by Geoff Larcom, Published May 06, 2014
YPSILANTI – Remember always, as you navigate your career and personal road, that it’s not just about you.
Second, don’t get sidetracked by adversity. Tough days offer lessons to build character and strength. Don’t ever lose hope. Be the tortoise and not the hare as you determinedly pursue your goals.
And always remember that with the right intentions, you can change the world.
David Provost, chairman, president and CEO of Talmer Bank and Trust, offered that succinct but meaningful advice to new graduates of Eastern Michigan University during the school’s commencement ceremonies on April 27.
Provost, who oversees the third largest bank headquartered in Michigan, spoke at the afternoon ceremony, before graduates of the EMU College of Business, the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Education.
Provost graduated from Eastern in 1984 with a master’s degree in business administration, and was awarded an honorary doctor of business degree.
“EMU meant a lot to me,” Provost said, noting his growth during those years. “I was a good ‘B’ student. Nothing outstanding. But I got the foundation and education that enabled me to put it all together and be a good member of society and to help others.”
Provost, who recently oversaw Talmer’s IPO, noted that EMU had no class in taking a company public, but that he gained the necessary skills and perspective to grow into such a challenging role.
“Life and success does not equal wealth,” Provost told the graduates. “What really counts is an honest effort and a good day’s work, and to treat all people up and down the ladder the same way. “
He recalled that despite applying and interviewing for dozens of jobs after graduating from EMU, he received one job offer, as a cashier for Manufacturer’s Bank. And his career grew and grew from there.
“Remember, there is always tomorrow,” Provost said, offering encouraging words regarding life’s twists and turns to the graduates. “The weather man is often wrong.
“Don’t let the first door that closes discourage you.”