Banking icon retires after 52 years

GILFPORT (WLOX) - Hancock Bank employees will not see a very familiar face at work Monday. CEO George Schloegel is retiring after 52 years.

Earlier this week, he came by our WLOX studio to reflect on what a ride it has been.

He started in the mail room back in the 19050's. George was a teenager back then, but he did not last very long in that mail room.

Eventually, Schloegel would graduate from the LSU School of Banking and Harvard Business school. By all accounts this was a man who understood the banking business as well as anyone.

Bank chairman Leo Seal recognized what a brilliant mind Schloegel had, and eventually George became Hancock Bank's CEO.

"I think this is all about America," Schloegel told WLOX news. "The American dream is alive and well today as much as it has ever been. Folks ask me how I went from the mail room to CEO, and I tell them, it's easy. Just do a good job in the mail room, and they will go you something else to do. Stick around long enough and eventually, they will appoint you CEO."

All kidding aside, Schloegel says he owes a big thanks to so many, but first and foremost, Leo Seal Jr., who passed away just a few weeks ago.

To George, he was a boss, but he was so much more.

Leo Seal Jr., was George Schloegel's mentor, friend and confidante.

Schloegel calls Mr. Seal a wonderful example of how a man can serve his business, but also serve his community by making it a better place.

Just as Leo Seal set a wonderful example, so has George Schloegel.

By Jeff Lawson