Maury County commissioners will next week vote on whether to chip in $400,000 to help build a $1.5 million speculative building in the 547-acre Cherry Glen Industrial Park along Highway 43 in Mt. Pleasant. Economic development officials say a number of companies are circling the area with expansion plans and argue a ready-to-go building will help them pull the trigger.
"The sooner we get this thing going, it goes back to the weapon in your arsenal," Mt. Pleasant Water System Derek Church this week told the commission's budget committee. "It gives Maury Alliance something to put the county ahead of other communities."
Today is a special day at First Farmers & Merchants Bank in Columbia, where both Chairman and CEO Randy Stevens and Chief Administrative Officer John Tomlinson are marking their 40th anniversaries at the bank. Both men are natives of Columbia who started work at First Farmers on Jan. 22, 1973, and have since helped shape its growth from less than $40 million in assets to more than $1 billion.
"First Farmers & Merchants Bank would not be where it is today were it not for Randy's and John's four decades of hard work and devotion to customers, employees of the bank and the people of Middle Tennessee," said Virgil H. Moore, Jr., senior chairman of the Board, who hired both men to the bank in 1973. "Their efforts and steady leadership have helped our employees build a bank with a solid balance sheet and a reputation as a stable and secure financial institution."
Columbia-based Heritage Bank & Trust has recruited Ben Rudd, an experienced West Tennessee banker, to be its president. Rudd takes over the president's spot from Paul Watson, a founding executive of seven-year-old Heritage who had been named to the position in the fall of 2010. Since then, Heritage tried to merge with TriStar Bank out of Dickson and downsized its board as it attempted to get a handle on losses related to the real estate bust. Through the first nine months of 2012, the two-office bank posted a profit of $40,000, down from $484,000 the year before.
“Ben brings to Heritage Bank & Trust a vast knowledge of the banking industry and a depth of experience in financial service and product delivery combined with outstanding leadership skills,” said Jim Robinson, Chief Executive Officer. “His focus on consumer service, professional attitude, lending experience and sense of urgency will be a huge asset in moving Heritage Bank and Trust forward in our efforts to continue to provide exceptional banking services to our community.”
The parent of Community First Bank & Trust out of Columbia posted a third-quarter net loss of $1.7 million, a number that would have been higher but for almost $700,000 in gains from the sale of securities. Community First Inc., which has been operating under various regulatory orders for almost two years, has been steadily adding to its capital cushion in the last two years. The pending sale of its high-profile Cool Springs branch will bring in more cash. And shedding more assets will help, too. But CEO Louis Holloway and his team still have a lot of heavy lifting to do: The company needs $15.3 million to meet the heightened capital requirements laid out by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The U.S. Air Force has contracted with the engineers at EDAS Inc. in Spring Hill to measure, monitor and analyze vibration data related to testing of next-generation aircraft engines. The work is being done via a partnership with National Instruments at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
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