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Farmers & Merchants names 4 to board
Doug Lambert Web
Doug Lambert

Farmers & Merchants Bank chairman Gerald Edenfield announced the addition of two Bulloch county business leaders, Jeff Pope and Brett Morgan, to the FMB board of directors. Brooklet farmer Lee Cromley and hotel developer Doug Lambert also joined as advisory members.

Pope, president of Pope Construction, Inc., joins the board "to help Bulloch continue to grow" as part of "the only local bank that hasn't been bought out (and that) makes decisions in Statesboro." Since 1996, Pope has led the company his father founded 45 years ago, which is known for commercial structures such as Ogeechee Area Hospice, Ogeechee Technical College's new Natural Resources building and other regional landmarks.

The second new board member, Morgan, has been FMB's president since 2012. Known for quiet, capable leadership, Morgan led the bank through the post-2009 financial crisis to its current profitability. Pope calls Morgan a "wonderful president...just a sharp, good guy" and notes that Morgan's leadership was a key factor in choosing FMB for his company's accounts.

"This uniquely dedicated board has provided great support and guidance over the last four years," Morgan said. "I am honored to join them and the other new board members, who represent a broad variety of business sectors, which is important for a community bank. We look forward to working together to support local businesses and consumers, which enhances economic growth for Bulloch County and the people we serve."

Cromley and Lambert are joining the board as advisory members, to assume full membership after a transitional period. Cromley, vice chair of the Georgia Cotton Commission, and his brother Charlie grow cotton on a fifth-generation Brooklet family farm.

"We welcome Lee, and it is important to have a board member representing agri-business and the Brooklet area," Morgan said.

Lambert, who heads Southeastern Hospitality Services, Inc., was the Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business Leader of the Year.

"I am honored to contribute in any way to the continuation of FMB's 68-year-old tradition," he said.

According to Edenfield, "These four community-minded individuals believe in Bulloch County and will strengthen its future by helping lead its only locally owned bank. We are excited to have them join our board and I look forward to serving with them."

Founded 68 years ago, FMB is now Bulloch County's only locally owned and managed bank. It offers a full range of consumer and business deposit and credit services. FMB services are fully available online and mobile, and the institution maintains three ATMs, two full-time branch locations in Statesboro, and another in Brooklet.