Opportunities for Change and Growth in a Pandemic Economy, with Alan Najjar, Smith & Howard
Alan Najjar: [00:00:00] I’d start with saying that all red lights eventually turn green. While there is uncertainty about the duration of this coronavirus pandemic, we will get through with. Our democratic system has put elected government leaders in place. I’m a little annoyed with some of what I hear in reporting medias. What we need to do is let them do their job. And if we, the people, are not pleased, we’ll have another opportunity to say so at the ballot box later this year.
Alan Najjar: [00:00:28] I think that we should be pleased and impressed with the global cooperation of health experts to isolate and deal with this global issue. It is a serious situation and we are seeing the most aggressive and comprehensive worldwide effort ever to confront a foreign virus. As I mentioned a while ago, we’re being bombarded with info from every communication channel out there and much of it’s negative event. So, then, we should selectively review what we hear and see several times a day and listen carefully for the good news. There is some good news out there. Our scientific community is making some great strides in dealing with this health care crisis. And so far, recoveries are outnumbering infections.
Alan Najjar: [00:01:08] I’d also say stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you’re sick, stay home, period. Benefit of that is think about the carbon dioxide and monoxide that we’re not putting into the atmosphere. The reality of the coronavirus is that it’s making us work remotely or from home. This is a chance to be creative on doing our job responsibly by following our company’s protocols. I think each of us needs to be accountable that we focus on our job just as if we were in the workplace.
Alan Najjar: [00:01:37] I would also say it’s not a time to panic and go buy groceries or household goods. We can help our country continue to operate by not adding stress to an already impacted logistics system. I think in these kind of times too, we need to remain fluid. We’ve all embarked on a new way of working with our teams and our customers. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of this imposed opportunity to find ways to work smarter and better. It’s a chance to fortify our employers by transforming how we deliver its goods and services.
Alan Najjar: [00:02:09] It’s also a great time to consider those less fortunate than us and to give generously to the community organizations that help those in need, especially food banks. I think it’s a time to dust off our to-do list now that we have some isolation and solitary time. In doing that, we should take short breaks out to move around, rehydrate, step outside, get some fresh air, and if we’re lucky, maybe a little sunshine. It’s a great time to take some time that we’re saving by not commuting and doing something for our physical or mental health by walking around, exercising or reading.
Alan Najjar: [00:02:44] One of the most significant contributors to physical and emotional well-being is sleep. And I think it’s a great opportunity to use the extra hours that we’re not commuting to use it wisely and to our full benefit.
Alan Najjar: [00:02:55] I guess lastly, John, I would say it’s time to be patient. Let technology be our friends and stay in contact with our friends and our co-workers. We will get through it. It is some uncertain time. I think we need to trust the systems we put in place and let’s just see how it works.
Alan Najjar, Director of Business Development, Smith & Howard
Alan Najjar has overseen the business development efforts of Smith & Howard since 2011. A veteran of the Atlanta banking and business community, Alan has held executive level leadership positions at SunTrust Bank and other Georgia financial institutions. Prior to joining Smith & Howard, he was the EVP and Chief Operating Officer of an Atlanta-based financial services company.
Alan is a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. He is a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Alan is the 2020 Chairman for the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and serves on its Board of Directors. He is a trustee emeritus for Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation and Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia. He is active in numerous civic, social and academic organizations. Alan and his wife, Donna, are long-time residents of Gwinnett County and when away from the office, Alan most enjoys sunrises on the lake and time with his family.
Listen to the complete GNFCC 400 Insider Radio interview Alan Paul here.
Renasant Bank has humble roots, starting in 1904 as a $100,000 bank in a Lee County, Mississippi, bakery. Since then, Renasant has grown to become one of the Southeast’s strongest financial institutions with over $13 billion in assets and more than 190 banking, lending, wealth management and financial services offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. All of Renasant’s success stems from each of their banker’s commitment to investing in their communities as a way of better understanding the people they serve. At Renasant Bank, they understand you because they work and live alongside you every day.