Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Ken Howell retires as Board Chairman of First Freedom Bank
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John Lancaster named Board Chairman, remains CEO

Ken Howell, board chairman of First Freedom Bank, has announced his retirement from that position. Howell, who was one of the founders of First Freedom Bank ten years ago, has spent more than forty years in banking.  John Lancaster, President and CEO, assumes the role of Chairman, effective January 20, 2016.

"Ken's impact on Wilson County cannot be under-stated," said Lancaster. "He has been a leader in business, a major contributor to the community, and a visionary for First Freedom Bank.  I am honored to step into the position of Chairman.  We look forward to honoring Ken at a community open house/reception later this spring. "

Howell will continue to serve on the board of directors of First Freedom Bank as Chairman Emeritus. He also serves on the board of Shenandoah Mills, Inc.  Howell is Lifetime Member #23 of the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce where he served as Board Chairman in 1995.  He was instrumental in the organization of the Chamber's Business and Education Coalition which has contributed more than $190,000 in teacher grants throughout Wilson County.  He continues to be involved in these efforts.    

Lancaster, a Lebanon native, was instrumental in organizing a group of investors to form First Freedom Bank.  He served as President, CEO and Director since the bank's inception in 2006. 

Prior to the organization of First Freedom, he served as Wilson County Chairman with SunTrust Bank / National Bank of Commerce.

"John Lancaster's background in banking and his leadership qualities make him the perfect choice for Chairman of First Freedom Bank.  He is one of the most disciplined and forward thinking individuals that I have ever been associated with," said Howell.  "The shareholders of First Freedom Bank and the Wilson County community all benefit from his skills as a banker and a community leader.  I look forward to working with John and the entire First Freedom Bank family in the future as a member of the board of directors."

Lancaster is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a B.S. in Business Administration, with Honors.  He earned his MBA at Trevecca Nazarene University.  Additionally, he is an alumnus of The Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University, the Tennessee Commercial Lending School and the Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending, both at Vanderbilt University. 

Active in community affairs, Lancaster has served as Board Chairman and Campaign Chairman for United Way of Wilson County and a board member of the United Ways of Middle Tennessee. He has served as chairman of the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Greater Lebanon Regional Planning Commission, President of Main Street Lebanon, Inc., President of the Wilson County Adult Reading Council, and as an instructor for Junior Achievement through Lebanon High School for a number of years.

A graduate of Leadership Wilson, Lancaster has also served on the board of the Wilson County Heart Association, the Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Wilson County and the Board of the Independent Bankers Division of the Tennessee Bankers Association. He currently serves on the Board of Financial Products & Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tennessee Bankers Association.  He is a member of the 2016 class of Leadership Middle Tennessee.

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Posted on 01/20/2016 2:03 PM by John Lancaster
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Monday, 11 January 2016
First Freedom Bank Promotes April Jennette to Office Manager
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April Jennette, Bank Officer, Senior Personal Banker & Team Leader, has been promoted to Office Manager for the Mt. Juliet Office, announced Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.

Jennette started her career with First Freedom in 2007 as a Customer Service Representative in the Lebanon office. In 2008 she was promoted to Personal Banker in the Mt. Juliet office where she was part of the original opening staff. In 2013 she was promoted to Sr. Personal Banker, then again promoted to Bank Officer and Team Leader in 2014. Jennette started her banking career in 1970, with Florida Keys Savings and Loans, where her grandfather was CEO.

Jennette has been recognized several times for her work with awards including the Stellar Teller Award at Regions Bank and the First Freedom Bank Financial Planning Award three years in a row. April has also completed several classes through the Tennessee Bankers Association, focusing on IRA, Bank regulations, leadership and teambuilding. She has also taken multiple courses at the Nashville Institute of Banking and is involved in ongoing training through Skill Path and Fred Pryor Career Track.  

"April has worked at the Mt. Juliet office since its opening in 2008. She is a familiar face to all of the Mt. Juliet customers, having served many of them since the office opened. She is known for providing her customers with excellent customer service, along with delivering the proper financial products and services to meet their needs.  She is a great example of our "promote from within" strategy and we are pleased to honor her with this well deserved promotion," said Beavers.

A native of Key West, Florida, Jennette is a 21-year resident of Old Hickory in Wilson County. She is a licensed minister of the Christian Gospel. Besides being involved every year with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, she is also involved with the Mt. Juliet Senior Center, the Mt. Juliet animal shelter and is an ASPCA contributor.

Jennette has been married for 29 years and has three children, 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. 

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Posted on 01/11/2016 11:57 AM by Giulia Ware
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