Tiffany Temple had just finished undergraduate school with an eye toward a career in finance when her life took an unexpected trajectory.
Her husband, a U.S. Army officer, received orders to move to Germany. The couple was still settling in when the 9/11 attacks happened in the United States, meaning Temple’s husband was sent elsewhere while she remained in Germany. She looked for a way to help. The result was a job as a program manager with the USO, where she connected military families and personnel with various resources and helped facilitate community events.
“Working with the USO taught me so much about service,” she said. “When you had people living in a foreign country and whose spouses might be elsewhere, they were depending on the network we built to make it through that phase of their lives. It really became important to me to ensure that I was contributing to others through service.”
Temple carried that mission to serve with her when she and her family moved back to the U.S. Looking to a career in banking, she worked for a financial institution in Atlanta and paid close attention to how its leaders and others in the industry handled the 2007 economic crisis. One bank that continually caught her eye was Hancock Whitney, in part because of its longstanding presence along the Gulf Coast.
“My family has lived in Pass Christian, Mississippi for eight generations, so it was really important for me to eventually come back to this area,” said Temple. “My first bank account was actually at Hancock Whitney. I knew they had always been committed to Mississippi and Louisiana, and when I saw how they were able to withstand the challenges of the financial crisis, I felt like they were stable and resilient. I really admired that. When the opportunity presented itself to join Hancock Whitney, it meant I could continue to contribute to the Gulf Coast and serve my local community.”
Temple has been a Hancock Whitney team member for nearly eight years and currently serves as a senior vice president for credit risk management. In this role, she unites talent and resources to close gaps, establish frameworks and implement controls, all with the goal of contributing to strong growth and finding opportunities for financial performance improvements. Prior to this position, Temple worked with Hancock Whitney in corporate capital management, corporate planning and credit risk analytics.
Her current position also allows Temple to make stronger connections with other female Hancock Whitney staff and leaders, many of whom have been positive influences for several years.
“When I came to Hancock Whitney, one of the first things I did was reach out to all of the female leaders and establish relationships with them,” she said. “I know the importance of having a mentor and an advocate. All of the women were very open about both the opportunities and challenges of being a female in the banking world. For me, it’s important that we connect in order to navigate through our careers as well as balancing our lives and demands on our time.”
Through her professional success, Temple is also setting a strong example for her two daughters, ages 15 and 21. From the time her girls were young, she has made it a point to demonstrate to them how they can be successful in their chosen fields as well as in their personal lives. In large part thanks to her inspiration, her oldest daughter is the fourth generation of Temple’s family to attend Jackson State University and was recently named Miss Jackson State, the third person in the her family to receive the honor. For Temple, seeing those accomplishments and reflecting on her own makes her feel like everything is coming full circle.
“It’s amazing to see our children start to build their own legacy and honor what their family has done,” she said. “Starting in the 1940s, there weren’t a lot of African American people graduating college, my family was committed to that education. I earned my bachelor’s degree at Jackson State and met my husband there. It really set the foundation for the work I’m doing now.”
The “She Is” campaign is a partnership between Hancock Whitney and The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate, The Advocate and The Acadiana Advocate to curate and share stories about women who are thriving – what motivates them, how they motivate others, and how women can continue to drive impact. Visit www.hancockwhitney.com/she-is for more details on Hancock Whitney’s ongoing work with female leaders and to share your own favorite “She Is” story.