First to all, to you mothers, I hope you have had a wonderful Mother’s Day.
Since my last blog, lots of things have happened. The visits continue between United and TCNB staff. We are learning more about each other, particularly related to our markets and ways of doing business. I have shared we both can learn from each other and that is what is happening.
Rachel Holland leads our agricultural finance team. Last week she and I were in Camden and had productive visits with loan officers and customers. We know there is not much row crop financing within the immediate Camden market. However, we also know that with the addition of TCNB, United can now extend our customer service and coverage much further north and into the adjoining counties. Historically, United has not banked all farmers, just the best, and we have been doing this since 1904. United continues to be one of the largest agri-banks in Alabama.
While there, Hal and I visited with the Wilcox County Schools and presented the K-6 students their personal books. First Book has been a program United has sponsored for many years and have given thousands of books to children all over our area. Lifelong earnings begins with lifelong learning. First Book provides a book to every student. Their own book. One to take home and enjoy. Learning the joy of reading changes everything. We believe in this and support our children. Nothing can ever replace the joy of seeing a child smile at you when you give them that book and say, “Is this really mine?”
I wanted to share another story. Atmore and many of our communities have experienced the hardships of storms. Without fail, it is the hardworking men and women of our cities that run into that devastation and rescue us, protect us, and help clean away the debris. They often get criticized but they too have families and often they have to take care of our families before they can take care of their own. I have seen this. Following storms, communities that were not affected send their people to help those that need help. Not too long ago Pelham had multiple devastating tornadoes. I have gotten to know the Mayor of Pelham, Gary Waters. Now, Gary is Atmore Branch Manager, Emilee Waters’, father. He has made Atmore his second home. When I heard about their storms, I reached out to Mayor Jim Staff of Atmore and said, “Why don’t we do something for Pelham’s city employees?”. He was all over that and said yes. Friday we provided lunch to Pelham’s City Employees. Just to say “Thanks!” and let them know someone knows and appreciates what they do. It was one of the better days I have had. Giving back and paying forward always is the right thing to do. Atmore and Pelham now have a bond, and one day, and I hope we don’t need them, but I know if we do, they will be there to help Atmore. Now, that’s good stuff. Mayor Staff had a chance to see and learn some things from Pelham. I bet soon we will have some “beach volleyball” courts in Atmore with United Bank nets!
This week, UBAB had its annual shareholders meeting. For the TCNB staff, let me explain. UBAB is a publicly traded company. Its stock is traded on the OTC:QX exchange. Look up UBAB and you can follow our stock price and trades. For UBAB its Annual Meeting is a big deal. It takes lots of work and we publish a comprehensive annual report as well as a presentation at the meeting. I get lots of help from Tina, Brian, Leigh Anne and Tonya to prepare for the meeting. A successful meeting is one without questions or controversy. This years was successful. I invite you to visit UnitedBank.com Investor Relations for more information.
In this presentation, I emphasized the “better together” theme. For those that have doubts about the UB and TCNB transaction or remain suspect, go look at what we have published. This partnership between United Bank and TCNB is built around the strengths of the two companies. It celebrates our successes and will build upon the best of both. As Hal always says, “Change is inevitable”. It’s change for the better that matters. From this combination, employees of both companies will have more opportunities for growth and professional development. The world and banking is changing; the question is, “How do we benefit from it and succeed?” Together we will.
I hope everyone sees the tangible evidence of our commitment. Our actions speak louder than our doubts.
I didn’t get any new questions this week. Please make sure you follow all of our companies on social media for new reports. We have done good things, but the best is yet to come!