Career banker. Servant-leader. Strategic thinker.
Oh, and an experienced omelet maker.
Clay Roberts is a man of many talents.
The Regions Bank Private Wealth Management leader is also the newly announced market executive for Regions in Texarkana, Texas, and Arkansas. Roberts succeeds Denis Washington in the market executive role following Washington’s recent retirement.
We spoke with Roberts to learn about his priorities for the market and how nonprofit service is personal for him. What we didn’t expect was to also learn how the culinary skills he developed early in life have served him well, too.
What are your goals in your new role as Texarkana market executive?
I’m incredibly proud to work for a company whose mission is making life better for our communities. One of my key priorities is to empower and encourage even greater associate participation in charitable projects and events when we’re able to safely do so again. By serving and supporting our Texarkana neighbors, we not only strengthen our community relationships, we also strengthen our relationships with each other as teammates. It’s important to lead by example, so I look forward to personally continuing my nonprofit support on local boards as we explore new opportunities to serve.
Tell us more about the nonprofits you serve. What do you enjoy most, and what have you learned about yourself from the experience?
Community involvement has enriched my life in so many ways. It’s offered me opportunities to serve my hometown. It’s taught me how to leverage my strengths to best serve each nonprofit. And it’s encouraged me to thoughtfully and strategically choose causes that are personally meaningful to me in determining where I devote my time and resources.
Opportunities, Inc. is a great example of that personal service connection. Opportunities, Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people with disabilities grow, develop and succeed. My father was involved with Opportunities, Inc. from its earliest days, so I was familiar with the important work they did to create a place where everyone is warmly welcomed, accepted and feels a sense of belonging. But I had no idea just what their work would mean to my family and me until my wife, Kim, and I had our children.
After returning home to Texarkana in 2001, I joined the Opportunities, Inc. board. Following the birth of our twins in 2002, we discovered both boys had learning disabilities. Opportunities, Inc. provided our boys with two years of speech and physical therapy that prepared them for public school. Today, they are graduating high school seniors with great grades and are preparing to attend the University of Arkansas this fall. The support Opportunities, Inc. provided our family has made serving as a past board president and a board member for many years even more rewarding.
Whether it’s Opportunities, Inc., Christus St. Michael, the Texarkana Firefighter’s Relief and Pension Fund, Lifenet, Rotary or others, each organization I’m involved with holds a special and personal meaning.
What’s been the biggest change you’ve observed in the banking industry during your career?
The technological advances we’ve experienced since I first entered banking have made our work so much more efficient. We have tools available today that empower our associates to deliver solutions that are customized to meet the needs of our clients at each phase of their lives. We’re able to make life better for our clients thanks to technology enhancements and the service our team members provide.
What’s your approach to serving clients in the Texarkana community?
I think what distinguishes us from a service perspective is our commitment to bringing together a full team of bankers to support our clients. We call it Regions360®, and this team approach offers our clients the benefit of more years of financial services experience at the table to help address their specific needs. There are few banks that can offer this same depth of resources. We believe it elevates every conversation we have with our clients.
Tell us a bit more about yourself. What are your hobbies?
I enjoy golfing, traveling, cooking and attending sporting events with my family. In my younger years, our family did a lot of camping. As I’ve aged, I now prefer experiencing the outdoors with a little more comfort! I recently bought a pontoon boat and am looking forward to taking up fishing and enjoying quiet time on the lake.
What’s one unique thing about you that might surprise your teammates and/or clients?
I love cooking and prepare most of my family’s meals. My mom encouraged me to begin experimenting in the kitchen at an early age. She cooked dinner each night, and it was up to me to make breakfast or lunch if I didn’t want to have cereal or eat in the school cafeteria. So, I began making breakfast for my family at age 10 and just continued from there. It taught me to be independent, which has served me well through the years. At one time, I was interested in majoring in hotel and restaurant management. I changed my mind after working as a busboy for a year and deciding I didn’t like the hours! But I would put the omelets I make up against anyone else’s. Come see us in Texarkana when the pandemic is over; I can bring breakfast to the bank branch, and you’ll see how my mother’s encouragement has paid off!