Retired banker is proof that honesty is the best policy

One decision as a teenager changed the trajectory of a man's life and his family's future

FULTON , MISS. (WCBI) – We have all heard the saying, ‘Honesty is the best policy.”  For one retired banker, that saying proved to be pivotal when he did the right thing as a teenager.

As Billy Bolton was at the ribbon cutting for Community Spirit Bank of Fulton, he couldn’t help but think back to a time, when as a teenager he had a decision to make, during a basketball game at Red Bay High School.

” I was raised poor over in the country and didn’t have any money, and Mr Flippo, who ran the bank at that time, he was executive vice president, he and his wife were sitting in front of me and my friends were sitting on the top bleacher, and he dropped a twenty dollar bill under the bleachers and would not go after it, I went after it with intention of keeping the twenty dollar bill, but when I got back in the bleachers I couldn’t keep it and handed it to him,” Bolton said.

A few years later, Billy Bolton was married, and he got a call from Mr. Flippo, offering him a job at the bank as a teller.   About a week later, he accepted the offer, although he had no banking experience.

Billy Bolton worked hard, learning about the banking business, and one day, about six years after he had been hired,he was called into Mr Flippo’s office.

“He said, “Billy did I ever tell you why I hired you?’  I said, no, I always wanted to know, always was inquisitive about that.

He said, you remember being at a basketball game and you went under bleachers , got the twenty dollar bill and gave it back to me?

I said, I had forgotten it, but yes, I remember it now.

He said, ‘That ‘s the reason I hired you,” Bolton recalled.

Billy Bolton made a career out of banking, working his way up to President and CEO, before retiring.  He is now Chairman of the Board and the Bank of Red Bay changed its name to Community Spirit Bank.

Billy’s son, Brad followed in his father’s footsteps and is now president and CEO of the bank.

Brad Bolton says the story of his Dad’s honest decision has impacted many people.

“Dad calls that story, honesty paying off, he’s shared it with we three kids, and our kids, and his grandkids and great grandkids will hear that story , it is about doing what’s right when nobody’s watching, and that’s the truest definition of integrity,” Brad Bolton said.

Community Spirit Bank has six locations and 180 million dollars in assets.  Brad Bolton says his Dad’s story resonates with all employees.

“My Dad is a great Christian man and has instilled that in each of us and our entire organization, that’s how we try and live our lives and how we try and serve our customers on each and every occasion,” Brad Bolton said.

“I did what was right and looking back the Lord took care of me, and took care of my family,” Billy Bolton said.

Although he’s retired, Billy Bolton still goes to the bank everyday, to do whatever needs to be done.



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