As a boy, Eric DeYoung was often not far from his father’s side; he listened to him speak with farmers, restaurateurs, developers and other business owners about their financial needs.
Today, as a result of following in his dad’s footsteps, the vice president of commercial lending for Charlotte State Bank & Trust jokes that banking runs in his family’s blood.
“I can remember as a child palling around with my father, who is also a banker, watching what he did as a living,” DeYoung says, adding that it felt like his dad knew and dealt with everyone in town. “As a kid, you always think your dad is a superhero.”
That positive impression of the industry led DeYoung to study finance and business administration in college. The Port Charlotte native has since worked in the banking industry for more than 14 years. When he was young, DeYoung thought he wanted to work and live somewhere else, but after traveling and experiencing other parts of the country, he discovered Southwest Florida isn’t so shabby.
“We get pretty good weather,” he says. "When everywhere else is awful, that’s when our weather is the best."
DeYoung, meanwhile, believes one of the keys to being successful in any business is learning how to deal with people.
“We put such a premium on obtaining technical skills,” he says. “I have no beef with getting technical skills, but people skills, that’s the soft skills that really count. I find the most successful people are just good with other people.”
When DeYoung is not at work, he enjoys helping students earn college funding through his role as a treasurer with the Kiwanis Foundation. “If you want to feel good," he says, "come to an event where we’re giving out scholarships to these local kids."
ON THE RECORD: Eric DeYoung
City of residence: Port Charlotte
Employer: Charlotte State Bank & Trust
Title: Vice President Commercial Lending
Birthplace: Port Charlotte
Years on the Gulf Coast: 34
Marital status/children: Married with a 3-year-old son
Alma mater/degree: University of Florida: Bachelor or Arts in finance; Florida Gulf Coast University: MBA
Where is the best place to network? Chamber of Commerce events, PGPCNP Association of Realtors, CDBIA Events and of course the gym
What's the best business lesson you've ever learned? As a banker I speak to a lot of business owners, and the most common refrain is that a strong team leads to success. Technical skills are important, but effectively working with others is the secret to ongoing success.
What's your top tip for being productive? The screen time application on the iPhone is life changing. Just knowing how you've spent your time previously can have a strong impact on how you choose to allocate the hours of your day.
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? Summer camp counselor for U.S. kids living abroad at a Navy base in Japan
What community group or organization are you most involved with? Kiwanis Foundation of Charlotte County
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? I enjoy teaching. I have previously acted as an adjunct professor at FLSW, and I was recently accepted as a faculty member with Florida Realtors.
What's your favorite off-hours activity? I'm a CrossFit junkie and a yoga enthusiast.
What's your favorite board game or video game? Taboo. Who doesn't love a good party game?
What's the top item on your bucket list? I'd love to live overseas at some point in my life.
Where is your happy place? My backyard in front of a fire pit, likely in the fall months, at about 5 p.m.
What's your favorite podcast? "Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me"
Who/what is your favorite musical artist/band? Rob Thomas
Who would play you in a movie about your life? Ben Affleck
What was your first album/tape cassette/CD? Matchbox 20 / Yourself Or Someone Like You
What was your first concert? Coldplay
What's one song that will get you out on the dance floor? Most anything Bruno Mars sings.
What's your favorite karaoke song? N/A
What instrument/role would you play in a band? Bass
Please describe yourself in three words. Friendly, hardworking and dependable