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Tennessee-Based FirstBank Gives Rutherford County Residents Get the Best of Both Worlds

By Livability.com on September 9, 2021

FirstBank Imagery
Courtesy of FirstBank

Creating a better way to bank has been FirstBank’s mission since its inception in 1906.

Although it is now one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in Tennessee, the bank has stayed true to its community roots, where decision-making remains local.

That customer-centric, community-specific focus is central to the bank’s culture.

When Founder and Board Vice Chairman Jim Ayers launched the company by acquiring Farmers State Bank in 1984, it was with the belief that all banking should have the familiarity found in that small, rural bank in Scotts Hill, Tenn., that has served its neighbors for more than a century.

“Most people want to do business with a bank that wants to do business with them and shows them that,” Ayers explains. “I think that’s what makes us different, relationship-building and really caring about our customers – going that extra mile.”

Ayers adds that those strong relationships extend to associates and the cities they serve.

FirstBank manages more than $11 billion in assets across more than 80 locations in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Alabama and North Georgia.

“We know we need good people, and good people have choices,” he says of creating a culture that values work-life balance and encourages and empowers associates to act on behalf of their customers and communities. “I want FirstBank to have the reputation of being the most philanthropic organization that spends more time, more energy, effort and money being a good corporate citizen.”

Fred Howell, Rutherford County Market President, says that mindset enables bankers to do their jobs well.

“I’m proud to work at FirstBank. Our employees live in this community; we work here,” Howell says. “We aren’t just your bankers; we are your neighbors, friends and community volunteers. Giving back is important to us and what makes community banking so special. Local is everything to us. We are empowered to make decisions here at FirstBank because we know the people and businesses in our communities.”

Community bankers at the local level know and understand their customers’ business needs and can quickly be responsive to changing circumstances. At the same time, FirstBank’s size and scale bring industry-specific knowledge to the table to enhance corporate and private banking.

For customers, that means the best of both worlds – small-town service with big-bank expertise.

“We are one of the top 100 banks in the country,” says Leigh Ann Maxwell, a Financial Center Manager. “That doesn’t matter much to most people because it’s just a number, but what it means is that we can offer our customers big bank solutions with community bank interactions. We pride ourselves on putting our customers first. This, along with our local decision making, has been FirstBank’s tried and true model since we were founded in 1906 and will continue to be how we operate.”

Regina Medlen, a Relationship Manager, says that community spirit begins at the top and filters throughout the organization.

“With almost 40 years in banking, I can tell you that we’re here to take care of our customers and our community. That’s the FirstBank difference.”

Learn more at FirstBank.

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