He wanted to roam with the bears. After graduating from Radford University in 2003, George Kite began looking for a job in the Big Apple. This was before Lehman Bros. collapsed, when "Too Big to Fail" still meant something.
"I was hot for Wall Street," he says. But after a fruitless few months of job-hunting, he became an accountant at Call Federal Credit Union in Richmond. Still, he was "lusting after finance," which led to job at Morgan Stanley downtown. Managing investment portfolios, he discovered, wasn't everything he dreamed it would be.
"Look at me. Do you think a 60-year-old is going to take advice from me?" says Kite, who at 31 still has his boyish looks.
In May 2006 he got a call from Roger Ball, chief executive at the credit union, who asked if he was interested in returning to become Call Federal's chief financial officer. He was.
Kite now manages a credit union flush with cash, about $350 million in net assets. More importantly, he finds just as much gratification teaching children at inner-city schools about money management as roaming with the bears.
"I really like when the light bulb goes off, just breaking down these assumed complex financial and economic topics into something they understand," he says of working with kids. "From that point on I know they'll be a step ahead of their peers."
Kite also has served as a leader in his church. He attended Leadership Metro Richmond. He spent a day as a homeless person. Life couldn't be better.