When Morris Bank announced Anna Swicord would become Bulloch County Market president, it was no surprise to local business and community leaders.
For the past 12 years, Swicord has served as executive vice president and chief lending officer of Farmers and Merchants Bank, now Morris Bank. Beginning her banking career 43 years ago, Swicord is an icon in our banking community. This next step is well deserved by a woman who has spent her life making our community and the clients she serves much better today than yesterday.
As Market president, Swicord will be responsible for directing the operations and strategy of Morris in Bulloch County. Swicord will succeed Brett Morgan who served as president of Morris Bank in Bulloch County and prior to that president/CEO of Farmers & Merchants Bank.
“Appointing Anna to take the reins in our Bulloch County market is the perfect piece to complete the merger puzzle,” said Spence Mullis, Morris Bank president/CEO. “It’s not every day that you have someone with her experience on an existing team, that can take something already great and make it even better. She’s had the opportunity over several years to learn invaluable lessons from a solid banker in Brett Morgan, who has earned the right to begin enjoying his retirement after a stellar banking career.”
Her list of accomplishments range across all aspects of banking and leadership positions including, banking officer, branch manager, commercial lender/vice president, senior vice president, and most recently executive vice president/chief lending officer of Farmers & Merchants Bank.
“It has certainly been an exciting year so far and becoming a part of the Morris Bank family has been the number one highlight,” Swicord said. “To be chosen for this position is a tremendous honor and I’m thrilled to be a part of such a driven, customer-minded, and community-focused organization. What I am excited most about is the opportunity to continue to be engaged and involved in such a phenomenal team here at Morris Bank.”
When I set down with Swicord last week to discuss this new opportunity, I found that she was humbled, honored and a bit humorous, joking with me that she intends to own the title of “senior banker” for the community. Many people with her depth and years of experience are looking to slow down and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Swicord is energized and excited to lead Morris Bank explaining how it is a pinnacle opportunity in a long and rewarding career.
“Throughout my career, I never sought positions of leadership but once given the opportunity, I worked hard to be the best I could b,” she said. “I knew that if I focused on the opportunity at hand and excelled, that would lead to greater opportunities. Along the way tremendous leaders like Jimmy Hodges and Ricky Nessmith mentored me and had confidence in me. It is my hope that I can continue to mentor members of our team in a way that impacts them as others have done for me.”
I have known Swicord for more than three decades and have served with her on numerous community boards and organizations. She brings a level of commitment and dedication to every organization she touches that is rare today. What impresses me most about Anna is how she specifically encourages, supports and mentors women in business and leadership. I saw this first hand when my wife Lori was beginning her business decades ago. Anna supported and encouraged her in ways that made an extraordinary difference in her business and commitment to our community.
Along with her extensive banking experience, Swicord has served on numerous community boards and councils including, Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce (Chairman, 2001), Hospital Authority of Bulloch County (Chairman, 2006-2012), Ogeechee Technical Foundation (President, 2001), Coastal Area District Development Authority (Bulloch County Appointee), Statesboro Arts Council, Statesboro Mall Association, and the United Way. As a result of her involvement in and out of the bank, Swicord has been recognized as Altrusan of the Year (1988), a Paul Harris Fellow (2000), and a Deen Day Smith recipient (1989).
Swicord’s appointment is another example of Morris Bank’s commitment to continue to operate as a local community bank with a focus on leadership that ensure a connection to the relationships of the past. The continuity of these relationships will position them for tremendous growth backed by the resources that a billion dollar bank can provide.