It’s been a long time since a Southern Standard reporter has been able to write about a new president at Security Federal Savings Bank. In fact, the last time the bank saw a change in leadership, I was still in high school. That’s saying something because, according to the Standard’s latest special section, I’m only one year from being classified a “senior.”
Poorly named tabloid sections aside, this week I get to make a rather rare announcement. For the first time in 31 years, Security Federal has a new leader. After more than three decades as president and CEO and 45 years total at the bank, Joe Pugh has retired and Michael Griffith has taken the reins as president and CEO.
Pugh started at Security Federal in 1978 and became president and CEO in 1992. During Pugh's leadership, the bank saw tremendous growth, going from $28 million to over $260 million in deposits. Pugh will still be involved with the bank as a member of the Board of Directors.
Stepping into Pugh's rather large shoes is Griffith, a 1996 graduate of Warren County High School who graduated with honors with a degree in finance from Tennessee Tech. "I started my banking career with Amsouth Bank 20 years ago and have been with Security Federal for the last 15 years as a business banker. I also teach at the Southeastern School of Banking," Michael said.
Michael enjoys being a vital part of the growth of the community that he grew up in. "It's a wonderful career here at Security Federal because we truly have the ability to make localized decisions that can help our community grow and prosper. I've enjoyed being a part of the revitalization of downtown with new business lending as well as part of developing relationships with newcomers who want to relocate to McMinnville and Warren County. I am very excited about the continued community banking that Security Federal is known for. We are 'The Friendly Bank.'"
Michael is grateful for the support he has received from the rest of the staff at Security Federal and looks forward to continuing to foster the growth of the bank with their help. "In this transition as the Board of Directors appointed me as president and CEO, Lisa Hillis, who has been with Security Federal for over 20 years, has been promoted to executive assistant. I am very blessed to have a great team with over 50 employees who show up daily to help us be a truly great community bank. We have a Board of Directors who supports the vision of being a resource for our community's banking needs. We will continue to build on the legacy the bank has developed all these years and will continue to explore bringing new banking services and technology to our current and future customers," Michael said.
Congratulations to Joe on a well-deserved retirement and to Michael as he embarks on a new chapter in his career and in the storied history of Security Federal Savings Bank.
Entrepreneurship sometimes runs in the family and that seems to be the case with Brooke Odom. Brooke, along with her husband, Chris Odom, have opened a new business called The Pink Drink. It's hard to miss the cute little bright-pink trailer the couple sets up at various locations throughout Warren County.
I caught up with Brooke at The Pink Drink's recent spot in front of UGO on Smithville Hwy. to talk a bit about Warren County's latest coffee and sandwich shop.
"I was born and raised in Warren County. My grandparents, Randy and Brenda Wanamaker, have owned Ivy Branch Nursery for over twenty years. My mom and step-dad own Morrison Nutrition and Parker’s Lawncare so I have kept the family line going by opening up The Pink Drink. I have always been a coffee and infusion drinker, which led me to the barista part of the business. My husband is an Army veteran who has always had a passion in the kitchen, so he brought the bistro part to the business. We make homemade chicken salad, sandwiches, Red Bull infused drinks, hot and cold coffee, frappe and more," Brooke said.
Brooke and Chris began working private events in January and are now taking their mobile store to locations throughout the county. The Pink Drink's typical hours begin at 6:30 a.m. and Brooke says they are often sold out for the day by around 3:30 p.m. as customer response has been very good. I can understand why as I had an iced coffee during my visit and it was fantastic.
Until next time,
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Thank you for reading and thanks, as always, to Ben Lomand Connect for sponsoring the column.
As an unsolicited personal testimonial, I'll brag a little on Ben Lomand's Fiber internet. I recently downloaded the new Star Wars Jedi Survivor video game to my Xbox Series X. The game is huge and download time typically takes four to five hours, so I was prepared to wait a while. This was the first time I had downloaded a game since making the switch to Ben Lomand Fiber, so I wasn't sure what to expect but was blown away that it took me only 23 minutes to download a 140 GB game. So, now that this column is done, it's time to play more Star Wars. See you here next week.