The Citizens Bank of Swainsboro has filed for approval with banking regulators to open a full service banking office in Bulloch County according to bank president and CEO Milton Gray.
Gary Johnson, a long-time Statesboro banker, was named president of the Emanuel County bank's Bulloch County office.
"I am looking forward to offering the citizens of Statesboro and Bulloch County a quality source for community banking with outstanding personal service," Johnson said. "I am committed to the financial well-being of the citizens of Bulloch County, and am eager to get started."
The Citizens Bank of Swainsboro is an FDIC insured bank with assets of $150 million and approximately $16 million in equity capital. The Citizens Bank was established in 1900 as a state-chartered community bank and has a 115 year history of providing community banking services, with offices located in Swainsboro and Dublin.
Johnson's banking group purchased land located on the corner of Brampton Avenue and Merchant Way in the Market District of Statesboro and will begin the construction of a full service banking office within the next few months.
The office will be known under the trade name Bulloch First. The bank has received regulatory approval to operate a loan production office located at 1213 Merchant Way, Suite 102, also in the Market District, until the permanent office is constructed.
"We are fortunate to have a quality and knowledgeable banker of Gary's caliber to provide strong leadership for the Bulloch County office," Gray said. "Providing prompt, professional, and modern banking services has always been our guiding principle. Mr. Johnson and his staff will have the resources, capital, and autonomy to offer modern banking services to the customers of Bulloch County in a prompt and professional manner."
Johnson is a 1977 graduate of the University of Georgia and is former Southeast Georgia regional president of HeritageBank of the South.
He is a member of Statesboro First Baptist Church, the Rotary Club of Statesboro, Sigma Chi Fraternity and Forest Heights Country Club. He is a past chairman of the Statesboro/Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce, Ogeechee Technical College Foundation and Bulloch County Red Cross.
He is married to Debbie Johnson and has one daughter, Kate Anna Greene married to Stephen Greene and one son, Sam Johnson and one grandchild, Benjamin Greene.
Former Emanuel County resident Wes Simmons also will join the Bulloch County staff as vice president of lending.
"Wes is a young executive banker that has developed a tremendous following in the Bulloch County market because of his professionalism, impeccable character, and commitment to his customers," Gray said. "Having Gary Johnson and Wes Simmons on our team gives us tremendous confidence in the overall success of our Bulloch County office."
Simmons is a 2004 graduate of the University of Georgia and is former assistant vice president/commercial banker of HeritageBank of the South, where he was employed for five years.
He is member of the Downtown Rotary Club of Statesboro, Sigma Chi Fraternity, Forest Heights Country Club and attends Connection Church.
He is a past Board Member of the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County and a 2013 graduate of Leadership Bulloch.
He is married to Haley Tillman Simmons and they are expecting their first child in December.