Tim Stanciel Puts His Thoughts Into Action
By Jack Criss • Photography by Johnny Jennings
Tim Stanciel is certainly dedicated to his hometown of Greenwood. Named the new President of the Greenwood-Leflore Chamber of Commerce in January of this year, having been both a Board member and Vice-President prior to assuming his current role, Stanciel’s day job is as a banker with Bank of Commerce. His career—and life—thus far has been a trajectory of service to the community that means so much to him.
Born and raised in Greenwood, Stanciel’s father, the late Rev. William Stanciel, was a small business owner and his mother Delores, ironically, also worked with the Bank of Commerce, retiring after forty-two years. “My father owned Williams Food Mart and was also an associate pastor at Jones Chapel Number One Missionary Baptist Church,” says Stanciel. “He also worked as a code inspector for the city.” Stanziel has a brother, Detric, who is a graphic designer in the Horn Lake/Memphis area.
Graduating from Greenwood High School in 2000, Stanciel then went on to Mississippi State University where he majored in Ag Business and minored in Economics. “I worked a few jobs while I was in college at Starkville, at the local skating rink and the campus bookstore,” he says. “I didn’t really have a clear idea as to what I wanted to do in life, but was leaning towards something in my field of study, agriculture. Two weeks after graduation, though, I landed a job with Staplcotn as an export documentation specialist. That was in June, 2005.”
Working his way up through the Greenwood-based company and honing his professional skills, Stanciel says he enjoyed the work he did. “We would have people visiting from all over the world,” he said, “customers and professionals that we dealt with on a regular basis and it was fascinating getting to work with them. I myself did little travelling and never went overseas but I did interact with people from all over.”
To his credit, Stanciel says he never considered leaving Mississippi, or Greenwood, to further his career. “I had a great upbringing and love this community,” he says, “and I wanted to stay here and try to contribute to my hometown and its people in the best ways I could. It never entered my mind to leave Greenwood. I can certainly travel anywhere I want now, but I’ll always come back here. We have seminars for groups of young people here at the Chamber of Commerce—called YELL which stands for Young Emerging Leaders from Leflore—and I always encourage the attendees to try and give back and contribute to their hometowns through whatever line of work they choose for a career.”
Stanciel left Staplcotn in 2015 after ten years to take on a role at the Bank of Commerce. “Some people with the bank had noticed my community involvement, I was told later,” he recalls, “and thought I would make a good fit. And that turned out to be true. Here at the bank, I can help people buy a home or a car, start a business and teach financial literacy, things I couldn’t do at Staplcotn. I loved working there, without a doubt, but now, being at Bank of Commerce, I have more opportunities to give back to the community in tangible ways.”
Bank of Commerce CEO Bryan Thornhill actually targeted Stanciel to come work at the well-established Delta bank. “He called me up one day and recruited me as a loan officer and vice-president,” he says, “and, of course, he knew me pretty well already through my mother working at the bank. He was aware that I didn’t have a financial background but I’ll never forget him telling me ‘A smart man can learn whatever he needs to know,’ and he had confidence in me. Bryan gave me a shot and I’ll never forget the confidence he had in me.”
Stanciel was indeed trained in the banking field by his new employer and graduated from the Ole Miss School of Banking in 2018 and started at the LSU Graduate School of Banking the following year and will graduate this summer. “I’ve worked my way up here and wore many hats learning the ins and outs of banking, dealing in loans, mortgages and underwriting. You name it, I did it!” he laughs.
“But I do love banking,” says Stanciel, “and we have an incredible team here at the Bank of Commerce, good people that I truly enjoy working with. I’m the Community Reinvestment Act Officer for the bank, as well, which entails my making sure we’re compliant with loans to low to moderate income areas and working with non-profit community organizations over all of our eight branches.
I’ve always tried to help as many people as I can in my role here and the Bank of Commerce has a number of programs in place that allow me to do just that,” says Stanciel. “We assist customers with our Affordable House program, for instance, and have other means to support and assist people get ahead and do better in their personal and business lives.”
On any given day at his Park Avenue Bank of Commerce location, Stanciel says he sees existing customers regularly and also recruits new ones. “I dabble in just about every aspect of what we do here,” he says, “and wear a lot of hats. I don’t just sit behind a desk all day long: I teach financial literacy classes to young people whenever I can and also go out to drum up new business.”
Being the new President of the Chamber, Stanciel says that “I want to support our business community here in Greenwood, first and foremost, and see that as my main objective. That can be done through seminars and other resources we can utilize through the Chamber to help businesses, such as we did when the PPP loans came out a couple of years ago.”
Stanciel is married to Cynthia Stanciel, who works for the City of Greenwood as their Chief Administrative Officer. “I love watching sports, especially football—both college and pro,” says Stanciel on how he spends his downtime. “Cynthia and I are also big movie buffs, especially anything in the Marvel series. Plus, I’m a taekwondo instructor to people aged seven and up and really enjoy teaching it.”
Looking ahead, Stanciel says he wants to rise to a senior level managerial position in his job at the Bank of Commerce. “Not necessarily as CEO or CFO,” he admits, “but high enough to be more involved and do more for the bank itself and the communities we serve. Again, I love my job and I love this organization. I want to help the young bankers we bring in just as I was helped when I came aboard.
“God has blessed me to be here at the Bank of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce and Greenwood,” continues Stanciel. “I don’t take my blessings for granted, either. The opportunity to serve is an important one that I try to do my best at every single day. Certainly there will always be challenges in both banking and life in general but you have to overcome them and do the best you possibly can to serve everyone, regardless of economic status. That’s what my parents instilled in me at a young age and it has stayed with me all of my life.”
A young man with a bright future who has already made a difference. While Stanciel says he is blessed, it can also be said that Greenwood is blessed to have Tim Stanciel working on the city’s behalf every day.