Q&A with Justin Nipper

2022-2023 Young Bankers Division Chairman Executive Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer The Farmers Bank, Portland Justin Nipper is an executive vice president at The Farmers Bank in Portland, Tenn. Prior to becoming a community banker, he worked as a CPA performing tax compliance as well as financial institution consulting engagements. Justin has a degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee, and he lives in White House with his wife, Courtney, and two kids, Caroline and Hudson. You started your career as a tax consultant, then transitioned into the banking industry. Tell us about your career path—how did you get to where you are at the bank? My time in public accounting was primarily focused on tax work initially, but then I had an opportunity to be part of a consulting engagement with the firm’s financial institutions practice. After that engagement ended, I knew I wanted to work in community banking. I was very fortunate that my hometown bank agreed to hire me and allow me to participate in a management training program, where I got to spend time in each department before becoming a credit analyst. There is a lot of talk about a talent gap in the industry and how we can attract new interest in banking careers from recent college graduates. What advice would you have for college graduates considering a career in banking? As bankers, we have the privilege of helping people achieve their dreams and there’s no better career to protect, preserve and propel our communities. However, the importance of patience cannot be overstated and proving your value to the organization takes time. The best recipe for success I’ve heard comes from a former TBA Chairman: Always do the right thing, don’t get outworked, and maintain a great attitude. Additionally, find a mentor who will provide candid feedback and never stop learning. What is some life or career advice that you’ve gotten and still influences you today? I’ve been fortunate to work with great leaders and mentors who have been willing to share some of their wisdom over the years. One of my favorites is that everything in this world is better in moderation, except one: humility. What is the value proposition for attending an event like Leadership Convention, the flagship conference of the Young Bankers Division? The Young Bankers Division was created to prepare the industry’s next generation of leaders and Leadership Convention showcases that vision that was cast back in 1960. The convention offers educational sessions focused on banking industry trends, leadership development skills, peer-to-peer learning, as well as a variety of opportunities for networking. There’s no better conference for future leaders to strengthen the professional development skills they need to become effective and influential leaders in their banks and communities. How has engagement with the Young Bankers Division added value to your career and your bank? The Young Bankers Division has enhanced my development as a community banker immeasurably. I began attending Young Bankers events soon after starting at the bank and my involvement with the Division has allowed me to gain valuable insight and perspective from peers within the industry as well as build meaningful relationships across the state. The friendships that I have formed over the years are invaluable, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced the depth of those relationships. What goals do you have for the Young Bankers Division over your term as Chairman? Growth in the Division across the state, especially in the areas of government relations and support of BankPac. As future leaders of our organizations, it is increasingly important for us to be engaged with legislators as well as regulators. Involvement in these efforts starts with gaining familiarity with both the issues and the system as well as building and maintaining relationships. Active participation in government relations from young bankers is critical for the future of our industry.

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