Laughter, good fellowship and the smells of hotdogs and hamburgers greeted well-wishers who came to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new home office of Foothills Bank and Trust on June 4.
As more than 100 people sat under a large tent enjoying lunch, others toured the bank and spoke with bank staff or administrators. Founder Nick McGuire, who died in June of 2007 soon after starting the bank, was on the minds of many, and they shared fond memories of the veteran banker.
Caroline Tate worked with McGuire at the Home Bank, said, “When BB&T bought it out, he was ready to start his own community bank. This vision, he had it long before he ever started it.”
Melissa Hodges, senior vice president, said April 1, 2007, was the day the bank went into organization. “I knew if Nick was going to do it, it was going to be good.”
Hodges said McGuire had an “A” list of people he wanted to be on staff and on his board. “Everyone he went to said absolutely yes. Nobody said no. I don’t know how to put it into words. He had a reputation for all those years of experience. Everyone wanted to be part of it. He was great. He was one of a kind and had such a stellar reputation.”
McGuire suffered a stroke and died in June of 2007. The board named Mark Loudermilk president and CEO in November of that year. McGuire’s widow, Dr. Jane Qualls McGuire, is a member of the bank’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Samuel “Dick” Evans, chair of the board, said McGuire set everything up exactly as he wanted and after his untimely death, the bank was able to move on and succeed. “He was a brilliant banker,” Evans said.
Evans said the staff, board and investors are excited to be in the new building. “It’s the next step in the direction the bank wants to go, and it is a day we’ve worked hard for three years to reach,” he said. “We want everyone to understand that this bank was built for our community, and we want to help them when they need help.”
David Connor, vice president, manned a grill with Joe Hamby, executive vice president, as they prepared hotdogs and hamburgers for guests. “We’ve been blessed,” said Connor. “We’re so happy to be here in our third year. We just want to grow and serve the people of Blount County with good customer service.”
Hamby said they take their responsibility seriously. “We know the customers who do business with us trust us, and we appreciate being here and being part of the community,” he said.
Hodges said McGuire’s example is part of their mission. “We are customer-focused and community-oriented,” she said. “We know we exist because of this community.”
The new main office for Foothills Bank and Trust is located at 214 Keller Lane in Maryville and can be reached at 865-738-2222. The bank is open Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The East Lamar Alexander Parkway Branch is located inside the EZ-Stop Exxon at 2430 East Lamar Alexander Parkway and can be reached at 865-983-2700, and keeps the same hours as the main office. The web site is www.fhbank.com.