First National Bank names new president, CEO
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA — The city’s oldest continuously operated bank has named a new president and CEO.

According to a press release, John D. (Don) Belew of Birmingham was appointed to the top spot at First National Bank May 6.

“The members of the Board of Directors are proud to welcome Mr. Belew to the First National Bank family,” said Larkin Coker, chairman of the board. “His wealth of knowledge, leadership qualities and valuable experience in both regional and community banking make him uniquely qualified for the position of president and CEO and we are excited to have him on board with The First National Bank of Talladega.”

According to the release, Belew brings some 40 years of banking experience to the position, beginning with a job as an examiner with the state Banking Department in Montgomery in 1972. Starting in 1978, he launched a 26-year career with SouthTrust Bank that saw him working in community markets such as Florence and Dothan, as well as metropolitan markets such as Birmingham and Atlanta. During his tenure with SouthTrust, he held the positions of CFO, division controller for 18 community banks, retail banking manager for both community and metropolitan banks and several other positions.

According to the release, in 2005 Belew “joined the staff of First American Bank in Birmingham, where he managed retail banking for the Birmingham market, and also served as project leader for revenue enhancement for the parent company, Alabama National Bancorp. In 2009, Belew joined the American Patriot Bank in Greeneville, Tenn., serving as president and CEO. After completing his stint in Tennessee, Mr. Belew returned to Birmingham and settled into retirement, but he soon began to feel the urge to work again in a community bank.”

“I retired in 2011,” Belew said, “but I really missed working in community banking and I am thrilled to be back and joining the team at such a distinguished institution. Over the last couple of weeks, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our employees and customers. We have a great team that cares about providing the bank’s customers with the best banking products and customer service in this area, not to mention their dedication to the communities we serve. I am truly honored to be part of the FNB family.”

Belew holds a bachelor of science degree in management and economics from the University of North Alabama. He is also a graduate of the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.

Belew and his wife, Karen, enjoy spending time with their three children and four grandchildren. An outdoor person at heart, Belew enjoys hunting, backpacking, and working on his family farm in North Alabama, the release says.

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© 2013