What Drives Us?

It’s not money – although we need to earn a living.  It’s not notoriety – our personalities generally lend themselves to behind-the-scenes progress anyway.  We’re drawn to the S61 effort because we want to leverage our individual talents and leave the world a little better than we found it.  We are generally satisfied when we begin a noble effort, work hard, navigate storms, and arrive at a solution that works.  We enjoy simple, elegant solutions to complex problems. We admire craftsmanship in almost any form but especially in systems.  Sometimes we are a frustrated bunch. We hate when regulation and politics stifle otherwise healthy innovation and change. However, we also count ourselves very lucky to have a company with the culture that allows us to think, be different, and try new things.

Vance Smiley

The “It Ought to Be Better” Guy

I’m Vance. I’ve been working in Financial Technology for about 20 years. First on the investment side and then for 13 years as leader of Smiley Tech, a core software and services business. Banks frustrate me in the sense that I don’t believe they have lived up to their potential. They are, in my opinion, woefully behind in their use of Data and Tech to deliver healthy, problem-solving solutions to their customers.  Add to that the onslaught coming after the primary funding source of the basic bank business model (deposits) and the time feels right for banks to disrupt themselves before someone does it to them! In 2017, we decided to start a company, this time using a new platform dedicated to helping banks fundamentally rethink their business model, product offerings, and delivery methods. S61 (the platform) and WealthAble (the prototype) are that effort. 

My wife, Angela, and I have three children here in Little Rock. I don’t have many hobbies. Work, family, sailing, and flying pretty much cover it!

Jeremy

The “Where We Are Going” Wizard

I’m Jeremy.  I’m the lead Software Architect/Designer/Developer at System61. With 20+ years of developer experience, I’m working hard to coordinate the build of the S61 platform.  Before BankWorx, I created and managed key software in the Banking, Manufacturing, and Healthcare industries.  I’m a big fan of order when it comes to software architecture.  Invest a lot on the front-end, so you don’t have to later.  Moving banks from the rigid systems they are on to flexible ones that allow them to think for themselves is right up my alley.  

I recharge my batteries by spending time (away from the computer!) with family, coaching local ball teams, and spending time on the water here in my home state of Tennessee. 

David / Doc

The “Where We Came From” Wizard (retired, but still in touch)

I’m Dave.  Some still call me Doc.  I’ve been working as a bank software engineer for over 35 years.  I have built and maintained bank core systems for just about as long as I can remember.  It’s fair to say I’m battle scarred from the pressure of being the last line of defense for mission critical core systems over the years, but, I’m afraid that pressure suits my talents.  Before software, I worked at a small community bank in almost every role they had. My goal at S61 is to guide newer programmers as they learn the complexities and details required of banking software. 

In my spare time, I work on furniture in my wood shop here in Hawaii.

Wesley Prewett

The Millennial

I’m Wes. As you can guess, I’m relatively new to financial technology. I’ve spent a few short stints working for a community bank and for a payments startup early in my career. However, I’m extremely passionate about helping mid-sized and community banks compete for younger customers. I believe that community banks are the lifeblood of rural and underserved communities all across our country but they lack the resources to provide the robust digital offerings of the big banks and fintech challengers. That’s where we come in; System61 and our staff have the experience and perspective to help those valuable community banks build diverse, innovative, and specialized financial products tailored to the needs of customers in their specific communities.

As an Arkansas native, I enjoy being involved in all things Little Rock. In my spare time, I love to read and I’m an avid soccer fan.

Vincent Foster

The Liquidity Guy (outside advisor)

I’m Vince.  I’ve been working in Capital Markets for about 25 years. I started clerking at the CME out of college, traded cash and rate derivatives in NYC, and, currently, I manage liquid assets for a commercial bank. My bailiwick is in the forecasting of interest rate trends, but, more importantly, how the trend manifests in the slope of the yield curve, which is a function of excess liquidity and inflation risk premiums. After the Fed’s quantitative easing program and effort to reverse this easing, it’s clear to me that liquidity in the banking system is now more important than ever. Banks don’t yet realize their deposit franchise and subsequently their business model is under attack. If they can’t service the retail customer’s technological needs, they will lose this valuable deposit franchise and their ability to profitably finance loans will be severely impaired. That’s where Bankworx comes to the rescue.

My wife, Vesna, and I live happily here in Little Rock where I was born and raised. We both love to cook, travel, and enjoy good music.

John Olaimey

The Banker  (Director)

I’m John. As the current leader of a $2B bank, I see firsthand how hard it is to affect change in our industry. Banks have failed to adapt to modern business models that embrace virtual relationships, and we’re now in the unenviable position of playing catch-up. That said, I still believe banks remain one of the greatest vehicles for creating fundamental change in people’s lives.  So, how do we compete with today’s fintechs, prepare for tomorrow’s innovation, and still keep individual impact in mind? I believe the answer lies partly in a platform like System61. This is our opportunity to get back to working on innovative solutions for our customers instead of throwing levers and switches in the back-office.  Easy?  Not at all. But the potential is immeasurable.  

Richard

The Programmer 

I’m Richard. I’ve been developing software for nearly a decade, primarily in the health care industry. I’ve done data warehousing, reporting, dashboards, back end architecture, full stack web development, and cross platform mobile applications for both startups and large companies. I’m interested in building robust systems, not just picking between “what we’ve always done” and “the new shiny thing.”

My wife Rebecca and I live in small town Tennessee with our four children. When I’m not coding, you will probably find me with my family, reading, researching, or dabbling in permaculture.