Skip to main content

Tag: First Freedom Bank

First Freedom Sponsor for Wilson Books from Birth Fundraiser

First Freedom Bank sponsored a table for Wilson Books from Birth’s annual fundraiser, the Imagination Dinner. Advertised as the  “wackiest night you will attend,” the event boasts themed tables and costumes, a live and silent auction, tongue-in-cheek challenges, and table awards. All proceeds go to Wilson Books from Birth.

First Freedom’s table theme was based on the book Luke Goes to Bat, and included a variety of baseball items and vintage game flair. The table won the “Best All Around” award.

Those in attendance included Kayla Ring, Assistant Vice President and Construction Manager, Helen Green, Lebanon Administrative Assistant, Sarah Poss, Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, Denise Bigham, Assistant Vice President and Providence Office Manager, Shelia Ferrel, Senior Vice President and Managerial Lender, Tatum Ortlepp, Retail Banking Sales Manager, Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources, Mary Cate Holbrook, Lebanon Personal Banker, and Holly Wolfe, Lebanon Personal Banker.

First Freedom Announces Promotions

Sarah Poss has been promoted to Director of Retail Banking. Poss previously served as the Assistant Director of Retail Banking and assumes the role from her predecessor, Kenny Beavers, as he transitions into retirement.

“Sarah Poss is an excellent choice to lead our Retail Banking Division,” stated John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of First Freedom, “She has held every position on the Retail side of the bank and has operational efficiencies, as well. She is immensely qualified and highly regarded among her peers.”

Poss began her career with First Freedom as a Financial Service Representative (FSR) in January of 2015 and advanced rapidly through the retail side of the bank.  She has served as FSR Manager, Training Coordinator, Personal Banker, Providence Office Manager, Virtual Office Manager, and Marketing Manager.  She has also gained a valuable background in bank operations where she is credited with establishing our branch audit program and online account-opening capabilities, in addition to serving as a BSA analyst. 

A graduate of Watertown High School, Poss earned a B.S. in Anthropology from Middle Tennessee State University and has completed additional coursework in Accounting and Economics through Vol State Community College.  She is currently pursuing her MBA through Tennessee Tech University. Professionally, Poss has completed the Tennessee Bankers Association’s Branch Leadership Series and is currently enrolled in their Southeastern School of Banking program.  

Tatum Ortlepp has been promoted to Retail Banking Sales Manager. Ortlepp previously served as the Assistant Office Manager at the bank’s main office. In her new role, she will oversee all things sales and service-related in our delivery system. 

“When it comes to the customer experience, Tatum Ortlepp is the Gold Standard,” stated Lancaster, “Her professionalism and her ability to educate and enhance every customer’s visit is unparalleled. I’m excited to see her in this role.”

Another great example of “Promotion from Within,” Ortlepp joined First Freedom in July of 2018 as a Financial Service Representative (FSR).  She was promoted to Personal Banker (PB) in 2019 and Senior PB in 2022. In January of 2023, she was promoted to Bank Officer and Assistant Office Manager of the Lebanon Office, where she has done an excellent job in continuously improving sales and product knowledge among the staff.  Consistently ranking as a top performer, Ortlepp was voted by her peers as the bank’s Red Carpet Service award winner in 2021. She also maintains additional responsibilities as our Shareholder Services representative.

Ortlepp is a graduate of Wilson Central High School and has completed numerous courses through the Tennessee Bankers Association.

First Freedom Raises Funds for United Way

First Freedom Bank has once again conducted an employee campaign to raise funds for United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland. The bank is a long-time supporter of this organization and joins their fundraising efforts each year. This year the bank raised $7,500, which was contributed to over 40 local non-profit programs.

United Way’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland through the combined efforts of individuals and organizations working together. First Freedom’s Ryan Woodall, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, serves on their board of directors.

Pictured are First Freedom staff with their campaign contribution check.

First Freedom Hosts Financial Literacy Program at Senior Center

First Freedom hosted a Financial Literacy Program at the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center on March 25th. The program focused on common scams targeting older adults and offered strategies to avoid fraudsters and financial exploitation.

Pictured from left to right are the program hosts, Ashley Montgomery, Assistant Vice President and Mt. Juliet Office Manager, and Sarah Poss, Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.

First Freedom’s Montgomery Delivers Books to Students

First Freedom’s Ashley Montgomery, Assistant Vice President and Mt. Juliet Office Manager, delivered books last Friday to all Wilson County first grade students through the Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary’s Read to Succeed Program. She serves as the Club Membership Chair for the Noon Rotary. This is the second year she has participated in the Read to Succeed Program.

First Freedom’s Tippit Participates in Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation Roundtable

First Freedom’s Ashley Tippit, Gainesboro Assistant Office Manager, joined a roundtable with the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation earlier this month. Tippit is a board member for the Jackson County Imagination Library and by participating in the roundtable she had the opportunity to meet with other Dolly Parton Imagination Library board members from surrounding counties. Meetings like this help strengthen partnerships, share ideas, and increase awareness of the program.

Tippit is pictured third from the left with other roundtable attendees.

First Freedom is Table Sponsor at Lebanon Senior Citizen Center Event

First Freedom Bank sponsored a table at the Lebanon Senior Citizen Center’s annual Valentines Celebration and Fundraiser. This is one of the largest fundraisers for the center and it doubled this year as a commemoration of their 45th year of service.

Pictured from left to right is Barbara Beasley, Jim Beasley, Norma Fugate, Don Fugate, Tatum Ortlepp, Lebanon Assistant Office Manager, Garrett Ortlepp, Ray Hodges, and Marty Hodges.

First Freedom Bank Supports Lebanon Chamber Event

First Freedom Bank sponsored a table at the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber’s annual celebration. This was a particularly big year for the event, as the chamber was also celebrating their centennial. Held at The Mill in Lebanon, attendance was over 500 businesses and individual members.

Pictured from left to right, back row, is John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO, Ryan Woodall, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, Jackie Gaither, Board Member, John Bradshaw, President / COO & CLO, Phillip Vance, Vice President and Relationship Manager, and J.B. Owens, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking, Pictured from left to right, front row, is Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources, and Shelia Ferrell, Senior Vice President and Managerial Lender.

First Freedom Supports Mt. Juliet Chamber

First Freedom Bank supported the Mt. Juliet Chamber’s annual celebration with the purchase of seats at the event. Held at the Hilton Garden Inn & Tru on February 9th, the chamber uses this event as a time to recognize those who have made a particular impact in the business community in the prior year.

Pictured from left to right is Ashley Montgomery, Assistant Vice President and Mt. Juliet Office Manager, Sarah Poss, Vice President and Assistant Director of Retail Banking, Kaitlin Wattenbarger, Providence Personal Banker, Meagan Roberts, Providence Personal Banker, Denise Bingham, Assistant Vice President and Providence Office Manager, and Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.

First Freedom Recognizes Employees with the Chairman’s Cup Awards

First Freedom recognized several employees this past quarter for exceptional job performance and for exceeding their individual goals for enhancing and broadening customer relationships. Their outstanding performance earned them the prestigious honor of Chairman’s Cup Member for the quarter.

Congratulations to the following Staff for qualifying for Chairman’s Cup:

Blake Smith, Lebanon FSR Manager

Kasey Johnston, Lebanon FSR

Tori Oakley, FSR / Personal Banker

Miah Lamb, Providence FSR

Kaye Fajardo, Providence FSR

Chrissy Wright, Providence FSR Manager

Kyleigh Heady, Gainesboro FSR

Rebecca Birman, Gainesboro FSR Manager

Shelby Mayberry, Gainesboro FSR

Abby McCann, Cookeville FSR Manager

Kaylie Roberson, Cookeville FSR

Teola Ragland, Algood FSR Manager

Hannah Philpot, Algood FSR

Abby McCann, pictured below with John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO, received additional recognition as the Chairman’s Cup Top Performer for achieving the highest overall performance score among all participants.

Pictured above, back row, left to right is Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, Rebecca, Shelby, Miah, and John and pictured front row, left to right is, Sarah Poss, Vice President and Assistant Director of Retail Banking, Tori, Blake, Kasey, Abby, Kaye, and Kyleigh.

  • 1
  • 2