Pinnacle hires chairman for Knoxville group

Exec retired as BB&T state president last year

Pinnacle Financial Services has recruited the former Tennessee president for BB&T to help lead its Knoxville operations.

Missy Wallen, who retired last July as state chief for North Carolina-based BB&T, has joined Pinnacle as Knoxville chairman and will lead its client services group. She spent 12 years at BB&T in Knoxville and from 2007 until last year was its Tennessee president.

As part of Wallen's hiring, Pinnacle also has named Mike DiStefano president of its Knoxville region. DiStefano was previously manager of the bank's Knoxville client advisory group and joined Pinnacle from SunTrust in 2007. Chief Credit Officer Harvey White, who retired from Regions before joining Pinnacle in 2009, will still lead Pinnacle's Knoxville operation as regional executive.

"Pinnacle has been the fastest-growing bank in Knoxville since our opening. Under Missy's leadership, BB&T was the second-fastest growing during her tenure," White said. "We expect that her addition to the team will help us continue to accelerate our growth in this market."

Pinnacle will open its fifth Knoxville-area branch late this year. As of last summer, the bank ranked sixth in the MSA by deposit share with about 3 percent of the market. At that time, BB&T was fifth with 9 percent.