News

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Monday, 13 January 2020
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First Freedom Bank is proud to announce its annual Outstanding Employee Award Winners. Heather Spurlock, Sara Holycross, and Sara Beth Kinnaird received awards for excellence in various areas of service. First Freedom employees voted for the candidate they felt most reflected the attributes for the Internal Service Award and the Red Carpet Service Award. The Chairman’s Cup MVP Award was the cumulative result from the quarterly Chairman’s Cup program. The winners were announced at the company’s annual Christmas Party on December 7th.

Heather Spurlock, Administrative Assistant, was the winner of the Internal Service Award. This award is given to the employee who provides the best service specifically to other First Freedom employees.

Sara Holycross, Facilitator, was recognized with the Red Carpet Service Award. This award is the bank’s highest honor for enhancing the customer experience and rendering service above and beyond the call of duty.

Sara Beth Kinnaird, Gainesboro Financial Services Representative (FSR), was presented with the Chairman’s Cup MVP Award. This award is only available to FSRs that have displayed exceptional job performance and exceeded their individual goals for the past year. MVPs enhance and broaden customer relationships and maintain the highest overall performance score among all the FSRs bank wide.

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Posted on 01/13/2020 1:43 PM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 10 January 2020
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Sarah Poss has been promoted to Providence Office Manager at First Freedom Bank, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO. Poss will continue to serve as Marketing Officer for the company, as well.  

“We are excited to see Sarah advance to the Office Manager position for our Providence Office,” stated John Lancaster, First Freedom’s Chairman and Chief Executive officer.  “She knows our company from the ground up and has always excelled at every opportunity presented to her.  She is a great example of our promotion from within objective and we look forward to watching her responsibilities and successes continue to grow.” 

Poss started with First Freedom in January of 2015 as a Financial Services Representative. By the end of the year, her performance warranted a promotion to FSR Manager for the Lebanon Office and Training Coordinator for the entire company.  In May of 2016, Poss was instrumental in establishing and eventually managing the bank’s uniform operational audit process throughout the company’s footprint.  In June of 2017, Poss was promoted to Personal Banker and Marketing Specialist in the company’s Providence Office.  At the start of 2018, Poss was promoted to Bank Officer. In her officer role, she continued to oversee the bank’s marketing and function as a Personal Banker.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Poss is a graduate of Watertown High School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Middle Tennessee State University.  She has taken additional classes in the areas of training and communication through the Tennessee Bankers Association. 

Poss is involved with several Wilson County organizations. She is currently an ambassador for the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Wilson County Beekeepers Association of Middle Tennessee. Most recently, Poss has begun volunteering with Wilson Books from Birth. 

Poss currently resides in Watertown with her husband Justin and daughter Sylvia.

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 $480 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.

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Posted on 01/10/2020 3:16 PM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 07 January 2020
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Lebanon, TN – “Aylan Baines has joined First Freedom Bank as a Relationship Specialist,” announced J.B. Owens, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking.

“Aylan is a great representative of Wilson County as a whole and we are proud to have him here at First Freedom. In his role at the Bank he is going to work with our customers helping them with all levels of their banking needs. We look forward to seeing Aylan prosper here and to watch him help his customers and our community prosper too!”

Baines previously interned with First Freedom in the Summer of 2018 before being moved into his current full-time position. In 2019 he graduated from University of Tennessee – Knoxville where he earned his Bachelor’s in Agriculture Economics with a concentration in Finance and Risk Management. He is a member of the Lebanon Kiwanis Club.

A native of Lebanon, Baines is a graduate of Wilson Central High School. He currently resides in Shop Springs. He is a member of Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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 $480 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.

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Posted on 01/07/2020 10:00 AM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 26 December 2019
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First Freedom Bank was a sponsor of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber Christmas Business After Hours, held on Tuesday, December 17th, at the Leslie Town Center.

The Business After Hours program promotes networking and socializing among the local businesses.

Pictured from left to right is Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, Abby Hernandez, Cookeville FSR, MaKayla Ramsey, Cookeville FSR, Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, Kelly Emery, Cookeville Assistant Manager, Kaitlyn Kovalchik, Cookeville FSR, and Bryan Sweet, Cookeville FSR Manager.

 

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Posted on 12/26/2019 8:48 AM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 20 December 2019
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First Freedom’s Algood office sponsored several kids at the Algood Headstart Center. Staff not only brought gifts for the sponsored children, but also handed out goodie bags to all the children enrolled at the center.

Pictured is Gaile Paul, Algood Assistant Manager, and Susan Nichols, Algood FSR Manager, delivering the gifts to FFB’s sponsored children.

 

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Posted on 12/20/2019 8:42 AM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 12 December 2019
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First Freedom Bank was a sponsor of the 5th annual Christmas Breakfast and Appreciation Program for all leaders of the Wilson County First Responders.

The event was hosted by Rehab23 and took place on December 11th at the Lebanon Country Club. This year’s guest speaker was Col Dereck Stewart from the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, and Tucker Worley, Relationship Manager and Bank Officer, represented First Freedom at the event. They are pictured above with members of Rehab23.

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Posted on 12/12/2019 2:21 PM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
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Stacey Crockett has joined First Freedom Bank as a Mortgage Administration Officer, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO.  

Crockett has significant experience in the mortgage world, having previously served as a Secondary Market Specialist and Shipping Specialist at a regional bank for 13 years. Additionally, she has completed specialized courses and training specifically targeted to the mortgage industry.

“Stacey Crockett is a great fit for First Freedom,” stated John Lancaster, First Freedom’s CEO.  “She has significant experience in the complex mortgage world and, above all, she is dedicated to the high level of service we practice here at First Freedom.  We are very pleased to welcome her to the team.”

Crockett is a familiar face in Wilson County. She is a graduate of Mount Juliet High School and her family owns and operates a local excavation company. She is also involved with the Keith Edmonds Foundation, an organization that strives to help and empower child abuse victims.

Currently Crockett resides in Mt. Juliet.  She and her husband Ben have three children: Mark, Grace, and William. 

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 $480 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.

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Posted on 11/26/2019 9:25 AM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 25 November 2019
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Kelly Emery, Cookeville Assistant Manager, and Gaile Paul, Algood Assistant Manager, attended the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Women’s Luncheon. Booth Andrews was the keynote speaker and the topic was Workplace Burnout Prevention and Recovery.

Pictured from left to right is Kelly Emery, Booth Andrews, and Gaile Paul.

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Posted on 11/25/2019 12:09 PM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 25 November 2019
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Ryan Woodall has joined First Freedom Bank as Bank Officer - Relationship Manager in the bank’s Lebanon office, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO.

“Ryan Woodall is an outstanding individual whom I have known for some ten years,” stated Lancaster.  His character, personality, personal experiences and his professional education all culminate to shape an outstanding community banker.  We are honored he has chosen First Freedom as his home and we look forward to watching him grow in his career.”   

Woodall brings with him more than two years of comprehensive banking experience, which includes a management training program and experience in both mortgage and retail banking.  He has been involved in opening a retail banking office in a new community and most recently served as an Assistant Office Manager for a regional bank in Williamson County. 

A native of Lebanon, Woodall is a Friendship Christian School alum and earned his B.S. in Political Science from Tennessee Tech University in 2015.  He furthered his education by earning his MBA from Cumberland University in 2017 while working full time.  While attending Tech, he was a member of Gamm Beta Phi Honor Society and the Outdoor Club.

Woodall resides in Lebanon with his wife, Mary, who is affiliated with the Lebanon Special School District.    

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 $480 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.

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Posted on 11/25/2019 9:22 AM by Sarah Poss
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
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First Freedom hosted a booth at the annual Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors (EMTAR) Expo on October 23rd. This year’s theme was “Nightmare on EMTAR Street,” and many attendees dressed in costume and decorated their booths.

EMTAR is a chartered member of the National Association of Realtors that works to protect property owner’s rights and stimulate professional development and education.

Pictured from left to right is Stacey Crockett, Mortgage Administration Officer, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, and Tucker Worley, Relationship Manager and Bank Officer.

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Posted on 11/13/2019 7:57 AM by Sarah Poss
Wednesday, 06 November 2019
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First Freedom joined the Jackson County Soil Conservation District (SCD) at their annual Farmers Awards Banquet on October 24, 2019. The awards banquet is held to celebrate conservation work and spotlight farmers, landowners, and students. 

Pictured is Teola Ragland, Gainesboro Personal Banker, with Andrew Grey, his wife Shonda, and their kids. Andrew was awarded Farmer of the Year at the banquet.

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Posted on 11/06/2019 8:24 AM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 31 October 2019
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The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce hosted University of Tennessee Athletic Director, Phillip Fulmer, at the Capitol Theater. Fulmer discussed UT sports and mingled with guests. Several FFB staff were in attendance.

Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Wilson County Sports Council, a division of the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured from left to right is Ryan Woodall, Bank Officer and Relationship Manager, John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO, Aylan Baines, Relationship Specialist, Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, Sheila Ferrell, First Vice President and Managerial Lender, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, Tucker Worley, Relationship Manager and Bank Officer, and Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources.

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Posted on 10/31/2019 9:06 AM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 07 October 2019
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First Freedom Bank sponsored a hospitality tent and a team at the annual Mt. Juliet Chamber Golf Tournament on Thursday, September 23rd at Pine Creek Golf Course. All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured from left to right is Natalie Stark, Assistant Vice President and Mt. Juliet Office Manager, Ashley Montgomery, Mt. Juliet Personal Banker, and Kaitlin Wattenbarger, Providence Personal Banker.

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Posted on 10/07/2019 1:53 PM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 03 October 2019
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First Freedom’s Kaitlyn Kovalchik was presented with Tennessee Tech’s W.A. Howard Award. The W.A. Howard Award is given to students graduating with a 4.0 GPA and is in honor of Dr. and Mrs. W.A. Howard.  Kaitlyn graduated in May of this year and earned her BSBA with a major in Accounting.

Kaitlyn works at the Cookeville location as a Financial Services Representative.

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Posted on 10/03/2019 2:30 PM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 01 October 2019
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First Freedom staff shared in the excitement at the groundbreaking event at Sellars Station last Tuesday where it was announced that The Incredible Christmas Place will be opening up a second location in Mt. Juliet.

The Incredible Christmas Place will be the first business to open in Sellars Station.

Pictured from left to right is Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, and Natalie Stark, Assistant Vice President and Office Manager.

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Posted on 10/01/2019 10:37 AM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
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First Freedom hosted a booth at the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce’s Bizapalooza. It was held at the Leslie Town Center on Thursday, September 12th.

The Bizapalooza is a bi-annual event organized to provide local business with a networking opportunity.

Pictured from left to right, front row, is Kaitlyn Kovalchik, Cookeville FSR, Abby Hernandez, Cookeville FSR, Breanna Bilbrey, Cookeville FSR, Gaile Paul, Algood Personal Banker and Assistant Manager. Pictured from left to right, top row, is Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, Bryan Sweet Cookeville FSR Manager, and Kelly Emery, Cookeville Personal Banker and Assistant Manager. 

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Posted on 09/24/2019 2:37 PM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 23 September 2019
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First Freedom Bank is proud to announce promotions for two of its staff members. Rebecca Jennings has been promoted to Bank Officer – Credit Analyst and Tucker Worley has been promoted to Bank Officer – Relationship Manager.

                                                      Rebecca Jennings

Jennings began with First Freedom in July of 2017 and interned as a Financial Services Representative before moving to full-time status in May of 2018. She has spent her time with the bank in the financial, retail, and commercial divisions and most recently served as a commercial credit analyst.

Jennings graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.B.A in Accounting from Cumberland University while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. While at Cumberland, she was recognized with the Most Outstanding Performance Award in Accounting and the Outstanding Intern Award from the Office of Career Services and Internships. She was also a member of several prestigious academic honor societies such as Alpha Lambda Delta, Delta Mu Delta and Alpha Chi. Jennings served as Treasurer of the College Republicans Club and was a member of Campus Ministry International.  

“Rebecca Jennings is an outstanding person with a tremendous future at First Freedom,” remarked John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of the company. “We are excited that she has chosen First Freedom as her home and we look forward to her bright future with our company.” 

Jennings is a native of Highland Lakes, New Jersey, but she now resides in Lebanon with her husband Christian. They are members of Grace United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet.

                                                  Tucker Worley

Worley was employed with First Freedom as an intern in summer of 2017 before becoming a full-time employee later that year. Since joining with the bank, he has worked in both the commercial and retail divisions. He has most recently been working in the mortgage department as a Relationship Specialist. With this promotion, he will relocate to the Mt. Juliet Office on Lebanon Road and will be offering mortgage, personal, and small business loans to the community.   

Worley is a 2017 graduate of Freed-Hardeman University where he earned his B.B.A in Accounting. He currently serves as the Head Coach of Mt. Juliet Church of Christ’s Boys Highschool Basketball Team. He is also an active member of the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce where he is the Co-Chair of the Mt. Juliet Young Professionals Group.

“Tucker loves Wilson County and relishes opportunities to be involved, particularly in Mt. Juliet,” commented Lancaster.  “He has a unique ability and strong desire to connect with individuals and aid them in pursuing their financial dreams.  We are honored to have him on the First Freedom team.”

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Worley currently resides in Mt. Juliet. He is a member of the Mt. Juliet Church of Christ.

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.

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Posted on 09/23/2019 12:17 PM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 19 September 2019
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First Freedom attended two of Tennessee Tech University’s (TTU) fall career fairs. The first fair, held on September 10th, was targeted toward students looking for part-time positions and was open to all students and all majors. The second fair was held on September 17th and was the Business, Agriculture, Government, and Human Ecology Fair and was also open to all students and all majors.

TTU hosts its career fairs for students to network with local businesses and to maximize their career opportunities.

Pictured from left to right is Sarah Poss, Providence Office Manager and Marketing Officer, with Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking at the Business, Agriculture, Government, and Human Ecology Fair.

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Posted on 09/19/2019 7:45 AM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 26 August 2019
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Tatum Jones has been promoted to Personal Banker at the Lebanon office, announced Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.

“Tatum has been a valued member of the Main Office team since joining the bank. Her excellent customer service skills and previous banking experience have benefited both her customers and coworkers. Tatum will do a great job serving our customers in her new position,” said Beavers.

Jones joined First Freedom Bank in July of last year as a Financial Services Representative. She has prior experience in both the retail and financial field and possesses a broad knowledge of branch operations.  As a Lebanon native, she is well established in the Wilson County Community. Jones was also previously involved with United Way.

Jones still resides in Lebanon with her son, Paxton.

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.

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Posted on 08/26/2019 1:53 AM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 22 August 2019
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FFB recognized six employees 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, Kaitlyn Kovalchik, Cookeville FSR, Bryan Sweet, Cookeville FSR Manager, Kim Cowan, Providence FSR Manager, Susan Nichols, Algood FSR Manager, and Sara Beth Davenport, Gainesboro FSR.

Sara Beth was also recognized as the Top Performing FSR. Sara Beth is pictured above with John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO. 

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Posted on 08/22/2019 7:11 PM by Sarah Poss
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