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McConnell Joins First Farmers and Merchants as Chief Credit Officer

December 08, 2023, 07:13 AM

First Farmers and Merchants Corporation, the holding company for First Farmers and Merchants Bank, announced Jennifer J. McConnell has joined the bank as Chief Credit Officer.

 “We are pleased to announce that Jennifer McConnell has joined our bank as Chief Credit Officer,” said Brian K. Williams, First Farmers’ Chairman and CEO. “Her banking career spans 27 years and includes a wealth of leadership experience in credit risk management, portfolio management and relationship management.”

“Jennifer is transitioning into her new role under the guidance of Andy W. Davis who has served as Chief Credit Officer for the last eight years. Under Andy’s leadership, First Farmers has steadily improved loan quality metrics, reduced loan losses and maintained a strong credit culture. We are pleased that he will be working closely with Jennifer to ensure a smooth transition.”

“We have known Jennifer for a number of years, and her significant experience in commercial lending and executive leadership positions in credit were key attributes we sought as our next Chief Credit Officer. We are confident that she will continue to enhance our strong credit culture and high credit standards. We also believe that her extensive work with small businesses will enhance our strategic initiatives focused on business banking,” concluded Williams.

Prior to joining First Farmers, McConnell served as Executive Vice President, Managing Senior Credit Officer for Commercial, Retail/Small Business, SBA and Equipment/Franchise Financing Divisions for BankUnited, a Miami, Florida based bank with $37 billion in assets. She was responsible for the processing, due diligence, credit analysis, underwriting, credit approval, portfolio management, loan closing, loan documentation, construction loan management, legal, booking/funding, servicing and secondary market teams within the above-mentioned divisions of BankUnited. In addition, Jennifer oversaw SOX review, credit review, internal audits, and compliance/fair lending exams for the same divisions. Prior to joining BankUnited in 2017, she served as Senior Vice President and Senior Credit Manager for First Tennessee Bank (First Horizon) where she was responsible for centralized credit teams and director of their SBA/government guaranteed lending unit. She previously served as SBA National Manager and Business Banking Team Lead for Fifth Third Bank and Senior Vice President of Business Banking at Regions Bank. She started her banking career in 1997 in the management training program of SunTrust Bank.

McConnell is a graduate of Centre College with a B.A. in Economics.

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