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Jimmy Hodges retiring from BB&T
lane and hodges
Jimmy Hodges, right, announced he is retiring as senior vice president and city president of BB&T in Statesboro, effective Dec. 31, 2008. Hodges shakes hands with John Lane, who will become city president Jan. 1, 2009. - photo by Special
    Long time Statesboro banking executive, James Eli Hodges, senior vice president and city president of Branch Banking & Trust, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31, 2008.  
    Beginning Jan. 1, Hodges will serve as chairman of BB&T’s local Board of Directors. John W. Lane, vice president and business officer, is slated to succeed Hodges as city president.  
    Hodges, a Bulloch County native and a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University began his banking career 34 years ago with First Bulloch Bank and Trust Company of which he was named president and CEO in 1980.  
    In 1983, Hodges formed and served as president and CEO of First Banking Company of Southeast Georgia which grew to include, in addition to First Bulloch Bank, Metter Banking Company, First National Bank of Effingham and Wayne County National Bank. He came to BB&T through its 2001 merger with First Banking Company of Southeast Georgia.  
    "All of my life, I wanted to be a banker," Hodges said. "I am so happy that I have had the opportunity to work as a banker in my hometown, and to have only worked at one bank."
    Farmers and Merchants Bank president and CEO Ricky Nessmith worked under Hodges at First Bulloch Bank from 1989 to 1995. Nessmith remains impressed with Hodges' banking skills.
    "I have told my board on many occasions that Jimmy (Hodges) is the best bank president that I have ever worked for," Nessmith said. "His ability to analyze a situation and work through it, whether it involves lending or operations, is unsurpassed. He is a very smart, talented banker."
     During Hodges’ banking career, he has served as chairman of the Georgia Bankers Association, chaired the Community Bankers Council of the American Bankers Association, and was a long time member of the Board of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
    Hodges extensive community service  includes having served as chairman of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce,  the Georgia Southern University Foundation, Bulloch Academy, and the Official Board and Finance Committee of Statesboro First United Methodist Church. He has been president of the Statesboro Rotary Club, Forest Heights County Club, Statesboro High School Athletic Boosters Club, and has led the local funds drive for the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association and the State YMCA of Georgia of which he is a state director.
    Hodges has also served as a member of the Business Advisory Board of the Georgia Southern University School of Business, Southern Boosters, Ogeechee Technical College Board of Trustees, and has been a long term member of the Development Authority of Bulloch County. Hodges also serves as a Trustee of the Averitt Foundation for the Arts.  He received a Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award and was named Business Leader of the Year in 1992.
    Hodges said much has changed in the financial industry since he began his career, but he believes the mission of banks has remained the same.
    "It would almost be easier to tell someone what has not changed about our industry," Hodges said. "The basic premise has not changed, however. We try to make available financial options and opportunities that allow people to improve their lives."
    Hodges said the career paths that he and Lane have taken are very similar, and he is confident about Lane's ability to serve as city president.
    "John (Lane) is a Bulloch County native who has worked for this bank for the last 15 years," Hodges said. "He is ready now to assume this role, and I am sure that he will do a great job."
    Lane, the son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. (Billy) Lane, will become city president effective January l, 2009.  He received his BBA degree from Georgia Southern University in 1993 and graduated from the Georgia Banking School at the University of Georgia in 1998.  He began his banking career in 1993 with First Bulloch Bank & Trust Company and has been serving as a vice president and business officer for BB&T since the merger in 2001.
    Lane is active as a community volunteer and is a graduate of Leadership Bulloch and currently serves on the Board of the Ogeechee Technical College Foundation.  He has served on the Board of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce, chaired its AgriBusiness Committee, and served as a member of the Board of United Way of Bulloch County. Lane is a member of the Statesboro Rotary Club and has served on the Club’s Board of Directors.
    Lane is married to the former Simone Sikes – a teacher at William James Middle School – and has two children, Brittany and John Daniel.

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