ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- John E. Porta stretches out in his Miami office, puts his feet up on a talbe, and begins talking about Southeast Banking Corp. for all the world, he looks like a contented man.
It's hard to imagine that this is the same John E. Porta who jumped from one hot seat as an executive vice president at Continental Illinois Corp. to an only slightly less toasty spot as Southeast's president and chief operating officer only 4-1/2 months ago.
While the challenge of reviving troubled banks might scare the bejabbers out of some people, it doesn't much frighthen Mr Porta. As he begins the task of rejuvenating Southeast after four relatively stagnant years, he evokes a sense of quiet confidence and purpose.
"Throughout my career, I've been regarded as a good and successful leader," explains the lanky, 52-year-old-Illinois native. "Now that I've been at Southeast for awhile, I known that we can turn things …