Johnsons to Retire from United Cumberland
United Cumberland Bank Chairman David Winchester announces the retirements of Jim Johnson and Vickie Johnson, effective December 31, 2021. Together this husband-and-wife team have been pillars in our local community with over 78 years of combined banking experience.
Jim Johnson has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Cumberland Bank since 2017, as well as President of First Trust & Savings Bank prior to its merger with Bank of McCreary County in 2014. His leadership started many years ago in the loan department where he eventually worked as Senior Lender and was the architect of United Cumberland Bank’s successful loan growth policies. He has been a leader both in the community and within the bank over his 41-year career.
Vickie Johnson has served as the Chief Financial Officer of United Cumberland Bank, and previously Bank of McCreary County, for 37 years. She is also President of the McCreary Bancshares Holding Company, a role she will retain for a time as part of the transition plan. Her leadership through various mergers and with the Employee Stock Ownership Plan has been crucial to the financial performance and stability of United Cumberland Bank.
When speaking about their retirement decisions, Jim Johnson stated, “Our number one goal has been to handle this process correctly and with the best interest of our customers and employees in mind. We have been honored to serve the bank for many years and are proud of the accomplishments of our staff during this period.” On the topic of their successors, Vickie Johnson said, “It was also important to us to be available to assist the incoming management team in any way we can so that this transition is seamless for all involved. We want to be transparent with our customers about changes, including this one.” As part of the succession plan, both will continue their role as members of the Board of Directors.
To continue United Cumberland Bank’s traditions of innovation, excellent customer service, safety and soundness, and community involvement, the Board of Directors is pleased to announce the next phase of leadership for the bank. Michael Laxton will be named President and Chief Executive Officer as of January 1, 2022. Michael has more than 16 years of banking experience with United Cumberland Bank and has been working closely with management and the Board in preparation for this transition. In addition to proven management skills, Michael brings with him a strong background in information technology, which is becoming ever more important in the banking industry. Asked about his new role, Laxton says, “This is a tremendous challenge and opportunity that I look forward to accepting. We’ve got a great team at UCB, and I can’t wait to work even closer with them and our customers.”
Whitney Roark will be the bank’s Chief Financial Officer as of January 1, 2022. Whitney has been with United Cumberland Bank for 12 years and has experience in many vital areas. Her education and training include a Master of Business Administration among her many qualifications that make her a natural fit for this role. Most recently Whitney has worked side by side with Vickie Johnson as Assistant Chief Financial Officer, a fact that will ensure a smooth transition in the upcoming year. Roark expressed her enthusiasm about the promotion and stated, “Working with Vickie for the last several years has given me the confidence to take on this position. I am excited to work with the wonderful team we have here and build on the momentum and strong business values of UCB.”
Jim Johnson and Vickie Johnson have left their marks on the more than 115-year history of United Cumberland Bank. Their dedicated service has put the bank in a strong position, and the Board of Directors is confident that the new management team will continue to build on the bank’s tradition of excellence.