Archie McDonnell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens National Bank, recently announced details of the Bank's strategic leadership and management succession plan which is designed to carry the Bank's rich heritage forward over the years to come.
"We believe it's so important for our community and region to have its own independent community bank, which is focused on the greater good of our local communities. So many people within our organization have devoted their life's work to ensure that Citizens National Bank could continue operating as an independent and locally owned community bank, and it's vital that we put a plan in place to perpetuate this legacy well into the future," McDonnell said.
Hampton D. Thames, a 27-year employee of the Bank, has been named President of its statewide franchise, which consists of 26 bank locations throughout the state of Mississippi. McDonnell, who has served the Bank for the past 41 years and held the title of both President and CEO, will continue to serve the Bank as its Chief Executive Officer, as a member of the Bank's Board of Directors, and Chairman of its Directors Loan Committee. In addition, he also serves on the Board of the Bank's Holding Company - Citizens National Banc Corp - and is President of the Bank's Holding Company which owns 100% of the Bank.
"Hampton is a proven leader," McDonnell said. "He understands who we are and what our corporate culture entails, and those characteristics are critical to ensure that the Bank will continue to be run in the future as it has been in the past. "I know that I also speak for our shareholders and Board of Directors when I say that we are so proud of Hampton for the contribution that he has made to our organization over his career at the Bank. He has extensive experience as a branch manager and lender, has served as President of our Meridian Region since 2013, and he knows what it takes to run efficient bank locations as well as how to manage teams of employees. In the area of commercial lending, he has also built one of the largest portfolios of any lender within our Bank, which is a testament to his expertise in this area, and also to the fact that so many successful businessmen and women trust him for guidance in the day to day operation of their business," McDonnell said.
Thames' community involvement includes serving as Treasurer and Annual Program Chairman of the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi program as well as President of the Alliance Futbol Club, and Vice President of the Meridian Youth Soccer Organization. He and his wife, Michele, are members of Central United Methodist Church in Meridian, and are the proud parents of two sons, Davis and Will.
Also, as part of the management succession plan, Neil Henry has been promoted to the position of the Bank's Meridian Regional President, which was previously held by Hampton Thames. "With over 45% of our customer base residing in the Meridian and surrounding areas, this leadership position is critical to our success," McDonnell said. The Bank is very fortunate to have someone like Neil on our team who can assume this role. He is highly respected in the local community, and has been a top producer for the Bank since he joined the Bank in 2011. For example, since 2011, he has grown his loan portfolio to $66 million and his deposits to $19 million," McDonnell said.
He is also extremely involved in the community, serving as the Director of the Meridian TOPSoccer program, which meets the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities, and as a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi. In addition, he serves as a Board Member of the State Games of Mississippi and the Navy League.
He and his wife, Amanda, have a son and a daughter, Parker and Anna Kate, and they are members of First Baptist Church in Meridian, where he serves as a deacon.
"In addition to Hampton and Neil, we are also very fortunate to have an entire team of extremely bright and talented professionals who are highly capable of meeting this challenge in the coming years," McDonnell said.
"These team members have ten years of experience on average, not just in the banking industry, but with our Bank, and their average age is 47 years old. Through this team, we can continue to be focused and responsive to our customers and the communities we serve, and continue to promote personal, business, and community economic development for our fellow Mississippians," he said.
These members of the management team include Shane Callahan, Chief Operating Officer, who has 15 years of service with the Bank, Jeremy Stringer, Chief Financial Officer, who has 8 years of service, Scott Sills, Chief Marketing Officer, who has been employed with the Bank for the past 25 years, Chip Hines, Chief Credit Officer, with 12 years of tenure, Jeffrey Smith, Chief Lending Officer, who has served the Bank for the past 20 years, Richard Johnson, Chief Human Resource Officer, who has three years of tenure, Bobby Maddox, Chief Sales Officer, who has served the Bank for the past 12 years, and Carroll Ann Blackmon, Chief Risk Management Officer, who has two years of service with the Bank. With $1.29 billion in assets, the Bank also manages an additional $920 million through its Wealth Management Division, and Teresa Thornhill serves as Chief Wealth Management Officer. Thornhill joined the Bank in 2013.
In addition to seven locations in Meridian, the Bank also serves Philadelphia, Quitman, Madison, Ridgeland, Flowood, Carthage, Kosciusko, Columbus, Macon, Olive Branch, Southaven, Hattiesburg, Laurel, and Waynesboro. Kevin Brewer, a native of Meridian who joined the Bank in 2009, will continue to serve as President of the Bank's South Region, while Jeff King, an 11-year employee of the Bank, will continue to serve as President of the Bank's West Mississippi Region.
McDonnell concluded by saying, "While true community banking is becoming more and more rare in this day and time, we are not for sale, and we are committed to continue operating as an independent community Bank and carrying on our legacy for years to come."