J.B. Owens, Director of Commercial Banking at First Freedom Bank, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO. Owens will continue to serve as the Director of Commercial Banking, with additional responsibilities for the company’s secondary mortgage operations.
“Along with our president, John Bradshaw, and our Board of Directors, I am very pleased to announce JB’s promotion to Executive Vice President,” stated Lancaster, “He has been a great leader in our company and has contributed significantly to our success over the last 11 years. JB possesses a great work ethic, is highly intelligent and embraces opportunities to serve our communities. I am excited for him and his future as we continue to build First Freedom Bank.”
Owens started with First Freedom in 2006 as a Credit Analyst after a two-year stint with KraftCPAs where he focused on bank auditing. Owens quickly proved to be an asset to the bank and in 2007 was promoted to Assistant Vice President in the commercial lending division. In 2008, he was named Vice President and Relationship Manager. In 2010, he was promoted to First Vice President and Senior Lending Officer and assigned full management of the lending and mortgage divisions at First Freedom. With his success, Owens was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2013.
Owens stated, “In 2006, I changed career paths by leaving public accounting for an opportunity to become a community banker. I was excited about what First Freedom might become and hoped that I could grow with the bank. I am so thankful that John Lancaster, John Bradshaw, and Ken Howell took a chance on me by giving me an opportunity to join their team. It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of the First Freedom story. Together, our employees have had a positive impact on the communities we serve while also providing a strong return to our shareholders. I am proud to have been a part of First Freedom’s history and look forward to being a part of its future.”
Owens earned both his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and his Master of Business Administration degrees from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. He maintains an active CPA license and is a member of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a graduate of the prestigious Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania, the Southeastern School of Consumer Credit at Vanderbilt University, and the Southeastern School of Commercial Lending at Vanderbilt University.
An active member of his community, Owens has a long history of community service. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce. He is past Chairman of United Way of Wilson County and past president of the Lebanon Kiwanis Club where he also served as a Little League commissioner for several years. In addition to his current Chairmanship of the Chamber, Owens serves on the board of the Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending and the Accounting Advisory Board for Tennessee Tech University’s College of Business.
A native of Smith County, Owens resides in Lebanon with his wife, Bethany, and his daughter, Camille. They are members of Mt. Juliet Church of Christ.