News & Press Releases
Since 1978, First Sentinel Bank has been serving the communities we all live and work in. In light of recent news regarding the large banks in California and New York, we want to take a moment to reassure our customers that those markets have nothing in common with the markets First Sentinel Bank serves. We are financially stronger than ever before and are here to serve your needs. First Sentinel Bank has invested in and will continue to invest in our local communities. Our deposits are concentrated within our market footprint and our loan decisions are made by local people living in the communities we serve. We do not engage in risky investment strategies, and we properly manage our balance sheet to remain safe and secure. Thank you for trusting us to take care of your financial needs. We look forward to serving our communities for many more decades to come.
February 7, 2023
The Board of Directors of First Region Bancshares and First Sentinel Bank, are proud to announce the hiring of Josh Pennington as the Chief Financial Advisor for First Sentinel Financial Services.
“We are excited to introduce Josh Pennington as our Chief Financial Advisor.” said John Thompson, President, First Sentinel Bank. “Josh brings with him an abundance of knowledge and expertise in financial services and we are excited for him to join our team of professionals.” Josh is dedicated to serving local people and local organizations throughout Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, and southern West Virginia. He is currently board president of Downtown Wytheville Inc. and a member of the Wytheville Ruritans and Wytheville Lions Club. Involvement in local growth and development are central in his business approach.
“I’m really excited to be able to bring my services to more neighborhoods throughout our footprint, and to grow with the communities this organization serves on a daily basis.” said Josh.
As the Chief Financial Advisor, Josh will be responsible for evaluating the marketplace and presenting unbiased recommendations clients can use to achieve their financial needs, goals and objectives. Some of his services include wealth management, retirement, insurance coverage, and investment planning for new investors, partners or successors, cash flow management, asset allocation and ongoing investment management advice, retirement plan design and selection and estate planning.
You may visit Josh Pennington at our Wytheville office located at 1105 North 4th Street, Wytheville, VA or you may visit Josh at your local branch by appointment. You can also contact him by phone: 276-617-1069 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Cambridge and First Sentinel Financial are not affiliated.
Cambridge does not offer tax or legal advice.
June 27, 2022
First Sentinel Bank is pleased to announce the opening of a new branch in Abingdon, Virginia located at 968 West Main Street. First Sentinel Bank will host a Grand Opening on July 1st from 10:00 am -1:00 pm to celebrate with the Abingdon community and surrounding areas. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 10:00 am with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Town Council of Abingdon in attendance.
“We are excited for the opportunity to grow in the Abingdon community while also expanding our presence in Washington County,” said George W. McCall, III, Executive Chairman. “Today’s announcement is another reminder of the Bank’s continued promise to support and invest in the communities we serve,” said McCall.
“As a community-focused financial institution, we believe our core values and relationship-based banking philosophy meet the personal and business banking needs of Abingdon. We look forward to supporting the commercial and small businesses in the community, as well as the growing families that call Abingdon and Washington County home.” said John C. Thompson, President and CEO of First Sentinel Bank. “The Abingdon location marks the ninth full-service branch office for First Sentinel Bank. Expanding our footprint into the historic and scenic community of Abingdon is very exciting and a testament to our commitment to growth and excellence.”
As a full-service bank, First Sentinel Bank offers the Abingdon community in-branch solutions, as well as online and digital solutions to meet customer banking preferences. The branch provides an extensive array of consumer and commercial products and services, as well as investment products through First Sentinel Financial Services. To efficiently serve the needs of the community, First Sentinel Bank has hired a number of local professionals for the branch. Mark Cofer, a resident of Washington County and active member of the community, has been named Branch Manager.
“We believe in investing in communities where we live and are connected to personally and professionally,” said Thompson. “Mark not only has over 26 years of experience in mortgage origination, commercial and consumer banking, but he also is actively involved in the Boys and Girls Club of the Mountain Empire and the United Way. We are confident he will uphold First Sentinel Bank’s commitment to putting our customers at the forefront of everything we do and giving back to our communities.”
Branch Manager Mark Cofer and the team of professionals in our Abingdon location are ready to serve both personal and business banking customers at the new branch.
You may contact Mark via email: email@example.com or give him a call at 276-963-3000.
May 17, 2022
First Sentinel Bank welcomes Mark Cofer to the FSB team as Branch Manager of our new office in Abingdon. Mark brings over 26 years of banking experience to the position and most recently served as Branch Manager of Regions Bank in Bristol, Va. Mark has worked in various capacities at several regional and community banks over his career and has extensive experience in both consumer and commercial banking as well as mortgage origination and collections. He is also presently serving as a Commissioner for the Bristol, VA Redevelopment and Housing Authority and is actively involved in the Boys and Girls Club of the Mountain Empire and the United Way. Mark is a graduate of ETSU and lives in Bristol, VA with his wife of 36 years, Lisa, who serves as Executive Director for the United Way of Bristol. They have one daughter, Logan Ligo and son-in-law David who call Beaufort, SC home. They are proud grandparents of an 18-month-old grandson, Neyland Nash Ligo. Please join us in wishing Mark great success in his new role with First Sentinel Bank.
First Region Bancshares, Inc. (the "Company") is pleased to announce that the Company has completed a private placement of $7 million in aggregate principal amount of fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes due 2032 (the "Notes") to certain qualified institutional buyers and institutional accredited investors.
The Notes will initially bear interest at 3.75% per year, payable semi-annually in arrears. Beginning Feb. 1, 2027, through the maturity date or earlier redemption, the interest rate will reset quarterly based on the then current Three-Month Term SOFR plus 236 basis points, payable quarterly in arrears. Also beginning Feb. 1, 2027, through maturity, the Notes may be redeemed in whole or in part, at the Company’s option. The Notes will mature Feb. 1, 2032.
The Notes are structured to qualify as Tier 2 capital instruments for regulatory capital purposes. The Company intends to utilize the proceeds from the sale of the Notes for repayment of existing debt and general corporate purposes, including investment in First Sentinel Bank, the Company's wholly-owned bank subsidiary.
First Region Bancshares, Inc. President & CEO John C. Thompson stated, "In the very uncertain interest rate environment all banks are operating in, we are excited to have successfully completed this subordinated debt issuance on such favorable terms."
In addition, First Region Bancshares, Inc. Executive Chairman George W. McCall, III stated, “The issuance will provide us the opportunity to grow our existing footprint and expand into new, economically vibrant markets.”
PNC FIG Advisory, part of PNC Capital Markets LLC, served as sole placement agent on the transaction. Jackson Kelly, PLLC served as legal counsel to the Company and Pillar + Aught served as legal counsel to the placement agent.
About First Region Bancshares, Inc.
First Region Bancshares, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, First Sentinel Bank has grown into a leading community bank including a full array of financial services. Our footprint consists of eight full-service branches in Russell, Tazewell, Bland and Wythe Counties in Virginia and Mercer County, West Virginia as well as loan production offices in the New River Valley of Virginia, Abingdon, Virginia and Johnson City, TN. With a strong dedication to providing for the needs of the community, First Sentinel Bank will strive to be a bank that individuals and all businesses can trust and depend on.
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Expectations and assumptions related to forward-looking statements involve judgments with respect to, among other things, future economic, competitive and market conditions and future business decisions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond the Company's control. Therefore, there can be no assurance that the expected results contemplated in the forward-looking information will be achieved and should not be relied upon or regarded as the Company's express or implied representation that any strategy, objectives or other plans will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance or results, are based on information available at the time the statements are made and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the information in the forward-looking statements and can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us or in our control.
CONTACT: John C. Thompson
President & Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (276) 963-3000
First Sentinel Bank is pleased to announce the opening of a new branch in Princeton, WV located at 329 Ingleside Road. The branch opened on September 20th and First Sentinel Bank will host a Grand Opening on September 24th from 11:00am-3:00pm to celebrate with the Princeton community and surrounding areas. The Princeton location marks the 8th full-service branch office for First Sentinel Bank and their first in West Virginia.
“We are thrilled to expand our footprint into the very vibrant community of Princeton,” said John C. Thompson, President and CEO of First Sentinel Bank. “As a community-focused financial institution, we believe our core values and relationship-based banking philosophy meet the personal and business banking needs of Princeton. We look forward to supporting the commercial and small businesses in the community, as well as growing families that call Mercer County home.”
As a full-service bank, First Sentinel Bank offers the Princeton community in-branch solutions, as well as online and digital solutions to meet customer banking preferences. The branch provides an extensive array of consumer and commercial products and services, as well as investment products through First Sentinel Financial Services. To efficiently serve the needs of the community, First Sentinel Bank has hired a number of local professionals for the branch. Fred Farley, a Mercer County resident and active member of the community, has been named Branch Manager.
“We believe in investing in communities where we live and are connected to personally and professionally,” said Thompson. “Fred not only has experience in financial services, but he also has deep roots within the city of Princeton and Mercer County. We’re confident he will uphold First Sentinel Bank’s commitment to putting our customers at the forefront of everything we do and giving back to our communities.”
“Today’s announcement is another reminder of the Bank’s continued promise to support and invest in the communities we serve,” said George W. McCall, III, Executive Chairman. “We are excited for the opportunity to grow in the Princeton community while also expanding our presence in Mercer County,” said McCall.
Branch Manager Fred Farley and the team of professionals are ready to serve both personal and business banking customers at the new branch.
You may contact Fred via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at 276-963-3000.
First Sentinel Bank announces an organization-wide increase to its hourly minimum wage rate. The Board of Directors of First Region Banchares and its subsidiary, First Sentinel Bank, has announced its decision to increase its investment in staff development at First Sentinel Bank by raising the hourly minimum wage offered to employees. Effective August 6, 2018, the hourly minimum wage is increasing to $12.50 an hour.
John Thompson, President and CEO of First Sentinel Bank, stated that, “First Sentinel Bank is proud of our corporate culture and of the hard work from our staff day in and day out. This increase allows us to invest more fully in our employees and their continued development and growth with the bank. We are thankful to the Board of Directors for approving this increase and are excited to continue developing our staff and our organization as we move forward.”
Since its original charter in 1978, First Sentinel Bank has grown into one of the leading community banks in the area with seven full service branches in Tazewell, Russell, Bland and Wythe Counties, as well as loan production offices in Princeton, WV and Abingdon, VA. With a strong dedication to providing for the needs of the community, First Sentinel Bank strives to be a bank that offers a full range of financial services for personal and business needs.
Recently, news reports were released regarding an assurance of discontinuance agreement that First Sentinel Bank entered into with the West Virginia Attorney General's office in 2017. We disagree with some of the details outlined in these reports regarding the assurance agreement and would like to clarify a few material points.
As a result of a complaint by an individual in West Virginia, First Sentinel Bank entered into an assurance of discontinuance in December of 2017. While we acknowledged no wrongdoing on our part, in the interest of integrity and the dedication of serving our community with excellence, we entered into the agreement, which had a positive impact on 324 of our former West Virginia customers. The terms of the agreement are part of the public record and were approved and accepted in December 2017.
We appreciate the work of the West Virginia Attorney General's office and their assistance with this matter. We consider this chapter closed and behind us, as all terms of the agreement have been honored and it has been officially closed for several months.
First Sentinel Bank prides itself on serving our customers with integrity and dedication. We work diligently to comply with all state and federal regulations and have a strong compliance program to ensure that we follow all laws regarding our practices. We are always willing to work with state and federal agencies to make sure all customer rights are honored and protected.
We look forward to a strong future with many exciting things on the horizon. We are thankful for our communities and local agencies and their support of the services we provide to our customers.
First Sentinel Bank announces one-time Tax Cut bonuses for its employees. Changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act implemented at the beginning of 2018 will benefit many organizations, including First Sentinel Bank, in the form of lower corporate tax rates. The Board of Directors of First Region Banchares and its subsidiary, First Sentinel Bank, has announced its decision to share the estimated 2018 corporate tax savings with the employees of First Sentinel Bank. All employees of the bank will receive a one-time cash bonus of $750 each in recognition of their continued hard work, dedication, and contributions to the ongoing success of the bank.
John Thompson, President and CEO of First Sentinel Bank, stated that, “First Sentinel Bank believes in sharing its success with the people who drive that success. To that end, we are happy to have the opportunity to share our 2018 corporate tax savings with our employees as a one-time bonus. We are proud of the overall compensation package we provide to our employees, and this Tax Cut Bonus is an exciting supplement to that package.”
“The Board of Directors and Executive Team appreciate the hard work our employees put in day in and day out, and we are pleased to recognize their efforts with this bonus opportunity,” said George W. McCall III, Executive Chairman of First Sentinel Bank. “The tax savings we will see this year as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are allowing us to invest more robustly in our employees and our operations, and we are excited about the positive impact this will have on the bank.”
The employees of First Sentinel Bank will receive the one-time bonus in March 2018. Mr. Thompson commented, “First Sentinel Bank could not be a success without the contributions of our employees. We appreciate each and every employee and we look forward to a successful 2018 and beyond.”
The Board of Directors of First Region Bancshares and its subsidiary First Sentinel Bank is proud to announce the addition of Mr. John J. Breedlove to the Board of Directors.
Mr. Breedlove is the President of Heintzmann Corporation in Richlands, Virginia. He is a 1974 graduate of Richlands High School and completed his B.S. in Mining Engineering at Virginia Tech in 1979. While pursuing his degree, he worked summers and most holidays at Jewell Smokeless Coal Company. After earning his degree, Mr. Breedlove continued his career there serving as Foreman and General Inside Foreman, and later as Jewell’s Longwall Coordinator. He was promoted to Project Engineer in 1982. Mr. Breedlove started working at the Heintzmann Corporation as Sales Manager for longwall roof supports in 1984. In 1991, he was promoted to President of the company.
Mr. Breedlove is the 2013 recipient of the Virginia Tech Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award. He is involved in many professional organizations including the West Virginia Mine Institute, King Coal Club, Eastern Coal Council, and the Richlands Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), serving as a board member for the Central Appalachian Section. He is also a board member for the Virginia Mine Institute and serves on the Advisory Board of Virginia Tech’s Mining Department.
Mr. Breedlove resides in Richlands with his wife, Diane. He has two children, Michael and Sarah.
“We are very excited that Mr. Breedlove has joined the board at First Sentinel Bank,” said John Thompson, President and CEO of First Sentinel Bank. “He provides a new perspective and we look forward to learning from his experiences and expertise. He will be a great asset to First Sentinel Bank in the coming years.”
“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Breedlove as a new board member,” said George McCall, Executive Chairman of First Sentinel Bank. “Mr. Breedlove brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in many fields, and will be a tremendous asset to our board as we continue to develop new markets.“