Making Move From Bulldog To Banker
STARKVILLE, Miss., July 12, 2013 — Jimmy Abraham joins Cadence Bank as vice chairman, a part-time position that allows him the freedom to spend time with his family while continuing to remain active in Starkville’s business community.
Having recently retired from Mississippi State University (MSU), Abraham enjoyed a 38-year career at his alma mater. In 2005, he was named associate vice president for development and alumni and executive director of MSU’s Alumni Association. Prior to that, Abraham served as associate vice president for student affairs.
“We have two grandchildren, both four months old, with one in Starkville and the other in Tupelo,” said Abraham. “When I retired from Mississippi State, my number one goal was and is to spend time with them as well as other family members.”
Abraham continued, “Then Cadence contacted me about this opportunity. It’s a great way for me to stay connected with the community, the university and the many people we consider our friends, while still having time for family. I have the utmost respect for Cadence’s leadership team and all the bank does to help strengthen our local community. They’ve been a key player in economic development for the area for as long as I can remember. ”
At Cadence, Abraham will serve as an ambassador for furthering new and existing client relations in the Golden Triangle and across the State of Mississippi. In his role as MSU’s Alumni Association executive director, he successfully helped develop and implement programs that built stronger relationships between the university and its more than 125,000 living alumni.
“As a Mississippi State graduate and active alumnus, I can attest to Jimmy’s remarkable gifts in building and maintaining relationships,” said Paul Murphy, chairman of Cadence Bank. “These connections are the heart and soul of the banking industry. Jimmy is renowned for his trustworthiness, respectfulness, resourceful nature and discretion, all attributes we admire and pursue at Cadence. He will be a great addition to the team.”
“I’m really excited about going to work for Cadence, my bank for 40 years,” Abraham explained. “Cadence helped me my first semester while a student at State, loaning me money to purchase my first car in 1973.”
Abraham began his professional career at MSU in 1976 as the hall director for Evans Hall. He went on to hold positions of increasing responsibility as assistant director of college and school relations (1979-1984); assistant dean of student services and director of enrollment services (1985-2000); assistant vice president for student affairs (2000-02); interim vice president for student affairs (2002-04); and associate vice president for student affairs (2004-05). Abraham also served as interim vice president for development and alumni from January to April 2007. During his tenure at Mississippi State, he advised three outstanding student groups, the MSU Roadrunners, the MSU Orientation Leaders and the Alumni Delegates.
The Clarksdale native has received the MSU’s Distinguished Staff Award, the Student Association Outstanding Faculty Award, the Lambda Sigma Outstanding Professor Award, the Outstanding Professional Award from the National Orientation Directors’ Association, and numerous other honors.
Abraham received a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1975 and a master’s degree in student personnel and counselor education in 1977, both from MSU. He earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Mississippi in 1985.
He and his wife, Patti, who retired as director of the research and curriculum unit at MSU in 2010, have three sons, Jim, Josh (wife Morgan) and Jase (wife Whitney), and two beautiful grandchildren, Hattie and Caden.
“I appreciate this opportunity that Cadence has given to me,” said Abraham.
Murphy added: “We are always looking to align ourselves with outstanding people, and we are excited to welcome Jimmy to our Cadence team.”