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lack thereof is expressed through those
If you don’t understand how they work,
and particularly if you don’t understand
how cash flows through financial
statements, you just can’t be as effective
as a creditor lawyer as those people who
do know. It boils down to being able to
understand the financial aspects of what
the borrowers are doing and why they’re
in trouble. You have to have a basic
accounting and financial statement
background to be able to do that.
The bank I worked for, BB&T, is a big
southeast regional institution that’s
headquartered in Winston-Salem, North
Carolina. College graduates who go to
work there—really, for any bank—go
through a credit training program.
Out of all the finance and accounting
education I’ve had, that was probably
the most useful for me. I had the
accounting and financial statement
background through my undergraduate
work, but the bank credit training
program kind of brought it all home.
I fall back on that almost every day.
Q What are you passionate about outside the office? I understand
you have a big family.
That’s what I’m really most
passionate about—my family. I’ve been
blessed with a beautiful and very patient
and understanding wife, who I’ve been
married to for almost 25 years, and five
incredible kids. I have 8-year-old twin
girls, a 15-year-old son, a 19-year-old
daughter, and a 21-year-old son, and
they are the singular object of my
affection and attention when I’m not at
the office and even sometimes when I
am. They really do mean everything to
me. I’m also a person of great faith and,
in my own way, I’m very passionate
Q How long have you played guitar? When did you take it up?
I was probably 12 or 13. My
older sister—she’s seven years older than
I am—played a little. Growing up, I
always loved music, even before I got my
hands on a guitar. I would sing in the
school plays and things like that. The first
time I put my hands on a guitar, it’s not
like rockets went off or anything. It’s a
really difficult instrument to play. It’s not
intuitive at all. You pick up a few things
and when you get a little success under
your belt, you start realizing that maybe
you do have a little bit of facility for it.
I just kept at it, and when I was 16, my
mom and dad bought me this beautiful
Washburn acoustic guitar. It’s a very
high-quality instrument. That guitar—
and maybe this is why they bought it
for me—is the guitar I play today. That
guitar is 30-plus years old. It’s a beautiful
instrument with incredible range.
I love the standard acoustic stuff—Neil
Young and James Taylor. That’s really
how I learned to play, listening to those
records. I can sight read a little bit, but
not well. Between learning the chord
structure that often accompanies
music for guitar and listening to the
music, I can pretty much figure out
how to play anything. I enjoy trying
to work out other stuff that’s not
really acoustic guitar music, trying
to work that out on the guitar.
I just have a lot of fun with it. It’s
something I predominantly do for
myself. I have performed in front of very
small groups of people. I don’t know that
you could even call it performing. I’ve
picked up a guitar and started playing
in front of people at someone’s house
or something like that. Principally, it’s
just something for personal enjoyment
and a nice way of winding down.
My oldest son plays, and he’s gotten very
good. I think he has a small band where
he lives and plays for small groups
of people. That’s kind of gratifying to
see it picked up by one of your kids.
Q Do you have a bucket list?
I stay so busy with family
and work that I don’t really often think
about what I wish I could be doing on a
bucket list. Generally I’d like to travel
more. I’d really love to see Mt. Everest in
person. I don’t want to climb it, but just
to see it in person I think would be
awesome. Any of the really wild and
beautiful places, like Mt. Everest or the
Great Barrier Reef—I definitely want to
do that kind of stuff.
I’ll be 60 by the time my twins get out
of high school. God willing, there will
still be plenty of time to do those kinds
of things. Who knows, I may be broke
after paying for five college educations.
We’ll take it one day at a time. J