By LANDON WOODROOF
First Farmers & Merchants Bank may be new to Brentwood, but it is not new to many Brentwood residents.
CEO Randy Stevens said the bank has had a number of Brentwood customers over the years even without a branch in the city.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Tuesday morning at the bank’s new Harpeth Drive branch, Williamson Inc. welcomed First Farmers to Brentwood and celebrated the bank’s fifth location in the county.
“We’re a community bank headquartered out of Columbia, Tennessee,” Stevens said. “We started in 1909, and we’re now branched out into eight counties.”
The bank first ventured out of Maury County in 1985, when it opened a branch in Lawrence County. It started expanding north into Williamson County in 2006 and, in addition to the new Brentwood location, has branches at Berry Farms in Franklin, in downtown Franklin, in Cool Springs and on McEwen Drive. It also has a branch in Green Hills in Nashville.
Stevens has been with the company for 44 years. That streak caught the attention of Williamson Inc.’s Senior VP of Community Relations Nancy Conway.
“I’ve noticed something interesting with their key officers, and that is their longevity with the bank,” she said.
Stevens chalks up his long tenure at the bank to several factors, from the quality of the bank’s board and leadership over the years to the bank’s central philosophy.
Stevens described two pillars of that philosophy.
“It’s about the people first of all,” he said. “We truly believe, and this has been passed on to me since the day I was hired, that you put faith first, your family second and then you put First Farmers.”
Stevens also said the bank strives to be as committed as possible to community service.
“We feel like if we’re going to work in the community we need to give back,” he said.
The branch on Harpeth Drive has four departments: retail banking, trust, mortgage and business banking.
Stevens said the bank was especially proud of its trust division, which has assets totaling around $4.5 billion.
He is eager for the Brentwood branch to become immersed in the community and sees the bank as a natural fit for the city.
“Everyone knows the success story of Brentwood,” he said.
More information about First Farmers can be found here.