Sunday, September 12, 2010

Next up: Jermain Haltom

Company/title: Electronic banking supervisor at Tennessee Commerce Bank, Franklin
Age: 31

Background: Haltom, who prides himself on flexibility, set up the Tennessee Commerce e-banking department from scratch, working through difficult regulatory areas on emerging products such as remote check deposit. Before becoming a banker, he spent seven years in the U.S. Army as an information technology specialist. He saw duty in Afghanistan, Iraq and other hot spots in the Middle East, mostly behind the lines, although he did sometimes have to dodge mortar fire when hostilities were most intense.

How he got his job: After getting out of the service, "I earned a bachelor's of business administration degree in finance from Middle Tennessee State University in 2007. I'm a native of Michigan, but I was stationed during my military career at Fort Campbell, Ky., and I liked the area, so I stayed. Banking and technology seemed like a perfect fit for my training and interests."

What got him hooked on electronics? "I was a kid when I saw the movie War Games (in which a precocious computer whiz played by actor Matthew Broderick cracks the code for a Pentagon computer and almost sets off an accidental nuclear war). Ever since then I've been fascinated by computers and technology."

Computer watchwords: "I'm a stickler for computer security. In the military, we'd lock up our hard drives in a safe when we weren't on duty. I see a lot of opportunity in banking with mobile applications, remote deposit, and secure online banking."

Looking back: "I think the most important thing is to be flexible. You change as a person; I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago. So, the plans you make about the future may not pan out. But the right career found me. You have to be open to the possibilities."


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