Banker, Partner, Friend

Banker, Partner, Friend

Pella Carolina, Inc., Greensboro, NC

“They are what I would consider to be a traditional banking relationship that is sort of disappearing from the rest of the world, where everything becomes transactional. I consider them a business partner, and we work on solutions together. We’re doing business with friends and people who are a part of our business and the finance arm of our business rather than a bank.” -Lee Way, President and CEO of Pella Carolina, Inc.

When Lee Way purchased Pella Carolina, Inc., the business had a longstanding bank that he kept on board. But things just didn’t feel right.

“After about nine months of ownership, I realized that I wasn’t really their customer. I never felt like a customer,” says Lee.

When he met with the team at Pinnacle, they started with the basics, getting a feel for the business, where they stood and what they wanted. Soon it was clear they needed more than what they had been getting.

“He had this goal of growth, that he wanted to double in size,” says Financial Advisor Chris Hodgin. “They were busting at the seams both from an inventory perspective and personnel.”

Lee adds, “What the conversation turned to was how can they help us grow, how they make sure that we are able to achieve our strategic vision of doubling in size.”

Those conversations are critical, and it can be difficult to move them toward action if advisors start to mix solutions with sales pitches.

“We’re not selling anything,” says Regional Chairman David Allen. “It’s, ‘Hey, we want to understand where you want to be. What is your vision? What do you want to accomplish? What does success look like for you?’ And then we come in put the infrastructure, build the foundation, provide the resources to help them accomplish what they want to do.”

“We actually were on a pace to [double] by 2025,” says Lee, “but since we’ve been introduced to Pinnacle, we’ve already doubled in size in the three plus years that we’ve known them.”