First Freedom was a sponsor of the fourth annual Christmas Breakfast and Appreciation Program for all leaders of the Wilson County first responders.
The event was hosted by Rehab 23 and took place at the Lebanon Country Club on December 12th. This year’s guest speaker was Chief Buck Dozier (retired) of the Nashville Fire Department and current President of Box 55.
Pictured: front row, from left to right is Chief Lance Howell, Wilson County Sheriff and Rehab 23 Board Member, Bob Pergler, Operations Officer, Rehab 23, Scott Lorden, President, Rehab 23, Jennifer Porth, General Counsel, Rehab 23, Linn Yeager, Vice President, Rehab 23. Back row, from left to right is Kenny Beavers, First Freedom Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, Natalie Stark, First Freedom Assistant Vice President and Providence Office Manager, and Wayne Hudspath, Board Member, Rehab 23. All Rehab 23 members pictured are also on the Board of Directors for the organization.
Natalie Stark has joined First Freedom Bank as the Providence Office Manager, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO.
Stark’s considerable experience in the banking world makes her a perfect fit for First Freedom Bank. After earning her BA in Marketing/Management from Marietta College in 1987, she began her 26-year career with Fifth Third Bank where she would become a Banking Center Manager and later a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer. She was a member of the bank’s Presidents Circle for her outstanding achievements and served as a mentor to new hire mortgage loan officers.
“We are very pleased to be associated with Natalie Stark,” said Lancaster, “her depth of banking and mortgage knowledge will be of great assistance to our customers and employees.”
A native of Pomeroy, Ohio, Stark moved to Columbus, Ohio after completing college and lived there until relocating to Tennessee in 2017. She currently resides in Old Hickory with her husband, Ken. They have one daughter, Alexandra.
First Freedom Bank, headquartered in Wilson County, was established in 2006. A full service, community bank, First Freedom Bank offers personal and commercial banking services from six locations in Wilson, Putnam and Jackson Counties, and has approximately 70 employees. First Freedom Bank has assets in excess of $460 million and is owned by more than 1,100 shareholders throughout Middle Tennessee. First Freedom Bank is member of the Better Business Bureau, an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additionally, First Freedom has earned the prestigious Five Star rating by Bauer Financial, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating firm.
First Freedom’s Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, participated in Sycamore Elementary School’s annual Great Shake Event. Attended by nearly sixty fourth-graders, this event strives to foster professional communication skills. The students introduce themselves, shake hands and have brief conversations with their guests.
Pictured is Ladell Medley with other Great Shake attendees.
First Freedom organized a food drive for its second year in a row. There was 451 pounds of food collected and donated to local organizations.
Pictured from left to right is Keleigh Carnes, Providence FSR Manager, and Kaitlin Wattenbarger, Providence Personal Banker, posing with some of their office’s collected food.
FFB recognized six employees this past quarter for exceptional job performance and exceeding their individual goals for enhancing and broadening customer relationships. Their outstanding performance earned them the prestigious honor of Chairman’s Cup Member for the quarter. The qualifying employees were MaKayla Ramsey, Cookeville FSR, Bryan Sweet, Cookeville FSR Manager, Sara Beth Kinnaird, Gainesboro FSR, Dawn Kidwell, Mt. Juliet FSR Manager, Kim Cowan, Providence FSR and Keleigh Carnes, Providence FSR Manager.
Sara Beth Kinnaird also received the MVP Award for achieving the highest overall performance score among all FSRs. Pictured above is Sara Beth receiving her award from John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO.
First Freedom hosted a booth at this year’s EMTAR Expo. The expo was held at the Wilson County Expo Center and featured educational opportunities, booths with realtors and affiliates, food, games and prize drawings. This year’s theme was “a celebration of decades” and each booth displayed their favorite decade through design and attire.
Pictured from left to right is Nicole Frank and Christen Rabe, Mortgage Origination Officers.
First Freedom sponsored a table at the annual Fellowship Christian Athletes (FCA) of Wilson County Banquet, held on October 2nd at the Wilson County Expo Center. The host this year was Chad Withrow, sports radio personality of 104.5 “The Zone” and Midday 180. Also in attendance was former Nashville Predator and current analyst with NHL sports Network, Stu Grimson.
First Freedom’s John Hawkins is on the board of the Wilson County FCA.
FCA encourages coaches and athletes to serve their communities and to make an impact in the world through Jesus Christ. Funds raised from the banquet go toward helping the organization fulfill their mission.
Pictured from left to right is John Hawkins, Assistant Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, Tucker Worley, Relationship Specialist, J.B. Owens, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking, John Bradshaw, President and Chief Operating Officer, John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO, and Shelia Ferrell, First Vice President and Managerial Lender.
First Freedom was a sponsor for the 30th Annual Upper Cumberland Quilt Festival this year. This event has grown substantially over the years and showcases over 600 quilts. This event always draws a large attendance from Putnam and surrounding counties, as well as out-of-state visitors.
The festival strives to not only showcase the quilts but also preserve the art and heritage of quilting, provide education, and act as a location for experts to meet.
Pictured from left to right is John Allen, festival worker, Lisa Mellott, Cookeville FSR, Barbara Tolleson, festival worker, and Nancy Pardue, festival worker.
First Freedom attended the BEEFoundation Reception dinner on Wednesday, September 19th. The event included a scholarship presentation, a wall of honor, and a live auction.
The BEEFoundation is a non-profit organization that provides education and professional development opportunities for students, consumers, and beef producers.
Pictured from left to right is Kristina McKee and Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, at the wall of honor. Kristina McKee and her husband Bill McKee were original organizers of First Freedom Bank.
First Freedom was a sponsor for Sycamore Elementary shirts which will be worn by the students on spirit days, school events, and field trips. Thanks to local sponsors each student received a school shirt completely free.
Pictured is Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, with Sycamore Elementary students and staff at the Sycamore Scramble Day.
First Freedom Bank, in partnership with CRA Partners, funded the Senior Crimestoppers Program at Mount Juliet Health Care Center in Mt. Juliet, Quality Center for Rehabilitation & Healing in Lebanon, and Signature HealthCare of Putnam County in Cookeville. Each location was presented with a Charter Plaque, a ‘Wish Comes True Check’ to be used by the facility, and a ‘Time of Your Life Video’ to provide entertainment for the residents.
The Senior Crimestoppers Program is operated by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) and works to protect and enhance the lives of senior housing residents.
Pictured is First Freedom staff with residents and staff of the senior housing facilities.
Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, and Keleigh Carnes, Providence FSR Manager, attended Del Webb’s Trade Partner Appreciation Reception on Thursday, August 9th.
First Freedom has participated in the Del Webb Trade Partners Program since 2013.
Pictured from left to right is Keleigh Carnes, Kenny Beavers, and Helene Holverson, Del Webb Director.
Donna Watson, Administrative Assistant, Shelia Ferrell, First Vice President and Managerial Lender, and Kelly Ferrell, Senior Personal Banker and Team Leader (pictured left to right), participated in the third annual Wyatt’s Walk and Run on August 11th at Charlie Daniels Park. Wyatt’s Walk and Run was organized to raise awareness and research funding for Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS).
First Freedom Bank has become an investor in the Highlands Economic Partnership of Tennessee. The Highlands Economic Partnership was launched in 2006 by the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce as an initiative to enhance economic and community development in Jackson, Overton, Putnam and White Counties. First Freedom has offices in Jackson and Putnam county.
Pictured is Ladell Medley, Cookeville-Algood Office Manager and Vice President, accepting an investors plaque from Justin Matheney, Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber Representative.
First Freedom sponsored a hospitality tent at hole #10 and had a team participate at the annual Dr. Carey Harbrecht Memorial Scramble on Monday, July 16th, at Five Oaks Country Clube. Benefits of the fundraiser go to Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.
Pictured from left to right is John Bradshaw, President and COO, J.B. Owens, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking, Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, and Josh Clemmons, Vice President and Controller.
First Freedom sponsored a table at the 40th Anniversary Celebration Gala and Fundraiser for the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center. The theme was “Bridging the Generations” and featured the Mt. Juliet High School Theater Department. Over $16,000 was raised that night and all proceeds will benefit the activity center.
Pictured from left to right is Sarah Poss, Bank Officer and Marketing Specialist, Kayla Holbert, Mt. Juliet Personal Banker, Kaitlin Wattenbarger, Providence Personal Banker, Jenny Etheridge, Lebanon FSR, Kevin Etheridge, Robert Jennette, April Jennette, Mt. Juliet Office Manager, and Ashley Montgomery, Mt. Juliet Personal Banker.
On June 15th, several First Freedom officers attended Wilson County CASA’s 30th Anniversary celebration at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. Linda Shenk, one of the original organizers of Wilson County CASA, was honored at the event.
CASA provides trained volunteers who advocate in court for the stability and healthy development of abused and neglected children. Cases are referred to the CASA programs by the Juvenile Court Judge, the Department of Children’s Services, and/or the Foster Care Review Board. CASA volunteers do not leave the case until the child can be returned home, is adopted, or other permanent arrangements are made for the child.
Pictured from left to right is Derek Frank, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, Rick Marsh, Debbie Marsh, Mortgage Administration Officer, Chris Ferrell, Shelia Ferrell, First VP, Managerial Lender and Wilson County CASA Board Member, Cathey Sweeney, Executive Director of Wilson County CASA, Emily Vance, and Phillip Vance, Assistant VP and Relationship Manager.
First Freedom hosted the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce’s Community Coffee Club on June 14th at the Cookeville Office.
The Community Coffee Club is a new event organized by the chamber to offer networking opportunities for local business people.
Pictured from left to right is Kenny Beavers, Senior VP and Director of Retail Banking, Sandy Taylor, Cookeville Personal Banker, John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO, Gaile Paul, Algood Assistant Manager, Ladell Medley, Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, Bryan Sweet, Cookeville FSR Manager, and Kelly Emery, Cookeville Assistant Manager.
Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources, and Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, attended the Wilson County Main Street Awards Breakfast on May 30th. First Freedom Bank was a finalist in the Best Bank/Mortgage Company category for the second consecutive year.
FFB recognized nine employees this past quarter for exceptional job performance and exceeding their individual goals for enhancing and broadening customer relationships. Their outstanding performance earned them the prestigious honor of Chairman’s Cup Member for the quarter. Pictured above is John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO, with the Chairman Cup Team Members Dawn Kidwell, Mt. Juliet FSR Manager, Kimberly Colson, Mt. Juliet FSR, Karen Elmore, Lebanon FSR Manager, Jenny Etheridge, Lebanon FSR, Sara Beth Davenport, Gainesboro FSR, Susan Nichols, Algood FSR Manager, Josh Hall, Cookeville FSR, Keleigh Carnes, Providence FSR Manager, and Kim Cowan, Providence FSR.
Kim Cowan also received the MVP Award for Achieving the highest overall performance score among all FSRs.