Jim Chaffin knows a thing or two about technological change in the banking industry. In 1985 he started his banking career at a small community bank in southwest Mississippi, which was once identified by US News and World Report as one of the last banks in the country to adopt account numbers. Since joining Bank of St. Francisville in 1992, Jim has steered the institution through the digital revolution—from the mid ‘nineties when BSF was the only Internet service provider (ISP) in town—to the present day, when customers have access to a full suite of digital and mobile banking products that make money management easier and more secure than ever. Jim graduated from LSU, is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Banking in Operations and Technology at Vanderbilt University, an honor graduate of the Bank Operations Institute at East Texas State University, and a graduate of Financial Managers School—a division of the Graduate School of Banking at University of Wisconsin. Prior to joining BSF Jim’s qualification as a licensed CPA led him from a Lake Charles CPA firm; to Sufia, Sudan, where he served as a cost accountant for the Kenana Sugar Company—the world’s largest producer of white sugar. In the twenty-four years since joining BSF Jim has provided financial leadership and overseen day-to-day operations—a job description that might include anything from addressing internal technical problems, to solving issues for customers, to adding new products to the bank’s suite of electronic/mobile banking services. Jim says “I have fun every day coming to work not knowing what the next eight hours will hold for me.”
Jim views being part of a small, closely-held institution as an honor and a privilege. “Being a one-hundred-million-dollar bank allows us the flexibility to make decisions daily that affect lives forever,” he notes. “I touch all aspects of banking other than the making and collecting of loans,” he adds with a smile.
Outside of bankers’ hours, Jim cherishes time with his wife, Jenny, and family; and travels every chance he gets. Staying in touch with his rural roots, he raises gaited mules at his home near Woodville, Mississippi, and on weekends you might find him either at the nearby Pond Store (at the entrance to Clark’s Creek Natural Area); or for that extra adrenaline rush, hunting wild hogs in the hills of Wilkinson County.