Sam Whitehead – President/Mortgage Division - PriorityOneBank

  • PriorityOne Bank since 1999
  • Owner of The Mortgage Centre   1996-1999
  • Mortgage Guaranty - Loan Originator   1993-1996
  • Various Banks, Finance Companies 1983-1993
  • Graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in Managerial Finance  1983
  • Married for 35 years to Sandra Stewart Whitehead
  • Three children:
    • Sarah (Teacher at Evangelical Christian in Shreveport LA)
    • Benjamin (CEO of Quantum Possibilities in Hattiesburg MS)
    • Elijah ( Student at Jones College, concert pianist)

On weekends, where would we most likely find you?

You will find me on my farm in Seminary. I have 160 acres full of cows, horses, donkeys, chickens, turkeys, dogs and one bob-tailed cat named Booger.

How did you get into the mortgage business?

Divine intervention! I had been in the unemployment line for a couple of months due to the nature of the finance company world.  My wonderful wife TOLD me to pick up a phone book (yes, I am that old) and go through the yellow pages.  I did exactly that.  I made it from A all the way to M.  I called a ‘M’ortgage company and the darling little receptionist said, “we don’t have an opening today, but we will tomorrow”.  I guess you can say at that point, the rest is history.

Name three people (or one person if that is easier) that you view as mentors.

I can’t say that I really had a mentor. My career of learning has been through trial and error. I do have a group of people that helped and encouraged me from working for a mortgage broker, to owning my own firm and always being there for me as a mortgage banker.  Breck Tyler, Dell Tubbs, Carla Dean, Charlie Kelly, Mary Robins and Felicia Ford from Trustmark (back in the olden days).  

What keeps you up at night?

Nothing that a normal parent wouldn’t stay up and worry about.  I’ve learned that business will take care of itself, but family is what is most important.

What has the Mortgage Bankers Association meant to your career?

MBA is a fantastic source of knowledge. I have enjoyed the informative meetings with experts in their field.  Most importantly, the camaraderie from fellow mortgage bankers and the shared experiences are a huge benefit that cannot be measured.

Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about yourself? (hobbies, etc.)

I’ll just share a quote that my employees say all the time: “That Sam-I-am!  That Sam-I-am! I do not like that Sam-I-am!!”