Meet Lee Pierson! He is the Vice President, Private Relationship Manager at The Bank of Tampa. He was born in New Jersey and his family moved here in 1973. He loves to help people with their banking needs.
Q: Tell me a little bit about what you do?
A: We handle personal banking business for clients providing personal lines, loans, home equity lines of credit and residential mortgages. Also their day to day banking relationship. The bank of Tampa is uniquely different to other banks because they don’t have somebody who is truly responsible for their banking relationship. Here you start your relationship with a private banker and that banker is responsible for your account. We pride ourselves in building relationship with the client and we have many clients here that have been with us for 30 plus years. They started when they were young and now we also help their grown children. It’s a very concierge service where you are handling your clients from start to finish. Many times clients decide to become entrepreneurs and at that time I will refer them to a commercial relationship manager in our company but I also stay in the loop.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: My grandmother was a banker, so I think that at some point in time it was rooted in my DNA. That was something that she did in the early part of her life. She was involved in banking and real estate. I love to help people and there is nothing more rewarding than when somebody starts a relationship with you and you see it grow. You are having an impact on that relationship. I’ve been involved in residential lending where it was very transnational but banking is not like that. There are lots of life’s events and cycles with your client and it’s great to be part of those things.
Q: How long have you been doing this overall?
A: I was in manufacturing for 13 years. I was a project manager for a plastic company and I did that for many years and things started to go overseas. It made it more difficult to stay in the industry and I started looking for an opportunity to change. I just happened when I bought my 1st home. I learned something about residential financing and my neighbor was a residential financing manager for a company and he recruited me to work for him. I was an independent mortgage lender and ended up working for a bank that was similar to The Bank of Tampa. I was a residential lender when the housing crisis happened in 2008, everything just stopped moving. I was fortunate enough to be retained with the bank. They offered me a position to learn the banking side of things and that’s when I really fell in love with the banking part. It’s like this is a lot of fun, you are involved in more things and you are not just dealing with finance.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in North Tampa?
A: I moved down to North Tampa from Pinellas in November of 2003.
Q: Who’s had the biggest positive impact in your life?
A: I do have a lot of admiration for the former President Ronald Reagan. He was the president in the sweet spot of my youth. When I first paid attention the things that were going on in the world. He was that leader and he reminded me of my grandfather a lot because of the way he carried himself, his stature and looks. He looked similar to my grandfather. I connected with him in a way that shaped me into who I am. He was somebody that wash changed party affiliation.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: Would certainly be Europe. My wife wants to see Paris and I want to see Italy. I also want to see Greece.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: My favorite movie is definitely Christmas Vacation. I have great memories of that and I actually saw it in a theatre when it first came out.
Q: What would be your best piece of advice about life?
A: Help others in whatever ways you can. I think a lot of times people feel that being in philanthropic has to do with money and I look at it differently. I think time is the most valuable commodity that we have and giving that is more valuable than money.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: Golfing in Ireland is a bucket list for me. I would love to do a week long trip where it’s all golf in Ireland.
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: I’m a big fan of Foo Fighters because they were part of Nirvana which they are like part of the alternative Seattle scene that came out when I was in a very formative part of my youth.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about North Tampa?
A: I like the fact that there is still some space in North Tampa. There is room in North Tampa to build houses with more space. There are places like Odessa that still has 2 lane roads where you can’t build her than 2 roads. What is unique about this area is that there’s a lot that goes on up here. I think it’s still interesting that we still have those places and you can be out in a more country setting.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I drove a race track stock car. My father was a race car builder and owner for decades. He always race cars and always had stock cars. One time his driver was out of town then we asked me to drive the car. Unfortunately it did not work for me. I ended up crashing the car so my father and my wife did not like it.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: That’s where the heart is. Every time I hear, home is where the heart is.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: It would be between Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. One of the things that makes me laugh the most is the Outtakes. When you watch the outtakes from either one of those guys, you will see people cracking up. When I think of movies I just want to cut lose and have fun. I would much rather hang out with funny guys that make me laugh.
Q: Do you think it is important to have that face to face contact and get to know your neighbors?
A: Absolutely! Kids of my son’s generation don’t interact with their grandparents they way my generation use to interacted. We had a conduit to a previous generation in a previous way of life. My grandmother used to tell me stories about what it was like to live through The Depression. And our Kids now a day’s don’t even know what is struggle and strife is. I think our generation (Gen X) is one of the most critical generations that there is. We are coming on our silver years where we are going to have to help our children navigate through this when when they get into adulthood.