ORRVILLE, Ohio — Two veteran agricultural banking professionals are taking on new roles with First National Bank.
Mark Witmer, currently the head of agribusiness and community banking, will become president and CEO Jan. 1. Tom Stocksdale, previously with PNC Bank, has been named vice president of agribusiness and community banking.
Witmer’s move to president coincides with the retirement of current First National Bank President David Vernon, who will retire Dec. 31. Vernon will remain a director until the company’s annual meeting in April 2014, according to a released statement.
Witmer and Stocksdale said the job changes came mostly from their desire to work with a locally owned and operated bank.
Witmer, who joined the bank in 2010, previously worked in the Farm Credit System, including commercial and consumer lending, agribusiness development and dealer credit.
“As banks got bigger, and even the Farm Credit System is very large, I saw it kind of transition away from local decision making,” he said.
First National Bank locations are mostly in Wayne and surrounding counties, and its ag lending focus is all of Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Stocksdale said he thinks working for the smaller bank will bring more “flexibility” and “the decisions will be made locally.”
“It’s tough sometimes for larger banks to always be able to do the extent of what smaller banks can,” he said.
Witmer said Stocksdale’s experience in the community and his personal character were the deciding factors to hiring him.
“He, to me, is a guy who really exemplifies what I was looking for in a community banker. Someone who’s involved in the community,”
Stocksdale holds a bachelor’s of science in agricultural economics from Cornell University in New York. He is a member of Ohio Farm Bureau, Grange, Wooster Kiwanis Club, Wayne County Ag Leaders, OSU Extension Advisory and many other Wayne County organizations. He also is a Wayne County Fair board member, and was elected District 5 Director of the Ohio Fair Manager’s Association this year.
Witmer holds a bachelor’s of science in business/finance from Malone University and a master’s in agribusiness from Virginia Tech. He is an eight-year member and past president of South Range Local School Board.
First National Bank, owned by National Bancshares Corporation, employs about 120 people in 14 locations. It is headquartered in Orrville, Ohio, with locations in Wooster, Massillon, Fairlawn, Apple Creek, Dalton, Kidron, Lodi, Mt. Eaton, Seville and Smithville.
The bank has a loan production office in Salem.