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Top 40: Ritchie Hampton

Ritchie Hampton sees his role as president of BancorpSouth’s Olive Branch operation as more than being a banker.

Not content to sit and simply wear the title of president, Hampton’s adopted a hands-on approach to management, both in his work place and the DeSoto County community.

“As a banker, we have invested millions of capital and those dollars have sparked innovation and caused a chain reaction leading from those businesses to the supply brokers and so on and so on,” he said. “I am also proud as a person that I have invested countless hours working for the local chamber of commerce and with the young professionals that are our future.”

A solid work ethic is the basis for most of the Tennessee native’s success, Hampton believes.

“I’ve always loved my job, so working 50-60 hours a week is just part of my life,” said the 39-year old. “I don’t demand that same commitment from my employees but you would be surprised at the expectations they place on themselves with a good role model to follow.”

Hampton’s father serves as his role model. A factory worker, his dad instilled an integrity into his son that transcends people from many different walks of life.

Completing basic training in the Army after his senior year of high school led to a 14-year career in the National Guard and made a positive impact on Hampton.

“The Army introduced me into manhood bright and early every morning,” Hampton said, laughing. “It was demanding, mentally and physically. I would re-enlist today if my wife wouldn’t have a stroke over it.”

Mike Anderson, a BancorpSouth division president, admires Hampton’s leadership qualities and his ability to inspire others.

“Ritchie is very well-liked and respected by his co-workers,” Anderson said. “He worked tirelessly through the economic downturn to continue to remain positive and to motivate his employees.”

At BancorpSouth, Hampton manages the operations of three DeSoto County locations and a commercial lending department, as well as having responsibility for the growth of a $275-million loan portfolio.

“Our company operates under a de-centralized strategy which is much different than many banks our size,” he said. “That means I’m the decision maker in all aspects, from loan approvals to employee promotions.”

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