Freshman Forum Guest Speaker

Robert Harris | Vice President, Bancorp South

Robert Harris

Robert Harris is the Vice President, Community Lending for BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS), a Tupelo, MS based financial institution with almost $18 billion in assets and which operates nearly 290 full service branch locations as well as additional mortgage, insurance, and loan production offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including an insurance location in Illinois. In this capacity, Robert is responsible for the Community Bank’s business development, product development, and community outreach efforts related to and supporting the Bank’s Fair Lending and Community Reinvestment Act initiatives throughout its eight-state footprint.

Previously, Robert was the CRA Community Development Officer for Cadence Bank, a now $11 billion dollar financial institution previously headquartered in Birmingham, AL. As the CRA Community Development Officer, Robert assisted in the management of Cadence Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activities to include CRA and HMDA data collection, regulatory reporting, investment and lending monitoring, community service initiatives, and community partnerships. 

As the Community Development Officer, Robert had primary responsibility for the formulation and cultivation of Cadence’s public-private partnerships as they relate to CRA throughout the Bank’s six-state footprint and served as the CRA point of contact for business and civic leaders in those communities.

Previously, Robert was the Coordinator for Corporate Training and Development in Cadence’s Human Resources Department. In that role, Robert had a broad portfolio of responsibilities which included the evaluation and development of line of business learning plans, the creation of a corporate-wide leadership development initiative (Lead4Results), the administration of a credit analyst development program, and several other programs and initiatives. Additionally, Robert worked as the training project manager for the development and deployment of Cadence’s retooled Performance Management Appraisal and was the primary liaison to the Compliance Department for the Bank’s Compliance Training Program. While in Corporate Training, Robert held primary responsibility for the administration of the Bank’s Compliance Training Program and Learning Management System (LMS).

Prior to banking, Robert worked in Human Resources at Alabama Power Company and for a third-party consultant group contracted to perform a variety of organizational development functions for Mercedes Benz Inc. USA. Robert worked for several years at The University of Alabama and has a background in Student Affairs and higher education. Robert also has a background in politics and public policy having worked as a political staffer/consultant for several local, state, and national campaigns.

Robert is a graduate of The University of Alabama where he attended both undergraduate and graduate school and studied Political Science, History, and Organizational/Business Communication. Robert is also a graduate of the Barret School of Banking’s Commercial Lending and Bank Profitability Academies. Robert is very active in his community and serves on the Board of several local and statewide professional and civic organizations.