Vance Smiley, Chief Innovation Officer
Vance Smiley is the founder of System61 and serves as Chief Innovation Officer at Southern Bancorp Bank. Long frustrated by the innovation gridlock he has witnessed at the intersection of legacy core systems, banking regulations and payment networks – combined with an early fascination with public ledgers and blockchains – Smiley now works in both companies to reimagine what a community financial institution should be. Vance has formed and leads a new division at Southern, TeamWALT (Wealth Accumulation and Lifestyle Tech), from which ModSquads (diverse 4-5 member teams) design, prototype and launch new solutions aimed at serving those typically left out of the mainstream financial system.
Smiley previously served as CEO and co-founder of the family run business, Smiley Technologies, Inc. (STI), creating back-office software and high-end tech support for banks. Competing against massive legacy technology companies, STI continues to carve out a niche helping forward-thinking banks become nimbler in order to better serve customers.
His career began in Dallas, Texas as a network tech, and he later became a venture capital analyst for a $52MM VC fund investing in early-stage companies in the ‘Heartland’.
Smiley holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Business Administration from the Owen Business School at Vanderbilt University. He currently serves on the state board of the Arkansas Community Foundation and is a director at Smiley Technologies, Inc.
Vance is married with three children and lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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