Bruce Page is CEO at Intracoastal Bank, a position he has occupied for 13 years. One hundred percent of the bank’s revenue comes from Flagler and Volusia counties.
What implications do you see for your organization resulting from the coronavirus and how are you mitigating the potential risks and challenges?
As a financial intermediary, our community bank’s performance is directly correlated to the local economy, which represents businesses and citizens residing in the Flagler/Volusia area. Therefore, the implications on us from coronavirus mirrors the impact the pandemic has had on the local market. I think the pandemic has disrupted every business and individual’s life in our community. However, the impact has been uneven as some industries like hospitality and medical have been devastated while others have been less impacted. In light of the challenges faced from the coronavirus Intracoastal was proactive in addressing the risks on behalf of our customers and the bank.
For instance, Intracoastal Bank has been involved in the Federal governments SBA PPP effort as a lender. We provided over 300 loans in excess of $22 million in SBA PPP loans for our business clients. More than 80% of these loans have been forgiven to date. We also offered business loan customers the opportunity to delay payments for an extended period. Over a third of our customers took advantage of this offer and they have all resumed normal payments.
What actions have you taken or will take to return to the growth expectations you had as 2019 ended? When will it be achieved?
We have been fortunate and have experienced unprecedented growth since the start of the pandemic.
An organization’s culture flows from the top down. What leadership skills do you find effective in promoting the agency’s mission and vision to employees, clients and customers?
I think the most important qualities of leadership include integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence and positivity. Our team embraces these characteristics and has incorporated them into our core values and culture. While it may start at the top, I think it takes a total team commitment to strong leadership and values to achieve elite performance.
At EVOLVE we have a shared belief that leaders develop their success skills by overcoming the challenges and adversity they face. Do you believe that hypothesis and if so, what adversity have you faced and overcome that helped put you where you are today?
Yes, we agree with this philosophy. The banking industry is cyclical and subject to strong external forces. We have faced many challenges including economic recessions, pandemics, unprecedented levels of increased regulation and more. We embrace all challenges as an opportunity to get better. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to overcome all external negative forces. I believe in Charles Swindoll’s statement “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” In my experience one of the greatest rewards is overcoming adversity, especially when you accomplish this as part of a team.
What closing comments or counsel would you offer to emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs to continue their path to success?
Never, never, never give up no matter what challenges you face. Pursue success in whatever endeavor you have chosen. However, the top priority should be honesty, high integrity, a strong work ethic and most importantly serving and adding value to others.