Preparing for a ‘First’ in banking

Posted By | August 5, 2005 12:00 am

Kim Swindell Wood
The temporary building has been set and construction on a permanent facility will soon begin for a new bank that earned a name of excellence in the Upper Cumberland.
First National Bank of Tennessee will join the fast-growing section of businesses on Highway 111, near Wal-Mart, as employees prepare to open the doors at their new location.
Robert Verble, long-time banker in White County, is at the helm of the operation and will be serving as community president.
“I’m sure people in the community are curious to know what’s going on with First National Bank,” said Julie Massa, marketing director.
First National Bank of Tennessee currently has three locations, which include Cookeville, Livingston and Crossville. Sparta will be the fourth addition to a financial team that Massa refers to as “one big family.”
Verble said he is anxious to begin serving the people of White County. In addition, customers will see several more familiar faces when they enter Sparta’s First National Bank. The “team members” all live in White County and include Michelle Anderson, Christy McCaleb, Kenya Morris, Myra Brown Phillips, Melanie Dial and Bob Gallaher. Gallaher, former owner of several radio stations in the Upper Cumberland, will utilize his promotions and advertising expertise to enhance community camaraderie.
Massa said they hope to be open for business in early September, barring any unexpected delays.
The permanent structure will be built directly behind the temporary site and will face Sam Walton Drive. The two-story facility will provide convenient banking with drive-thru windows and an automatic teller machine.
“I think it’s very people-oriented,” said Verble, referring to the history of First National Bank in the Upper Cumberland. “Decisions are local. We don’t have any 800-numbers. It’s going to be simple to get to the person you want to speak to. If you can’t get to them right then, they’ll get back to you quickly.”
Verble said Sparta’s bank employees have already been discussing how they can reach out to the residents of White County and become more involved in community activities.
First National’s staff will be ready to open their doors not only to customers, but they will make their facility available to community organizations. First National team members at Cookeville, Livingston and Crossville are well-known for their spirit of community appreciation, and Verble said the same spirit has already been witnessed in the employees who will be a part of the Sparta facility.

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