2021 Pinnacle Award: Beth Corum, Tallahassee
A groomer of talent, she’s a steward of her company’s culture
Banking, among all of the career options that may have been available to Beth Corum upon her graduation from Florida State University with a master’s degree in communication, may have been the last one she would have chosen.
“It wasn’t on my radar,” she said. But Corum was hungry for work. “I needed to gain my footing and get in somewhere,” she said.
She became aware of an opportunity at the Florida Bankers Association, applied and got the job. She would work for the association for ı4 years and then move to Capital City Bank where today she is the chief operating officer.
At FBA, Corum visited with banks around the state, became familiar with issues affecting the banking industry and gained an appreciation for the role of community banks.
“The core mission of the banking industry is to help build communities and to help people, and I kinda fell in love with it,” Corum said.
She likes Capital City Bank, she said, because it is not so large that she doesn’t get to know its clients.
She interacts closely with both external and internal customers.
“A lot of what I do is work with our associates,” Corum said. “While I may not know all 800 or so by name, I know many of them. I really enjoy working with our folks who are working with our clients on a daily basis.”
Florida Trend and the ABA have recognized Capital City as a “best place to work.” Corum has helped bring about those designations.
“I may lead those efforts, but it’s a team effort,” Corum said. “I like to believe we always put the associate first no matter the circumstances. Hurricanes, the pandemic, individual life crises — we have been right there to help our associates with whatever is put in front of them. I also like to think that we are providing associates with opportunities to develop professionally with our tuition assistance program, conferences and seminars and mentor/mentee programs managed within the company. We look for ways to help people to move up in the organization.”
Corum has extended her passion for people and talent for leadership to community organizations including the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, where she is the immediate past chair, and the United Way of the Big Bend, where she chaired its community fundraising campaign in 20ı5. Recently, she joined the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare board of directors.
Too, she has a personal board of directors, people she turns to for advice or as sounding boards: her father, Bill Harding, a retired engineer; Capital City CEO Bill Smith; Tallahassee Community College president Jim Murdaugh; Tallahassee Chamber president/CEO Sue Dick; TMH president/CEO Mark O’Bryant; and Sachs Media founder and CEO Ron Sachs.
About Smith, Corum said, “He is laid-back, but he is goal-oriented, both financial goals and in terms of maintaining our company culture. He approaches things differently, but we get along very well.”
Corum maintains lifelong learning as a value.
“I still have a lot to learn and a lot to do,” said Corum, a survivor of colon and kidney cancer. “The workforce keeps changing, and we need to attract and retain our next generation of leaders at the bank and for the community.”
The work/life/community balance is something that Corum works continuously to manage. Her daughter, Stella, like all children, is growing up fast.
“I blinked once, and she was in the 5th grade,” she said. “If I blink again, I’ll be having people over to celebrate her high school graduation.”
Video by WeAreTheWorkmans