Allow me, if you will, to introduce you to Shane Brock, Vice President and Branch Manager at Citizen’s Tri-County Bank here in Downtown McMinnville. Now that you’ve been properly introduced, I’m going to let you in on a little secret… Shane is hilarious! We sat down last week to chat about coffee as a way of life, his feelings on golf, and the mutant fly that keeps buzzing around his office that neither of us seems to be fast enough to kill. Because I’m a helpful gal, I offer him the spider in my bathroom to take on the fly in a Gladiator style fight to the death. We’re not immediately sure where to find Gladiator armor for insects, but that’s not important right now. I’m sure Amazon has something…
BROOK: So, Mr. Brock, how long have you been with Citizens Tri-County? Tell me what you did prior to this and what your life was like outside of the bank.
SHANE: I’ve been with Citizens Tri-County for 8 1/2 years. Banking and Lending is really all I've ever done. I’ve been in this industry for 20 years.. since I was just a wee lad…pretty much. Before Citizens Tri-County I worked for US Bank for 5 years and prior to that I was with Citigroup.
BROOK: I hear you used to be on the radio.. is that true?
SHANE: I was! That was my first job. When I was about 16 I was going to church with a family who was friends with Thorold Ramsey. He owned the local radio station, Cumberland Valley Broadcasting. Many people know Thorold, he was kind of an icon and a legend in Warren County. I worked there for about 4 years as a DJ and that’s how I worked my way through college. It was the most fun I’ve ever had and actually gotten paid for it! It’s nice when stuff like that comes together. It was really awesome!
BROOK: I know you’ve just moved recently, tell me about that. I see Facebook feed from Shane’s Cigar Lounge & Diet Coke Emporium all the time! I think that’s hilarious! Every time it comes up I nearly fall in the floor laughing!
SHANE: I moved to Smithville, down in Dekalb County. I grew up here in Warren County, I love Warren County and will always consider it to be my home, but I love to travel and spend time in surrounding areas so when I was looking for a home I found one just across the county line in DeKalb. I love it, I’ve been there for almost a year and it puts me closer to the places and things I love to do. Shane’s Cigar Lounge & Diet Coke Emporium is how I lovingly refer to my back patio!
BROOK: So where do you like to travel? What kind of traveling do you do?
SHANE: Oh I LOVE to travel. I love to camp and I love to spend as much time as I can doing that. I’ve been all over the country and some of the surrounding islands like Hawaii and the Virgin Islands. New Orleans is my second home, I love New Orleans. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to travel over the past 20 years. I have a real passion for it. I just want to experience and do new things.
BROOK: What’s your favorite place to visit?
SHANE: (ponders for a moment…) Wow… that’s hard…
BROOK: Top 3?
SHANE: Top 3 is easy. I love Hawaii. It’s just a beautiful place, I’ve been there 3 times. I love the Virgin Islands, the water is beautiful and it’s only a 5 hour plane ride versus a 14 hour plane ride to Hawaii and only a one hour time change! I also love the Grand Canyon. I don’t know what it is about that place, there’s just something beautiful about it that just leaves you speechless. On the other hand, if you ever want to just let your hair down, then New Orleans is the place to go! If I ever win the lottery I’m buying a 2nd home somewhere on stinky Bourbon St.
BROOK: Oh, I think everyone should travel! It gives you such a different perspective on life. New Orleans is on my bucket list. I want to go to Mardi Gras someday. Just for the experience. I’m all about experiences.
SHANE: I’ve never been to Mardi Gras… I’m not that brave!!
BROOK: Tell me something interesting about yourself.. I know you have an unhealthy obsession with Starbucks.
SHANE: (laughing) I have an unhealthy obsession with Starbucks, but it’s like I tell my mother: I don’t smoke and I don’t do drugs so leave me alone! I’ve been a coffee addict since I was about 5 drinking SANKA decaf with my mother every morning before school. It’s not like she hyped me up on caffeine or anything, but every morning I would have a little cup of decaf with my mom. I’m turning 40 this year so I’ve been an addict for 35 years. I enjoy working in my yard… I also enjoy golf.
BROOK: Golf, huh? Are you any good?
SHANE: (laughing) Nope, I am NO GOOD! As a matter of fact, if you have to keep score and be competitive I probably don’t want to play with you! I just enjoy playing with friends and the nature of the game… the camaraderie. My friends and I play in several tournaments a year. I do often say that I’m going to put my social security number on the balls so that when I go buy them back from the pro shop I know which ones are mine!
BROOK: I honestly barely understand why people play at all… if you’ve ever seen the Robin Williams skit about the invention of golf (g-rated version, of course!), that’s EXACTLY how I feel about it! You use a little broken stick to whack a ball hundreds of yards into a gopher hole. Sounds about right. I don’t have any interest in being good at golf, but I LOVE to drive the cart. I’m an excellent cart driver.
BROOK: So is there anything new and exciting coming up in the world of banking?
SHANE: Banking is a constantly changing environment. There are never two days that are the same and there are always new regulations that are coming down the pipe. Especially over the last 5-6 years it has changed drastically and dramatically (*side note* what he ACTUALLY said was dramastically… dramatically and drastically all mashed together. I like the word. I’m going to start using it in everyday conversation) after the last recession it really put a lot of pressure on smaller banks. Citizens Tri-County has around 25 banks in its Southeastern Tennessee footprint. We’re pretty sizeable for a community bank. We just acquired a new branch in Franklin County. It’s a tremendous company to work for. I’ve never worked for a company that I care about as much as this one and it’s because they really care about the employees. You don’t see a lot of that in the corporate world. It makes our jobs easier taking care of the customers.
We wrap things up with Shane telling me the story of his earliest memory of Main Street… Going on his 5th birthday to Watch E.T. at the Park Theater. When he came out his dad had a new bicycle just like the one in the movie waiting in the back of his truck. It had the basket and everything, but sadly no alien!
Citizen's Tri-County Bank is located at 101 W. Main St. in McMinnville, TN ~ (931) 473-5561
Citizen's Tri-County Bank is a proud member of Main Street McMinnville.