are apparent. 
 
I feel blessed to serve in the Air National Guard and cherish the invaluable leadership skills I have cultivated, which influence my work at Hancock Whitney positively on a daily basis.
  
 
Honoring those who serve our clients and our country
Chandra McClendon 
CRE Construction Loan Administrator
Gulfport, MS
Branch of service: Air Force
4 years of service
 
I come from a military family— my father was in the Army, I am married to a veteran and I have a son that is a veteran— so in a sense, it’s the only life I know. Patriotism is dear to our hearts and defines who we are, where we came from and what we stand for. 
 
My time in the Air Force made me the person I am today. During basic training, they tear you down, then they build you up to be a part of something bigger than yourself, all while learning valuable life skills like teamwork. When you graduate from boot camp you feel honor, integrity and a huge sense of accomplishment. My role in the military also taught me about how tough I can be. I believe that without the military I would not have gone this far in my career.
 
I am grateful that a lot of the core values I learned in the Air Force are part of Hancock Whitney’s core values. Honor, integrity, teamwork and personal responsibility are all values you embody after completing boot camp and principles that you carry with you the rest of your life. For me, being a part of this company is right in line with who I am and what I stand for.
  
 
Honoring those who serve our clients and our country
Brandon Prejean
Mortgage Loan Originator
Lafayette, LA
Branch of service:  Navy
5 years of service
 
Here at Hancock Whitney, it is evident that the company values its people just like in the Navy where everyone felt appreciated, and understood their role and the importance of working well with others. Another similarity is that here and in the Navy everyone performed their job with the highest level of care and standard of professionalism. That says a lot about the company’s strong culture and leadership. When people feel valued and appreciated, they come to work each day and work really hard to do their jobs to the best of their ability. In the case of the bank, this leads to exceptional client service and experience. 
 
As a part of Naval Security Forces, I gained exposure to people, cultures, and perspectives that were vastly different from my upbringing in Louisiana. Meeting people from around the world in places like Dubai and Bahrain and receiving exposure to a broader word view has helped me become a better communicator and better at understanding people with different backgrounds and perspectives. My time in the Navy also made me a strong team player and mission-oriented, which translates well into my role at Hancock Whitney.
 
One of the proudest moments from my years of service besides being third generation Navy — my grandfather and uncles served — was receiving the Junior Sailor of the Year award at my first duty station. During that time, I volunteered to do extra work and took on responsibilities that were senior level simply for the experience, without any expectation for recognition. While I appreciate the award, it’s the character building and work ethic that have stayed with me years later.
 
Saluting our veterans
We salute the veteran and active-duty patriots in our financial services family, not just on Veterans Day, but all year long. This Veterans Day, please take the time to recognize the debt we owe our veterans by honoring their service, remembering the sacrifices made by them and their families, and saying thank you for ensuring we live in the land of the free.
 
Hancock Whitney Bank is committed to helping those who serve by hiring and advancing in employment protected veterans and continually supporting our country's service members. Hancock Whitney Bank invites associates to self-identify as protected veterans. Associates featured in this article completed the self-identification process and expressed interest in participating in this blog. 
 

Topics: News, Leadership, New Orleans, Gulfport, Lafayette

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