October 1, 2019 10:33 am

Colleagues, fellow professionals and friends,

image of American Bank Systems SEO, James W. Bruce IIIABS is celebrating 50 years in business! 1969 was the year of the Apollo Moon landing and “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” It was the year of the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Woodstock (if you say you remember Woodstock, you probably weren’t there). It was the first year of Sesame Street. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were box office hits. It was the year of the first Concorde test flight, the first eye transplant, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am… and it was the year ABS was started.

So, what are keys to a company’s longevity? I have some ideas.

“People” — Never forget that business is about people and not deals.
“Place” — Know your Company’s place in the industry and strive to be the best in that space.
“Purpose” — Remember your Company was started to meet a need in your community and beyond. Stay true to that mission. 
“Pleasure” — Find pleasure in what you do, the people you do it with, and the people you do it for.

I know what some of you “long-timers” in the community banking world may be thinking, “50 years is a nice start…we’ve been here 100 years.” To you, I tip my hat and say, “Well done.” 


James W. Bruce, III
President/CEO and General Counsel
American Bank Systems