After retiring from a 30-year career as a US Navy officer, Johnny Walker was ready to apply his expertise in the private sector and start his own business.
However, it was 2008, and the world was experiencing a dramatic financial downturn. To say banks were “apprehensive” about loaning money to start-ups, no matter how promising they might be, is an understatement. Finding a bank was downright tough.
But Walker was determined and knew his company, which he’d named THOR Solutions, could be successful, and he forged ahead. Walker crossed paths with Sandy Spring Bank and, before he knew it, 10 years had sailed by.
“Sandy Spring Bank has been our bank for more than a decade, and they’ve been a major part of our continued success,” said Walker, who is THOR’s CEO. “From day one, we knew they were the right fit for us. They’re responsive; they’re knowledgeable; and when it’s called for, they can move quickly.”
It’s on that latter piece — the ability to move expeditiously — that Walker says Sandy Spring Bank is particularly impressive. “The government contracting marketplace moves at its own pace. Some parts move slowly, but others call for speed and being nimble,” he said.
“I’ll give you an example. You win a big contract and have to hire 100 people. That takes a line of credit and it’s not one you can wait around on for very long to get an answer,” Walker said. “We’ve found that Sandy Spring Bank shines in many areas, but there’s no question their accessibility and their ability to reach a decision on something promptly are things we really value.”
“In terms of scalability, the ability to absorb change events, and deliver resiliency, Sandy Spring Bank is in a class of its own,” he said.
Asked if he would recommend Sandy Spring Bank to others, Walker took it up a level. “I steer people I trust to Sandy Spring Bank. It’s a community bank with the right strengths and attributes to help businesses succeed. All around, great people.”