Gary M. Davis, accountant, restaurateur and longtime board member of Farmers & Merchants Bank, will now chair the bank's board of directors, FMB announced Monday.
A graduate of Southeast Bulloch High School, Davis holds a BBA from Georgia Southern University. He began his association with FMB in 1988 with a business loan, which he invested in a Subway franchise. He now owns six Subway stores in the Statesboro area.
Davis succeeds attorney Gerald Edenfield, who has chaired the FMB board since 2009.
Davis praised Edenfield's period of leadership: "He did a great job steering us through a difficult period for the banking industry. Thanks to him, the rest of the board and a great team of FMB officers and employees, I get to step up in good times, and the future looks great."
Davis also said FMB President Brett Morgan is "a great find for this bank and this community, who really helped us through a tough period," along with help from FMB Chief Lending Officer Anna Swicord, FMB Chief Financial Officer Dwayne Rocker and FMB Senior Vice President Trish Tootle.
Looking back on his chairmanship, Gerald Edenfield said:
"Even though times were tough in the banking industry and all of us faced many challenges, FMB had a great staff, board of directors, and customers. The bank's leadership was always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that we continued to serve the community as the only locally-owned bank. I know that Gary Davis as chairman, the members of the Board, and Brett Morgan and his capable staff will continue to steer the bank in the right direction. I look forward to continuing on the board and to working with everyone associated with the bank."
Davis lives in Statesboro with his wife, Michelle Davis, the executive director of student activities at Georgia Southern University.
"This bank was founded in 1948," Davis said. "I remember it from when I was a boy.
"Once there were several locally owned banks in Bulloch County, and now we're the only one. As such, we will continue to provide full-service banking to our customers, build shareholder value through balanced growth and profitability, make sure our bank is a good place to work, and to strive to enhance the quality of life in our community."