KNOXVILLE – SmartBank, a subsidiary of SmartFinancial, Inc. (“SmartFinancial” or the “Company”; NASDAQ: SMBK), announces the hiring of several banker teams in the state of Alabama, continuing to capitalize on unique opportunities to expand into key MSAs. Following the recent announcement of its expansion into Auburn and Mobile (Gulf Coast), SmartBank has hired several long-tenured, experienced bankers to lead expansion efforts in Montgomery, Dothan and Birmingham, Ala.
Donna Cooper, former BBVA Government Relationship Manager, will lead SmartBank Montgomery as Market President. Cooper has 40 years’ experience in the Montgomery market and will lead a team of seven associates, consisting of commercial and private bankers along with their support teams.
Montgomery, the state capital, is Alabama’s hub for government related banking and is strategically located at the intersection of I-65 and I-85 making it a rapidly expanding economic region. In 2020, 26 new and expanding industrial projects announced capital investment and job growth in Montgomery. This pro-business approach has led to the Montgomery Chamber being named a top 20 economic development organization for the second year in a row.
Jeff Williams, former BBVA Dothan Market President, will lead SmartBank Dothan, as the bank’s Regional President for Southern Alabama. Williams has 29 years’ experience in the Southern Alabama region and will initially be joined by a senior commercial banker, a private banker and their support team.
Dothan, ranked in the Milken Institute’s report on top-performing cities in 2021, serves as a regional hub for retail and medical services and continues to see major investment by a diverse spectrum of manufacturers. Dothan is also located on “South Alabama’s Aviation Business Corridor” close to Fort Rucker, which has a $1.97 billion economic impact on the Wiregrass region.
“We are extremely excited to enter both Montgomery, the state’s capital, as well as Dothan, one of Alabama’s strongest MSAs,” said Billy Carroll, SmartBank’s President & CEO. “This, coupled with our existing Alabama markets and recent announcements in Auburn and Mobile, provides us the density needed to now bank the state.”
In addition, SmartBank also plans to expand into Birmingham with the hiring of long-time Alabama banker Lee Smith. Smith, former BBVA Executive Vice President and East Region CEO, joins SmartBank as Alabama Chairman, where he will lead the future expansion into Birmingham and provide SmartBank an outstanding catalyst throughout the entire state with long-tenured, experienced bankers to accelerate growth throughout the Alabama market.
“Lee is one of the most respected bankers in the state of Alabama. Adding him to our team will not only assist in Alabama expansions but bring tremendous experience to our bank as we look to grow our market share in the Southeast,” said Carroll. “SmartBank’s strategy is to recruit great bankers in great markets. As consolidation continues to change the banking landscape, the bank’s ability to attract experienced bankers has been one of our keys to successful growth. The ability to add this level of talent in such a short period of time is a once in a decade opportunity.”
About SmartFinancial, Inc.
SmartFinancial, Inc., based in Knoxville, Tenn., is the bank holding company for SmartBank. Founded in 2007, SmartBank is a full-service commercial bank, with branches across Tennessee, Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, and Virginia. Recruiting the best people, delivering exceptional client service, strategic branching and acquisitions, and a disciplined approach to lending have contributed to SmartBank’s success. More information about SmartFinancial can be found on its website: www.smartfinancialinc.com.