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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 25, 2014 4 years ago

Chef of the Bank

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David Gordley, IberiaBank's market president for Southwest Florida, is known for his culinary skills. He'll drive to Arcadia for a good dry-aged steak.
by: Jean Gruss Contributing Writer

You wouldn't know it from his trim physique, but David Gordley loves food.

Gordley, who now oversees both Lee and Collier counties as Southwest Florida market president for IberiaBank, says his two elementary school-aged daughters can tell you which kind of snapper they prefer to eat and how they like their steaks cooked.

Gordley learned his culinary skills early, avidly reading cookbooks as a child. In fact, he almost became a chef before deciding to go into banking.

Gordley, 44, recently spoke with the Business Observer about his personal life, career and the banking industry.

PERSONAL LIFE
Scratch golfer: Gordley started playing golf at age 9, sneaking onto the course at his parents' golf community outside Columbus, Ohio. He joined the University of Kentucky golf team as a walk-on.

First job: At age 10, Gordley became a golf caddy at Worthington Hills Country Club in Ohio. The first time he caddied, his father gave him $10.

How he stays fit: “I take the stairs and park far away,” Gordley says. Although he loves food, he doesn't have a sweet tooth.

Culinary school: Gordley almost went to culinary school, but decided against it. “You work when everyone else is playing and play when everyone else is working,” he says.

Speech impediment: When he was a child, doctors recommended Gordley read books to help him with a speech impediment. He discovered he had a passion for food because cookbooks were his favorite books to read.

Foodie: Seafood, steaks and morel mushrooms get top billing on Gordley's menu. He recently served five kinds of oysters for friends at his home. He shops at City Fish Market in Fort Myers, Jimmy P's Butcher Shop in Naples and Fussell's Meats in Arcadia.

Family: Married to Carrie, two daughters, ages 8 and 10.

CAREER
Dad's advice: Gordley's father, Richard Gordley, was CEO of Ohio-based Wood Bancorp. “He told me: Don't get into banking,” the younger Gordley chuckles.

Bank boot camp: Gordley became a branch manager at a Fifth Third Bank in rural Ohio in 1994. It was an introduction to the industry, a sort of boot camp for a young executive. For example, that's where Gordley learned how to spot check kiting, a fraud that scammers perpetrate on banks by writing checks on accounts with insufficient funds.

Up the ranks: From his branch-manager days, Gordley rose up the ranks to Fifth Third's headquarters in Cincinnati, where he became senior vice president for corporate banking and managed $2 billion in credit exposure.

No more snow: Gordley and his wife moved to Southwest Florida in 2005 to serve as Fifth Third's vice president of middle-market banking. He left in 2006 and joined TIB Bank as senior vice president in charge of commercial banking.

INDUSTRY
Good times: Gordley joined IberiaBank in May 2011 as commercial banking group manager for Collier County and was promoted two years later to market president for Collier County.

Management style: Servant leadership. “I don't micromanage,” Gordley says.

No labor shortage: There are labor shortages in certain industries such as construction, but not in banking. “There's no shortage of people looking for jobs,” Gordley says.

Economic recovery: “It helps when you get a Hertz,” he says, referring to the Fortune 500 company relocating its global headquarters to Southwest Florida.

Finding good loans: Business owners are more conservative after the downturn and are reluctant to borrow. “I think people are a lot more averse to debt,” Gordley says.

Future of community banking: “Regulations are driving up the costs,” Gordley says. “It's becoming far too expensive.”

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