Chad D. Witcher
VP, Department Portfolio Manager of the National Real Estate Group, Zions Bank
My dad, Billy R. Witcher, inspires me to build on his legacy of achievement. Thinking about his humble beginnings as the son of a sharecropper, and about what he has accomplished in his life, has always inspired me to give my best and taught me what it means to be an honorable man and a good father. Along with being married to my mom for 43 years (and still going strong), he had an honorable career in the United States Air Force, put my mom through nursing school, and is active in his church and community. He joins with my mom in always preaching the importance of education. Their sacrifices—so that I could focus my education and be the first in my family to graduate from a university—have been the difference in my life. My dad’s example has driven me to capitalize on the opportunities that have come my way.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE
Access to education is a huge challenge for African Americans. As technology plays an ever-increasing role in our daily lives, the importance of education grows exponentially. In order to remain competitive in today’s workplace, young people need to obtain higher levels of education, And as parents, we need to take more responsibility for helping them get the education they need to succeed.
Because of the great gifts I’ve received from mentors and leaders throughout my life, I know I must devote my own time to improving the community where I live and where I work. I give back by mentoring young professionals at Zions Bank, as well as students at Weber State University and the University of Utah. I also make financial donations to support scholarships at both of these universities. In my professional life, I give back by helping to increase awareness of diversity and inclusion through my involvement with Zions Bank’s formal diversity councils and Diversity Business Forum activities. These activities offer opportunities to reach out to other minority professionals through networking—not only with other Zions employees, but across the business community. And because service is rewarding, I volunteer in my community to paint the homes of elderly and low-income residents each year.
Ambition is a poor substitute for honesty, integrity, and a solid work ethic; people without the latter qualities will not succeed in the long run.
First, follow your passion—life is too short to spend most of it doing something you do not enjoy. Second, if you want to succeed, you cannot be afraid to fail—victory is often found on the bleeding edge. Third, never become so focused on your goal that you forget to enjoy the journey.