Best Places to Work 2021: Pinnacle Bank puts associates first

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Senior Vice President Ryan Murphy, left, and Chairman Craig Holley stand in the lobby at Pinnacle Financial Partners on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Banking may be oriented toward money, but the leaders of Chattanooga's fastest-growing bank say it all starts with people. Pinnacle Bank, which has quickly grown into Tennessee's second biggest bank headquartered in the Volunteer State since its start in 2000, hires only experienced bankers and gives employees both a share of the business and a voice in how it is run.

"It's all about the associates here, and I think that associate engagement we have is the real secret sauce that makes Pinnacle so special," says Craig Holley, the Chattanooga market chairman of Pinnacle who heads the 110-employee operation with four offices in Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tennessee. "We put our associates first above everything because when you have excited associates who look forward to coming to work every day that's going to lead to engaged clients."