Leaders in the First Bank & Trust East Texas Nacogdoches branch from left, Corey Ashley, Jerry Simmons, Jimmy Mize and Michael Goode.
First Bank & Trust East Texas named Medium Business of the Year
Chamber annual meeting and banquet set for September 28
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce has named First Bank & Trust East Texas as the 2010 Medium Business of the Year. The award is one of three Gary Justice Business Excellence Awards given annually by the Chamber.
The company will be recognized at the Chamber’s 89th Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 6 p.m. at the Hotel Fredonia.
For nearly 60 years, First Bank & Trust East Texas has maintained its deep-rooted commitment to the communities it serves, a tradition established by the bank’s founders.
“Nacogdoches was a natural expansion for our bank,” said Jay Shands, President of First Bank &Trust East Texas. “With the number of friends and business relationships we already had, it was a natural fit.”
David Draper, SFA Alumni and Lumberjack football player, maintained strong relationships with the people of Nacogdoches. Shands says Draper was the perfect choice to open the company’s first branch in Nacogdoches County.
Draper attracted talent in the community and helped build the Nacogdoches team. Jerry Simmons and Michael Goode, along with senior mentor and motivator, former Nacogdoches Mayor A.L. Mangham, were soon added to round out senior management.
“With David’s untimely death, again we were fortunate to attract someone dedicated to the Nacogdoches community. We knew Jimmy Mize, a highly respected, seasoned banker and motivated leader, could take us to the next level,” Shands said.
Mize has continued to build the team, adding Corey Ashley to the talented line-up. “But as we all know, behind every successful business is a dedicated and supportive staff," Shands said. "We are truly blessed to have a very talented team of loan assistants, new account representatives and tellers to assist our customers with all of their banking needs.”
Shands said giving back to the community is a high priority for the company, both with time and money.
“Our staff dedicates hundreds of hours every year to local organizations to help make a difference in our community,” he said. “We actively participate on many levels with many organizations. It is the staff’s privilege to be able to serve and give back to the community in which they live and work.”
That generosity is definitely noticed.
“First Bank and Trust supports many Chamber and community events,” said Chamber chair-elect Francis Spruiell.
“I serve on several non-profit boards, and every time I call them for a cause they are more than willing to help.”
Nacogdoches Branch President Jimmy Mize said it also is important “that our staff gets to know our customers – our neighbors — and call you by name when you walk in the front door. We want to build relationships that endure.”
While First Bank & Trust continues to grow, Mize said they will maintain a focus on the customers and the people of East Texas.
In 2009, First Bank & Trust was proud to receive a 10-year superior ranking from the independent national financial firm IDC Financial Publishing. The ranking was based on the outstanding safety, soundness and performance of the bank for 40 consecutive quarters.
“We are honored to be a part of the Nacogdoches community and grateful that so many put their trust in our team, and we pledge to continue to merit that trust,” Shands said.
The chamber’s 2010 Gary Justice Business Excellence Awards recipients are:
Ø Large Business of the Year: J.E. Kingham Construction Co.
Ø Medium Business of the Year: First Bank & Trust East Texas
Ø Small Business of the Year: Laine’s Hallmark Shop.
Dr. Archie P. McDonald has been named 2010 Citizen of the Year – award sponsor is Tipton Ford, Inc.
The Chamber’s Annual Meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a raffle and social hour. Dinner is served at 7 p.m. Contact the Chamber office for tickets and event sponsorships. Check the Chamber web site, nacogdoches.org for the event registration form. Contact Barbara Holl, 560-5533, to donate items for the raffle.