Director Spotlight : Skipper Burns
(from United Bank's 2017 Our Story issue)
“You have to live spherically - in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm - and things will come your way.” Italian Film Maker, Frederico Fellini.
Never has a quote like the one of above more accurately reflected the enthusiasm of United Bank Advisory Board member, Skipper Burns. His entrepreneurial spirit and positive attitude are contagious, inspiring those around him to think outside the box and consider new possibilities.
Skipper joined the Advisory Board in Griffin in July of 2014. Though not a banker by trade, his experience in sales and many other types of business lend themselves well to his board position. When asked, Skipper’s standard answer for what makes a business successful is simple: people.
“People are the ones who can make or break your business, and United Bank knows and understands this philosophy,” he said. “The real magic in being successful comes from doing something for someone else and consistently finding reasons to make your customers happy. United Bank offers big bank bells and whistles, but also gives customers a warm feeling. That combination will always be successful. I have been a United Bank customer for more than 20 years, and when I come through the door they know who I am and they treat me like a friend – and it’s not just me, that’s the way all customers are treated at United Bank.”
Currently serving as a Development Officer for Gordon State College in Barnesville, Ga., Skipper works with corporations to develop scholarships for students. His work in connecting students with businesses that want to see them succeed is just another way he “takes care of people.”
“There is nothing more exciting than to see these kids become the beneficiaries of scholarships,” said Skipper. “I really try to engage these students, understand their goals and educational needs and then connect them with people who can help them reach those goals. I try to help these kids understand how scholarships can help them on their way to realizing their dreams.
And when the light goes on and the students realize their achievements, their grateful attitudes are passed along to the companies who sponsored their scholarships. Communicating the good to all parties, the scholarship giver and receiver, ultimately creates success stories.”
Skipper's New Gig: Santa Claus
During the last two years, Skipper has taken on another role that inspires much joy during the holiday season: he is an official “Santa Helper.” However, this is not his first “Santa” rodeo. His passion for bringing joy to others started when he was a student at Georgia Tech.
“When I was in college, I had the opportunity to play an elf and visit children during the holidays. I got way more out of it than I thought I would. The act of giving without expectation or need for praise is truly one of the most rewarding experiences.
“So I picked up the ball again, went to ‘school’, borrowed two uniforms and bought some boots. All these years later, the first time you see a child light up, it’s magic – real magic. And that magic is contagious to everyone in the room, including their parents. It’s something I really love doing.”
Serving United Bank's Griffin Division
It goes without saying that Skipper is an inspiring member of the Griffin Board. He certainly lives spherically and looks for changes that inspire creativity. When asked about his role on the board, he answers,
“I ask a lot of questions. You have to ask questions to learn how you can contribute, and I am learning that piece every day.
“I hope that my experiences and perspective will continue to be useful to the bank. I am proud to be part of an organization that really understands customer needs, and is willing and open to changes that meet those needs while never sacrificing relationships. That core philosophy – putting people first – will continue to contribute to the bank’s success year after year.”
Update for March 17, 2021: United Bank celebrated Skipper's seven years of service as a Director during the March board meeting. We are grateful for Skipper's leadership, energy and passion for serving people.