Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Owens to Serve as Board Member for Banking Schools
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J. B. Owens, CPA, Senior Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking of First Freedom Bank, was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of both the Southeastern School of Commercial Lending and the Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Freedom Bank.

The Southeastern School Boards serve as an extension of the Tennessee Bankers Association's board of directors and specifically oversees the administration of these two commercial lending schools on behalf of the Tennessee Bankers Association.

The Southeastern Schools provide a solid foundation on which to build a banking career. Graduates develop the skills that will bring them success in upper-level management positions and forge the networks that will serve them throughout their career.

"J. B. Owens is an outstanding choice as a board member for these important banking schools," stated First Freedom Chairman and CEO John Lancaster.  "His practical experience as a commercial lender and a senior level bank manager, coupled with his professional credentials, allow him to give a unique insight into the educational needs of developing bankers."

The Southeastern School of Commercial Lending is an intensive, one-week school that concentrates on all aspects of commercial lending. Students receive over 50 hours of classroom instruction, discussion, and case study.

The Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending is an intensive three-day school focusing on advanced cash flow and loan structure, commercial real estate lending, and new approaches to predicting portfolio credit performance and managing portfolio credit risk.  This school is ideal for commercial lenders, relationship managers, portfolio managers, senior credit managers, and others who currently are responsible for or are interested in profitably growing the bank's loan portfolio and better managing portfolio credit risk.

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Posted on 04/27/2016 10:05 AM by Giulia Ware
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Tuesday, 12 April 2016
First Freedom Bank Increases Dividend By 25%
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John Lancaster, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of First Freedom Bancshares, Inc., announced that the Board of Directors has approved a 25 cent per share dividend payable to shareholders of record on April 15, with a payment date of April 29, 2016.

 "We are pleased to announce our fourth consecutive dividend," stated Lancaster. "2013 was the first year our bank was old enough to pay a dividend. This year's dividend reflects a 25% increase over last year and a 150% increase over the original 2013 dividend," he concluded. 

First Freedom's 2015 earnings per share increased 14.7% year-over-year fueled by strong margins, operating efficiency and solid loan growth.  First quarter of 2016 earnings are not yet available, but loan growth has continued to be strong as evidenced by $15 million growth in the loan portfolio. First Freedom is preparing for a mid-May purchase of three offices in Putnam and Jackson counties that are expected to add in excess of $100 million to the bank's balance sheet. 

"We continue to be very pleased with our financial performance and look forward to integrating these three offices into the First Freedom family," stated Lancaster.  "We are pleased to be able to reward our shareholders with this dividend and remain optimistic about the future of First Freedom."

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Posted on 04/12/2016 9:52 AM by Giulia Ware
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Thursday, 7 April 2016
First Freedom Bank donates to Wilson County Civic League
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts. In April, First Freedom recognized the Wilson County Civic League (WCCL). WCCL was established in 1984 for the purpose of improving social conditions in the community by promoting programs that enhance self-worth and dignity. Through recreation, education, seminars, workshops, and regular tutoring programs, the Civic League addresses problems such as drug abuse, teen pregnancy, violence, and AIDS. Their philosophy is that preventive measures exceed rehabilitative efforts.

Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Bradshaw, First Freedom President and COO; Ronnie Kelley, President of WCCL; Harry Watkins Jr., Vice-President of WCCL; Fred Burton, Second Vice-President of WCCL; Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources and Facilities Manager of First Freedom Bank; and John Lancaster, First Freedom Chairman and CEO.

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Posted on 04/07/2016 11:56 AM by Giulia Ware
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