FirstBank has recruited a veteran Rutherford County banker to take over its operations there and in neighboring Cannon County.
Ben Weatherford comes to FirstBank, Tennessee’s third-largest community lender with more than $2 billion in assets, from Southern Community Bank. There, he had been Murfreesboro city president since the Tullahoma-based bank bought an office from Community First Bank & Trust a year ago. Before that, he was president of MidSouth Bank until stepping down in the summer of 2009.
Weatherford replaces Chuck Lewis, who retired at the end of 2012 after serving as FirstBank’s Murfreesboro city president for almost a decade.
“Middle Tennessee is an important market for us,” said Allen Oakley, FirstBank’s regional president. “Ben brings a wealth of market, customer and banking knowledge to help us achieve our strategic growth goals for this area.”
FirstBank runs five offices in Rutherford and Cannon counties and last summer controlled about 6 percent of deposits there. Oakley and President Chris Holmes have ramped up the bank’s growth push in Middle Tennessee during the past year, launching plans to add offices in Green Hills and Franklin and relocating their Cool Springs office to a more prominent site. This summer, they plan to open another branch on New Salem Highway in Murfreesboro.
“FirstBank is one of the premier community banks in the state with tremendous opportunity for growth,” Weatherford said. “I admire the FirstBank leadership team and look forward to making a difference in my hometown.”