March 16th was a big day in all of our lives, personally and professionally. Whether you were a United employee or TCNB, we have joined forces to do something special. Build an organization that is better for all after an acquisition. This has never been anything but a win/win plan. I have been encouraged by the feedback from both teams from visits and engagement. I feel as much at home walking into TCNB as I do any United location. I love the smiling faces and warm greetings. It is fun to sit down, visit, and catch up on activities and hear stories. We have a group at United called Growth and Development. This is a voluntary group that meets periodically to discuss industry trends, professional development topics, and frankly, to build a network within the bank to help each other. We held our ﬁrst in-person dinner last week. (Oh yeah, it is usually after-hours). During the meeting one of our people from Monroeville mentioned they had opened some new accounts due to the announcement of the joining of our two banks. Now, that is special! More often you hear of people closing accounts due to acquisitions. Not here and not with us!
The TCNB staﬀ has been open and welcoming of everyone that has visited. United people come back telling stories of family connections, how comfortable they feel, and what a great ﬁt this is. That makes Hayes, Hal, and me very happy. We felt from the beginning this was the right thing to do for the right reasons. I was convinced then and more now.
So, where are we? We have engaged a tough task master named Teresa. She is our Project Manager tasked with keeping everyone on schedule. There are a lot of things to get accomplished before mid-July when we close. We are on plan.
We are trying to be open and respond to questions. We are committed to doing this. For some questions there are not bright, line-clear answers. As we get those answers we will share them.
What should you be telling people? I hope you can say, “Everyone is excited about the future and the expanded opportunities with new services oﬀered by the same people you know and trust.” Personally, I believe there will be growth opportunities for all of us. United has a proven track record of successful banking, supporting their communities and has received multiple awards as one of the best banks and places to work. I believe we will be “better together” and we are all working to make this true, both United and TCNB.
Next week I will be back in Camden. Friday morning we will begin proving how we are committed to the community. Hal and I will be presenting reading books to the Wilcox County Schools for all K thru 6th grade students. Recently we both sponsored the Wilcox County Historical Society tour of homes. Our actions will prove the value of the message. It is more than words. It is a pledge.
Look for more of these updates and thanks to everyone for your hard work and for what you are doing every day.