Smith Graduates from 2013 Graduate School of Banking at LSU
June 6, 2013—Howard Dee Smith, Franklin Parish Division President / Senior Vice President / Senior Commercial and Agricultural Banking Relationship Manager, graduated from the 2013 Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.
Sponsored by 15 southern state bankers associations, including Louisiana Bankers Association, in cooperation with the Division of Continuing Education at LSU, the banking school requires attendance on campus for three years, with extensive bank study assignments between sessions. The faculty consists of bankers, business and professional leaders, and educators from all parts of the United States. During their three years at the Graduate School of Banking, students receive 180 hours of classroom instruction, thirty hours of reviews, planned evening study, and written final examinations at the end of each session.
Howard Dee grew up in Wisner, Louisiana and attended Sicily Island High School. He is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the LSU Ag Leadership Program. He has been married to Tara Rollins Smith of Winnsboro for 16 years, and they have two children—Connor who is ten and Katy who is five. Connor and Katy attend Family Community Christian School in Winnsboro.
An active member of the community, Howard Dee has served as President of the Winnsboro Lions Club and the Winnsboro—Franklin Parish Chamber of Commerce. He is a board member for Franklin Youth Football and Franklin Parish Farm Bureau and coaches Dixie Youth Baseball. He is also an advisory board member for the LSU Ag Center Northeast Region and member of the Delta Outdoors and Wildlife Association.
Miles, Shivers Honored at Retirement Reception
June 24, 2013—A retirement reception was held for Carolyn Miles and Pat Shivers on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Winnsboro. Many in the
community came to the event to honor these two special ladies and thank them for their years of dedicated service to Progressive Bank.
In her thirty-six year tenure at Progressive Bank, Carolyn wore several hats. She came on board in 1977 as a loan assistant
and worked in that capacity for many years.In her role, she assisted her loan officer, opened accounts for
customers and other tasks as required. In addition, Carolyn worked with Mrs. Jean Fletcher (assistant to Mr.George W. Cummings, Jr.—Progressive Bank Founder and President 1975-1997) to entertain the Progressive 55 Checking customers. When Mrs. Fletcher retired, Carolyn assumed her positions serving as Mr. Cumming's assistant. Upon Mr. Cummings' retirement, Carolyn continued her service to the Bank as Business Development Officer and Customer Service Representative.
Pat joined our team in 1999 as a Customer Service Representative, serving the customers of Franklin Parish for more than thirteen years. Pat truly cared about her customers and always went the extra mile to help them with their business. According to her co-workers, she loved Progressive Bank and enjoyed her work very much.
Carolyn and Pat will be missed greatly by their Progressive Bank family most certainly their customers. We all wish them every happiness in their next adventure.
Humphreys Earns Certified Financial Crime Specialist
May 14, 2013—Gloria J. Humphreys (Vice President / Wealth Management Officer—Trust) has earned the prestigious Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS) credential through the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialist. Gloria was part of a pilot program for this new certification. After months of study, she successfully completed a rigorous four-hour examination measuring her knowledge of financial
crimes including money laundering and tax evasion, and other issues including compliance investigation, global anti-corruption practices, and international standards. Gloria is a charter member of the first class to earn this special designation. As part of the first group to take the exam, she had to answer an additional 70 questions that will not be included in the final exam those in subsequent classes will have to pass. Only 46 best-testers passed the exam.
"Gloria has been a tremendous asset to the Trust Department. No one was surprised she 'aced' the exam, yet everyone couldn't be prouder! Way to go Gloria," said Jay High (Director of Financial Services).
Gloria has been with Progressive Bank since October of 2012 and has worked in Trust for more than twenty years. A Bossier High School alumnus, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Indiana University and is an active participant of the Heckerling Institute of Estate Planning at the University of Miami. She is also a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (Institute of Certified Bankers).
Gloria and her husband Dave are the proud parents and grandparents of two children and two grand-children. An asset to her community, she has worked with Big Brothers / Big Sisters and the United Way. She has served in a leadership capacity for the Fort Wayne Alumni Board, as Chairman of the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, and participated in several programs to promote
economic development. Now back in Louisiana, Gloria is already finding areas in which to serve her new community.
May 19, 2013—The Progressive Bank Bayou Bankaneers took home the Banker's Cup trophy at the 2013 Bayou DeSiard Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, May 18th. In the overall competition, Progressive Bank finished 13th out of 29 teams.
The Dragon Boat Festival is a fundraiser organized by the Radio People and Miller/Choice Brands. Money raised by this year's event was given to the Downtown Monroe Renaissance project. Next year, a new not-for-profit will be chosen to benefit from the fundraiser.
Teams composed of 20 paddlers and one drummer raced 200 meters down Bayou DeSiard seeking victory. Twenty-nine teams competed in two morning races. Based on their finishing times, 15 teams were chosen to complete after a lunch break in the final five heats. For one of the two morning races, teams were divided into categories based on the profession their team represented and competed for a separate trophy.
The Bayou Bankaneers finished last in their first race of the morning with a time of 1:07.170 (minutes/seconds). The team knew they
needed to improve their time in their next race, and they did just that! In sync and on a mission, the Bayou Bankaneers smoked their competition in the Banker's Cup winning the race with a time of 1:01.090. The Bankaneers shaved more than 6 seconds off their first race time and qualified to compete in the finals. Cross Keys won second place in the Banker's Cup, Community Trust Bank captured third, and Ouachita Independent Bank brought up the rear. A video of the Banker's Cup can be seen on You Tube (http://youtu.be/LoC9WcqAGBA).
In the last race of the day, the Bayou Bankaneers secured 13th place finishing in 1:01.080. The Fitness Ninjas from The Fitness Lodge
were the big winners of the day crossing the finish line in 55.11 seconds. Six of the top 15 teams raced in under a minute!
The Bayou Bankaneers were decked out in red and black complete with matching Pirate hats. A fun time was had by all who participated,
and the team is already gearing up for the 2014 festival.
Committee of 100 Announces Weaver New Member
April 16, 2013—The Committee of 100 for the Economic Development, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of its newest member Dewey Weaver, InterMountain Management, Monroe, Louisiana.
Founder and sole owner of InterMountain Management, Mr. Weaver entered the hospitality industry at the age of 11, and has held jobs in very aspect of the business. His experience as a former dishwasher, housekeeper, front desk clerk, manager – and hotel property owner – gives Mr. Weaver the ability to oversee operations from every perspective, and maximize results wherever possible.
Mr. Weaver's introduction to the hospitality industry began in Emporia, Kansas, in 1966. It was there, at age 11, that he would head to the Ramada Inn every day after school, put on an apron, and washed dishes in the hotel restaurant until closing. Even during this very early time in his career, Mr. Weaver knew that the hospitality industry was one he wanted to be a part of. In 1969 his parents moved the family to Northwest Arkansas, where they purchased a motel in Springdale.
Growing up in and around the motel, he continued to learn the value of quality and service in the industry. He worked every job at the property, from checking-in guests, to cleaning rooms, to servicing the pool. In 1978, after graduating from the University of Arkansas, Mr. Weaver moved with his family to Monroe, Louisiana. It was there that he and his father formed InterMountain Management. Monroe would also be the location of Mr. Weaver's first property purchased without his family's assistance, the Super 8 West Monroe. This property remains
in the InterMountain portfolio to this day.
Initially operating the company out of his mother's spare bedroom, Mr. Weaver eventually moved the headquarters to Monroe's Tower Drive. In the following years, InterMountain's growth was steady and strong. Marriott first approved InterMountain to manage one of their properties in 1994 in Shreveport, and Hilton soon followed suit in 1996, allowing management of a Hampton Inn in Ruston. In the years that followed,
InterMountain Management would enjoy strong relationships with not only Marriott and Hilton, but also Hyatt and Starwood. InterMountain additionally manages properties for a variety of institutional ownership groups, including Apple REIT, Archon Hospitality, ((from page 1) and Summit Hospitality.
In 2011, InterMountain acquired Pillar Hotels and Resorts. The combined portfolio of the two companies totals 309 properties, making nterMountain/Pillar the second largest management group in the country.
With an intense focus on service and attention to what Mr. Weaver often refers to as "a business of a thousand details", InterMountain remains a leader in hospitality management. Their unique owner's perspective allows them to continue to drive success for
their hotels and their partners.
"We are pleased to welcome Dewey to the Committee. We feel confident that his background will add to the level of leadership and decision making abilities of our organization as we strive to assist in the business and economic development activities of our state, as well as the impact on public policy that affects business and economic development in Louisiana," stated Michael Olivier, Chief Executive Officer.
The Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc. (C100) was created in 1992 as a private, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization formed to serve as a catalyst for positive change in government, education and the economy, to improve the quality of life for all people in Louisiana. As a respected business voice, C100 is an advocate for economic development engaging our business leadership in state public policy issues impacting business and economic development.
The Committee's primary focus is to assist the State in attracting and retaining industry, ensuring quality jobs for Louisianans. The Committee supports the Louisiana Economic Development Department and the major regional economic development agencies in the business and industrial recruitment process by marketing and promoting Louisiana as a business location, by providing resources to enhance the efforts
of the economic development entities engaged in business attraction and to provide access to the critical thinking capacity of our membership. (Press Release 4/16/2013, Committeeof 100)
George W. Cummings, III (CEO and President—Corporate) and Morris Mintz (Director) are also members of the Committee of 100. Progressive Bank is proud to have three representatives in this outstanding organization. For more information about the Committee of 100, visit their website http://c100la.org/.
Hinchliffe Appointed Commissioner of MHA
April 18, 2013—Hal H. Hinchliffe has been appointed Commissioner of the Monroe Housing Authority by Mayor Jamie Mayo. "This is a distinct honor for me as I have always had a high regard for how our local housing authority is run and have always admired and respected my predecessor commissioners," said Hinchliffe.
The Monroe Housing Authority (MHA) is founded on the belief that decent, safe, and affordable housing is central to the physical and emotional health, the productivity, and the self-esteem of the people it serves. Recognizing its responsibility to maintain physical properties, while affording dignity and respect to every individual, the objective of the Monroe Housing Authority is to improve the quality of life through a community partnership which promotes decent and safe neighborhoods.
An LSU alumnus, Hal has been with Progressive Bank since 1998 and serves as Executive Vice President / Head of Real Estate Lending. He also serves as a member of both the Board of Trustees and the Strategic Planning Committee for the Louisiana Governor's Mansion Foundation; President and Board member of Monroe Home Ownership, Inc.; as President of the Franciscan Apartments; and is a former member of the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana State University System.
March 13, 2013—On Tuesday, March 12th, Progressive Bank sponsored the first game of a two-game series between the ULM Warhawks and the Ole Miss Rebels. As a sponsor, Progressive Bank was able to use the patio along the first base line to host some of its customers for a night of food, fun, fellowship and of course—baseball!
A family friendly event, Progressive Bankers invited customers and prospective customers to enjoy the game. Jeff Laudenheimer (Private Banking—Corporate) threw out the opening pitch on behalf of Progressive Bank.
Under the Progressive Bank tent was a spread of Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, Gumbo, Fried Catfish and Chicken Strips. There were plenty of sweets to enjoy, too! The weather was close to perfect during the game, and as the temperature started to drop toward the end of the night, Wyman Mardis (Private Banking—Corporate) made sure the fire pit was stocked with wood so everyone could stay warm!
Coming in to the series, Ole Miss was the highest ranked opponent ULM had ever hosted at home. ULM fans were out in full force to support their Warhawks, and although the Warhawks were not victorious, they played a great game!
A special thanks to Jeff Laudenheimer, Wesley Martin (Credit Administration—Corporate), and Todd Burgess (Commercial Banking—Corporate) for their help setting up tents and hauling ice chests!
Ashley West (Community Relations—Corporate) accepts the Circle of Honor Award on behalf of Progressive Bank.
Greg Lott (Northwest Market President and Chief Lending Officer—Fern) accepting the Pacesetter Award on behalf of Progressive Bank.
March 1, 2013—The Progressive Bank table at the United Way of Northeast Louisiana's Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast on February 7, 2013.
Progressive Bank conducted two successful United Way Employee Giving Campaigns this year. The Northwest Market campaign, which includes the bank's Bossier and Shreveport locations, had an impressive 70% employee participation and committed more than $5,800 to the United Way of Northwest Louisiana. At the United Way of Northwest Louisiana's Annual Meeting and Awards on February 7, 2013, Progressive Bank was recognized as a Campaign Pacesetter. Pacesetter companies are companies that understand the importance of increasing their level of giving in order to meet the community's critical needs. Pacesetters conduct their employee campaign early and strive for a significant increase in their campaign each year.
Progressive Bank's Employee Campaign in Ouachita Parish boasted 82% employee participation and committed more than $41,000 to the United Way of Northeast Louisiana. For its outstanding campaign, Progressive Bank received the Circle of Honor award from the United Way of Northeast Louisiana. The Circle of Honor award recognizes platinum level organizations that support the purpose of United Way of Northeast Louisiana. It is designed to recognize not only dollar contributions, but also the quality of the campaign, participation, and employee support specific to United Way.
February 29, 2013—Glenda Graham (Financial Center Manager—Fern) was named a top three nominee for Top Business Professional of the Year, an award given at the Minority Business Opportunity Awards Dinner hosted by the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. This award recognizes an individual who consistently exemplifies the highest standard of professional excellence, whose reputation and performance on the job is that of a respected leader, who is an example to his or her colleagues, and who has a record of accomplishments and dedicates his or her time to providing service to the community. Nominees were recognized during the awards dinner, "Navigating Economic Tides," on Thursday, February 28th at the Shreveport Convention Center.
Glenda learned on January 17th that she was a candidate for the award. After submitting the lengthy Nomination Candidate Information Sheet, Glenda learned she was chosen as one of the top three candidates.
Glenda has worked in the banking industry for thirty years and with Progressive Bank for almost three years. She is married to Jeffrey Graham and has two children—James and Katie. In 2011, Glenda welcomed her first grandchild, Brayden Lane Harper. Glenda enjoys the outdoors and traveling with her family. She is an active member of Simple Church and takes great honor in serving the community. Glenda has been Progressive Bank's United Way Campaign Coordinator for our Northwest Market, and she has also served as Team Captain for Progressive Bank's Race for the Cure team. She is a Diplomat with the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the North Shreveport Business Association.
February 19, 2013—The 2013 Home Expo sponsored by the Northeast Louisiana Home Builders Association was held at the Monroe Civic Center February 16th - 17th. Each year Progressive Bank's Residential Lending Department participates in this annual Expo. Ginger Squyres (Mortgage Loan Originator—Cypress Street) was in charge of the bank's booth again this year. "She takes this project and runs with it. She has awesome ideas and works really hard to pull it all together," says Vicki Fletcher, Production Manager—Mortgage Lending Division. Ginger's hard work paid off as Progressive Bank captured First Place for their display.
Attendees who visited Progressive Bank's booth learned about various mortgage lending opportunities offered by the Bank. Skittles—in keeping with the booth's theme—were a big draw to our booth. Progressive Bank also held prize drawings at the Expo. Beverly Smart and Shannon Tolar each won a $200 gift card.
Congratulations to Denise Darnell (Commercial Banking—Corporate) for successfully completing the Association for Financial Professionals' Cash Management course.
After several of months of self-study, Denise passed a comprehensive exam on February 15, 2013. This course covers the essential principles and functional practices used in corporate cash management and liquidity management.
Lessons included: The Objectives of Cash Management, Financial Accounting and Liquidity Measurements, Collections, Cash Forecasting, Treasury Management Systems and Electronic Commerce, and Relationship Management—just to name a few!
Each year, on Super Bowl weekend, the residents of the small town of Minden come together to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Through the help of many volunteers, the town organizes a four-day auction and raffle which has become a main attraction for the town and surrounding area. The auction has helped to give Minden the title of "Most Giving Town Per Capita" on the St. Jude Annual Report.
As a resident of Minden, Amanda Pesnell (Credit Administration – Bossier) served this year's auction in several different ways. As Vice President of the Young Women's Service Club of Minden, Amanda and her club organized a Kids' Day outside the Minden Civic Center the Saturday morning of the auction. For a small admission fee, children from all over the community came and enjoyed jumpers, face painting, and crafts. The kids also made Get Well cards to be mailed to the patients at St. Jude's. Thanks to nice weather that weekend, the Club raised the most money it ever has to be donated to the Minden auction.
In addition to Kids' Day, Amanda and the women in her Sunday School class worked the auction on Saturday night, answering phones as various residents phoned to bid on auction items and to purchase raffle tickets. More than 100 items were given away in the raffle.
Last year was Minden's first year to raise over $1 million for St. Jude. This year, the goal was to raise more than they had in 2012. In a four day period, Minden raised $1,106,269 for St. Jude's. Amanda says, "Although Oak Grove will always be my hometown, it makes me proud to raise my two girls in a town that instills such a sense of selflessness and giving. It makes me so happy to see them play even a small part in something so wonderful." Amanda also wants to say thank you to the co-workers who purchased raffle tickets for the event. If you're curious as to the type of items that are typically raffled during the auction, you can see the list of this past year's items under the "Winners" tab at the
The good times rolled on Saturday, February 2nd as Barry Bell (Commercial Banking and Financial Center Manger—Trenton Street) and his Trenton Street Krewe hosted a Mardi Gras Party during the Krewe of Janus Mardi Gras Parade. Each year Barry and his team take advantage of their location and entertain customers and friends during this fantastic community event. Guests feasted on jambalaya, chili, dips, and desserts. A good time was had by all who attended.
Blackman Named 2013 Distinguished Alumni
February 1, 2013—Debra Blackman (Information Systems--Corporate) has been named one of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni for Louisiana Tech University's College of Engineering and Science. The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize individuals from each program or discipline in the College for their professional accomplishments in engineering and science as well as their service as outstanding ambassadors for Louisiana Tech.
Debra joined the Progressive Bank team as Senior Vice President / Chief Information Officer in September of 2011 and added Information Security Officer to her title just two months later. From 1997 to 2011, she served on the faculty for the College of Business at Louisiana Tech University where she taught Software Development, Database Management, Systems Analysis and Design, and IT Project Management. From 1981 to 1997, she held various positions at IBM including Systems Engineer responsible for customer implementations of IBM hardware and software, field technical support for marketing, and Systems Management Consultant. Debra earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Masters of Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University. She is a graduate of the IBM Systems Research Institute and has earned her Independent Information Systems Consultant designation.
In addition to her academic and professional achievements, Debra is involved in her community. She is a member of the Leadership Ouachita Class of 2010, has served as President of the Ouachita Women's Tennis Association, and is a board member of the Northeast Louisiana Community Tennis Association. Of course, no one can deny her love for her alma mater—Louisiana Tech!
Debra is the proud mother of two. Her son Christopher, an attorney in Lafayette, earned his Juris Doctorate from LSU Law in May of 2012 graduating with honors. Debra celebrated again last May when her daughter Kathryn earned her Masters of Science in Neuroscience from Tulane University. Kathryn is currently attending Medical School at LSU-Shreveport Health Sciences.
We are fortunate to have Debra on 'Team Progressive'. Congratulations Debra from all of us. You are more than deserving of this extraordinary honor!
Weaver Wins One of the Chamber's Highest Honors
February 1, 2013
Dewey Weaver, Progressive Bank Director and owner of InterMountain Management, LLC, was awarded the Kitty DeGree Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in Business at the Monroe Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting and Banquet held on January 10, 2013.
The Kitty DeGree Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in Business was first presented in 2003. As envisioned by its namesake—Mrs. Kitty DeGree—the award recognizes a person in the community who exemplifies excellence in business. It is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievements as a business leader throughout their career.
Candidates for this award must have owned or held a major administrative-level position at a Ouachita Parish business over a span of at least 20 years. They must have assisted in expansions, acquisitions, or growth of the business resulting in new products or services, in increased profitability, or in additional employment. Nominees must have shown an exceptional vision and ingenuity in responding to and overcoming adversities, while exhibiting outstanding professionalism in business.
Recently recognized as the 2012 Developer of the Year for Marriott International, Mr. Weaver has met and exceeded all of the award criteria. He began his company in 1982 with only one hotel in his portfolio. Twenty years later InterMountain Management is the second largest hotel management company in the United States with more than 300 properties under its direction. Of those 300 properties, InterMountain Management owns seventy-five. Continuing its pattern of growth, four new hotels are under construction and twenty-one new projects are in the pipeline.
Mr. Weaver joins a distinguished group of past award recipients including Glen Post, Sam Rubin, Sister AnneMarie Twohig, Sol Rosenberg, Clyde Webb, Don Beach, Jim Bershen, Dr. Terry King, and Bucky McElroy.