By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
MVB Financial Corp. CEO and Clarksburg resident Larry Mazza believes in the importance of building relationships in business and life.
Mazza, who has seen great success in his career as a banking executive and entrepreneur, spoke in front of a packed crowd at West Virginia University’s Mountainlair Ballrooms on Sept. 11.
This was the first event in the College of Business and Economics’ Distinguished Speaker Series.
After graduating with a degree in business administration from WVU, Mazza started working as a certified public accountant for the firm KPMG. At the age of 29, he became the president of Empire National Bank.
During his career, he also worked as regional president of One Valley Bank and spent about 19 years with BB&T and its predecessors, serving as senior vice president and retail banking manager in the West Virginia North region. Mazza took on his role with MVB in 2005.
MVB Financial Corp. is the parent company of MVB Bank, MVB Mortgage and MVB Insurance. MVB Bank was founded in 1999 and established its first location in downtown Fairmont. The community bank also has branches in White Hall, Bridgeport, Charles Town, Clarksburg, Morgantown, Cheat Lake and Martinsburg.
Mazza and business partner Mike Florio are co-owners of Football Talk LLC, a sports media company that is recognized across the country for providing up-to-date NFL news. The business, which includes the websites profootballtalk.com and collegefootballtalk.com, has partnered with NBC Sports and contributes information to NBC SportsTalk.
Profootballtalk.com has grown exponentially and has reached a volume that they never expected, Mazza said.
During his presentation at WVU, he gave the audience — made up of mostly college students — plenty of advice based on his own experiences as a financial executive and business owner.
In order to grow as an entrepreneur, a person has to study and read, work hard and be disciplined, and practice articulation and effective communication. It’s also vital to keep up with changing technology and current happenings, Mazza said.
He said his title doesn’t matter, but his ability to lead effectively is essential. He and his coworkers each have different gifts, which is why they work so well together.
Mazza stressed that relationships are the most significant part of human interaction, and told the attendees not to underestimate the power of influence. He urged the students to surround themselves with individuals who are confident, positive and will lift them up, rather than those who are bad influences and will push them down.
When developing relationships, persons should focus on love, trust and commitment, he said. They should ask themselves if the people in their lives can be trusted and will do what’s right, if they’re committed and will be the best they can be, and if they care and will be kind and encouraging.
Mazza also encouraged students to always work to improve themselves.
“What you need to do is continually grow and learn,” he said.
People have to learn from their mistakes and failures, and not let setbacks prevent them from reaching their goals, Mazza said. He urged individuals to stick to their own personal mission when considering plans for their future.
“My personal goal is to help people,” he said. “I believe my legacy is to help people.”
Mazza is involved in the boards of directors of different organizations as a volunteer. When people help each other, they are better able to reach their own objectives, he said.
He said he felt that he could help a lot of people in the state by building a West Virginia-based bank. Mazza wants to make an impact on residents and their lives, whether that means assisting people in starting a business, buying a home or reaching another financial goal.
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.