Alumni Spotlight - Craig Reeves
February 2, 2022 - Anna Dykeman
Craig Reeves is a 30-year banking professional in New Mexico, and he graduated with his B.B.A. in 1984. He led FNB New Mexico in Clayton for many years and currently co-owns Denco Properties, LLC. He contributed insights from his career in support of Anderson’s new Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct (story follows).
Anderson Launches Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct
Anderson recently introduced a Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct in an effort to demonstrate our commitment to maintaining high-level professionalism and integrity in all we do. All Anderson students, faculty and staff pledge to uphold these values.
The code is intended to enhance productive and constructive interactions among all members of the Anderson community. All members are expected to adhere to this policy to foster inclusive and professional communication across campus and beyond.
Anderson alumnus Craig Reeves, BBA ’84, offers his perspective on how ethics in business has been key to his professional success:
When I first became president of FNB New Mexico in Clayton, it was in deep trouble. It was 1986 and when many banks were being closed. Several times the newspapers wrote about what bad shape the bank was in and supported that theory with key ratios. We expected to be closed by the FDIC at any time. These were very hard times for employees, customers and shareholders.
This went on for several years and was formative of my leadership for the next several decades. Early on we found some instances where improper or illegal actions had been made by some large customers and shareholders. I made it clear that this was not acceptable, and one of our largest owners was removed from the board of directors. We also made the customers move. We notified our regulators and set the tone going forward. We met with our employees and outlined what had happened. We also made sure they knew that the owner and those customers would no longer be involved with the bank. I think it showed everyone we were going to do the right thing, even when it could have a huge negative effect on your business.
“Firing” your largest customers is not easy when your bank is in financial trouble. I wasn’t sure we could survive but I knew that if we did, we had to become an organization that did the right thing. I think it gave our employees pride in working for our bank: they wanted to work for an organization with high moral standards. They wanted to be a good example.
It was really amazing how these actions transformed the bank. The whole environment and atmosphere changed immediately. I asked the local priest to come celebrate a mass in the lobby and invited our staff to attend. We still had some bad days, but it’s different when you know you’re doing the right thing. That doesn’t always mean we made the right decisions, but we always chose the ethical way.
Anderson’s Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct can serve as a central guide and reference for our community to support day-to-day decision making. We encourage discussions about professional and ethical conduct and what it means to have integrity. The Anderson code can help empower individuals to handle dilemmas they encounter. In support of the new code, Anderson offers a library of resources related to business ethics.