Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Class Act from Fulton Financial Corporation

J. Austin Good
Class of 2014
By J. Austin Good, Class of 2014, Accounting Major at Elizabethtown College, S. Dale High Center Intern

This past semester (Spring 2011) I was enrolled in a Career Planning Seminar taught by Professor Joseph Molony. Mr. Molony is an adjunct professor at Elizabethtown College and also an advisor at the S. Dale High Center for Family Business. While providing personal insight as to the opportunities available for students, he was also able to bring in business executives from the central Pennsylvania region to share their own career paths. Presentations ranged from Will Gooding (GSM Roofing) to Hunter Gross (Armstrong) and Mark Legenstein (Certified Carpet). Each executive provided information regarding their career choices and advice for us students. Jim Shreiner, a senior executive vice-president at Fulton Financial Corporation-parent of Fulton Bank, and an alum of the college, gave an especially informative overview of the banking industry.

Mr. Shreiner described the banking crisis in great detail, carefully explaining the reasons behind the economic downturn. Although many banks were caught red-handed with bad loans and defaults on mortgages, Fulton Financial Corporation managed to weather the storm because of their conservative approach to banking. They did not fall victim to high-risk securities since they saw the risk as being greater than the reward, which in turn was quite accurate. Fulton has continued to grow and gain strength within their industry with numerous banks located in the eastern United States. Jim Shreiner shared much information on banking and the changes that have occurred since he entered the industry after college, but he also gave a personal testimony regarding his own career path.

James Shreiner
Class of 1973
After managing a local State Farm branch office for 2 years, Mr. Shreiner found a home with Fulton Bank. He had steadily climbed the corporate ladder until his early sixties where he was capable of being the next President of Fulton Financial Corporation. However, the Fulton Financial Corporation Board of Directors appointed a younger executive as president for greater long term continuity. Mr. Shreiner was not denied the position due to ability, rather timing and external circumstances did not allow him to have a chance at becoming the next president. Jim Shreiner took the change in stride and continues to perform well in his current position.

His story is a great example of being able to work well with colleagues regardless of career path and position. I find his attitude to be one that should be adopted by more people, as we are often quick to look out for our own good and slow to promote the company for which we work and the people with whom we work. So next time things do not work out well from a personal standpoint, try to congratulate those who receive the promotions and keep a positive attitude about your own work so as not to negatively affect your personal performance.

Fulton Bank is a corporate partner to the S. Dale High Center for Family Business and has many area family businesses as customers.

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