First Farmers and Merchants Corporation (OTC Pink: FFMH), the holding company for First Farmers and Merchants Bank, today announced the planned retirement of T. Randy Stevens as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Farmers and Merchants Bank. Stevens will continue as Chairman of the Board and CEO of First Farmers and Merchants Corporation. Brian K. Williams, the Bank’s President, will succeed Stevens as Chairman and CEO of the Bank. The changes are effective January 1, 2022.
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T. Randy Stevens announces his retirement as Chairman and CEO of First Farmers and Merchants Bank. (Photo: Business Wire)
“I am pleased to announce that Brian Williams will be the next Chairman and CEO of First Farmers and Merchants Bank as part of our management succession plans,” stated T. Randy Stevens, Chairman and CEO of First Farmers and Merchants Corporation. “I have worked closely with Brian for the past 28 years at First Farmers. He has served in key lending, credit and trust officer positions and as the Bank’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer prior to his promotion as the Bank’s President in 2016. I am confident in Brian’s vision for the Bank and that he will continue the long tradition of serving our customers and community in his expanded leadership roles.”
Brian K. Williams, President, added, “I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of Randy Stevens and his almost 50-year tenure at First Farmers. He started as a management trainee and has served in virtually every leadership role at the Bank. He was appointed CEO of the Bank and the Company in 2002 serving in that role for approximately 20 years of First Farmers’ 112-year history.”
“The bank had $888 million in assets when Randy was promoted to CEO. Since that time, First Farmers’ assets have passed the $1.9 billion mark and $6.2 billion in administered trust assets. Under his leadership, First Farmers expanded into Williamson and Davidson Counties and opened nine new offices. Randy has championed the bank’s focus on safety and soundness and leaves First Farmers as a much stronger institution. During his tenure, he also focused on solid returns for First Farmers’ shareholders, including a strong stock buyback program and uninterrupted cash dividends,” continued Williams.
Stevens’ achievements extend beyond his successful leadership at First Farmers. The Tennessee Bankers Association named him a Leader in Banking Excellence in 2008, highlighting his outstanding banking career, his service to the community and his civic involvement. His community service has spanned a wide range of service organizations and non-profits. He has either led or served on the boards of the Columbia State Foundation, Columbia Rotary Club, the Boys & Girls Club of Maury County, Maury Alliance, Leadership Maury, Maury County Red Cross, the Middle Tennessee Council and the Duck River District of the Boy Scouts of America, and Maury County Mental Health Association. Stevens founded the Youth Educational Foundation along with a board of community and business leaders.
Stevens has also been recognized for his leadership and contributions across Middle Tennessee. He was bestowed with the Columbia State Community College President’s Award of Honor for Distinguished Alumni, the Jaycee Distinguished Service Award, the Boy Scouts of America Long Rifle Award and Silver Beaver Award, the Boys & Girls Club of America National Service to Youth Award, the Rotary Club of Columbia Service Award, and the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Stevens continued, “I have spent my entire career at First Farmers, and I am grateful to Virgil Moore, First Farmers’ Chairman and CEO in 1973 when I was hired, for the opportunity he gave me to join the bank. I have been very fortunate to have my wife, family and countless friends who have promoted and encouraged me during my banking career. I will always remember the friendships that I have had with the employees and officers of the bank, and I want to thank them for their loyalty and support.
“I have also been blessed to work with the best bank Board of Directors. I have learned from their outstanding leadership skills and wisdom and want to thank them for their loyalty to me and the bank in serving our stockholders.
“I am gratified by our bank’s stature in Middle Tennessee as we continue our 112-year tradition of serving our customers and communities. I am confident that we have a strong management team and believe they will continue to build long-term shareholder value as we have for over a century,” concluded Stevens.
About First Farmers and Merchants Corporation and First Farmers and Merchants Bank
First Farmers and Merchants Corporation is the holding company for First Farmers and Merchants Bank, a community bank serving the Middle Tennessee area through 22 offices in seven Middle Tennessee counties. As of September 30, 2021, First Farmers reported total assets of approximately $1.9 billion, total shareholders’ equity of approximately $162 million, and administered trust assets of $6.2 billion. For more information about First Farmers, visit us on the Web at www.myfirstfarmers.com under “Investor Relations.”
Felicia Y. Brown
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