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Succeeding in Every Role: Alex Watkins '10

Succeeding in Every Role: Alex Watkins '10

When Alex Watkins '10 looks back at his days at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, his first day perhaps stands out the most. 

“I was a scared freshman and, all of a sudden, all of these big, huge seniors come running down the hall – banging lockers, blowing whistles, sounding off noisemakers. I didn’t know that was a part of the school tradition and it scared me to death,” he said. 

The fulcrum can shift in a billion ways with a 14-year-old, but Mr. Watkins conquered his fears, both at school and currently in the business world. He would go from scared on the sidelines to centerstage in many ways. His accomplishments in addition to playing basketball all four years include speaking at both Upper School and Middle School chapel services and being named "Mr. HIES." 

“As a senior, I have to admit it was really fun running through the hallways, banging lockers, blowing whistles, sounding off noisemakers, and seeing those scared freshmen – fresh in their white shirts. Everything comes full circle, right?” he said. 

After his success at HIES, he spent two years at Indiana State University as a practice squad player. The first year he earned a ring as a part of the Missouri Valley Conference champion basketball team before transferring back to Georgia to finish college at Chattahoochee Tech. Even before graduating, however, he had his vision and he followed it.

“I started part time at Bank of America while at Chattahoochee,” he said. “I earned some money while in school and started putting my business degree to work.”

And his work has been a progressive, persistent and patient success, as in 2021 he was named assistant vice president of the company. “It’ll be a while before I get another promotion,” he said with a laugh. “They don’t like to jump people up too fast. Still, besides working some camps at Pace, this remains my only grown-up job.”

Looking back, Mr. Watkins credits his time at HIES for much of his success, and his memories include more than his scary first day.

“Holy Innocents’ had diversity, different kinds of people, a student body from all over the spectrum. This helps me to this day because sometimes I’m on a call with 100 or so people, some of them young, others old enough to be my mother. My time in mixing with the people – and my time getting on the stage – has helped me to be able to work with all kinds,” he said. 

As for his influences?

“I saw [former English teacher] Carla Klepper at two different weddings over the past five months. Also, playing basketball under Coach Mike Harner – I actually cried when he left. There were – and I’m sure there still are – always good people there,” he said.

Looking at it all – taking center stage on the basketball courts, being a practice player in college, speaking to the young, performing before an audience, and now moving up the ladder at work, Mr. Watkins can quickly tell you his best accomplishment.

“I’m currently engaged to Chervony Cabrera, we have a boy named Zander who will be three next week and we have a daughter due this summer. Kids are a reflection of their parents, and once you have a kid, everything changes – not only with you but in dealing with others. My kids are my everything – I put my heart, soul, sweat and income into them.”

Regardless of the roles, however, Alex Watkins has learned to shed his fears, adapt to his surroundings, and succeed in any role, any day, any time.

— Dunn Neugebauer