Occupation: Blount County president and client advisor with SunTrust Bank
Family: Married to Nichole. They have one son, Jaydan, 5.
Adriel McCord grew up in LaGrange, Ga., a small town about 15 minutes from the Alabama state line. When he graduated high school, he had every intention of attending the University of Georgia. At the last minute, he changed his mind.
“I figured if I went to Maryville College I could get a good education and have a chance to play basketball,” he said. “I didn’t feel I was going to be another number.”
It was during his sophomore year at Maryville College when McCord says he met the love of his life when Nichole Johnson came with friends to see one of McCord’s basketball teammates.
“We said ‘Hello, how are you?’ and that was the end of it,” he says.
Nichole, who was set to attend Maryville College that fall, had her heart set on McCord. “Later I found out she told others that there was a guy on campus who was going to be her boyfriend,” he said.
McCord was a peer mentor for incoming freshmen and led ice-breaking games during orientation. One of the games involved students competing to see how many M&Ms they could get out of a whipped cream pie without using their hands. Nichole quickly jumped at the chance to be in the game McCord was overseeing. “Turns out she hates whipped cream but she did it and won the game,” he says.
McCord opted to stay in Maryville because he had developed contacts during his college years and had worked with SunTrust while in school. After a brief stint with Wells Fargo he started full-time in a management training program with SunTrust in January of 2001.
In 2004, he was a member of the Leadership Blount class. “I got the chance to meet a lot of great people I wouldn’t have otherwise met, people from all facets of life,” he says. “It was a great experience.”
McCord is currently leading the committee that will pick the next executive director for Leadership Blount. He is the incoming chair of the Leadership Blount board for 2010-11.
Here is Adriel McCord:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father, and why?
“My mother. I grew up in a single parent home until I was 10, and my mother worked very hard to make sure I had clothes on my back, a roof over my head and food on the table. Although she worked hard everyday, she always found time to attend every school activity, basketball and football game I was involved in because she knew how important it was to me for her to be there. I always try to be there for my son because I can see the same look in his eyes that I’m sure I had in my eyes when he sees I’m there to support any activity he’s involved in.”
What are you guilty of?
“Procrastination. I always feel there is more time in the day than there really is.”
What are you reading currently?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“When I missed a slam dunk in first round game during NCAA Division III basketball national tournament my senior year at Maryville College. I remember it like it was yesterday. The night before the game I was trying to go to sleep, and I envisioned myself stealing the ball from the opposing team’s best player at half court and finishing with a slam dunk on the other end. Well, everything happen exactly as I envisioned it except I didn’t make the shot. The only thing that softens the blow is that we did end up winning that game and later made it to Sweet 16.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Nice. I always want to treat people like I want to be treated and give people the benefit of the doubt, even though it may not be the best situation.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My great-grandmother, Louise McCord. I was 1 when she died so I never got a chance to spend time with.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Work hard and don’t depend on anyone else, other than God, to take care of your responsibilities.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“My wife. She has such a carefree spirit and lives in the moment. I’m a worrier by nature, so I sometimes over-think things instead of letting go and having a little fun from time to time.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Neither; with all the emails I have to respond to, I don’t have much time to keep things like Facebook or Twitter updated.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My DJ equipment. It’s a hobby of mine since college, almost 13 years. I do birthday parties and school dances and weddings for friends.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I guess probably I would say be more spontaneous.”
What is your passion?
“Probably teaching, whether it be teaching someone about their financial future or teaching kids who want to play sports or anything instructional where I can help.”
If a movie were made about you life who would play you and why?
“Nick Cannon, many people don’t know who he is but he would be the best person. We’re similar in height and of any actor, he has the most likeness as far as someone trying to play me, plus he has a likeable wife - Mariah Cary.”
If you could back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit and why?
“Maryville College when I was asked to be Bonner Scholar. I said ‘No’ because I didn’t’ think I had time.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“That would have to be ‘Popeye.’ He always got strong when he ate spinach.”
What irritates you?
“Rude people. I think a lot of time things in life could be better accomplished if people would take step back and not be so rude.
What is one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Maryville College. There is so much history there, and there are a lot of bright students who come from all over the world. The professors are great. They guide you in making good career choices. They gave me a good foundation for my life.”