First Bank & Trust Announces New Leadership

Posted by Monica Hoel
E&H Grads Transition to Top Positions at FB&T

On August 21, First Bank & Trust announced a change in leadership, and the two people in the top positions are both Emory & Henry grads.

As Bill Hayter announces a transition from his position as Chief Executive Officer for the bank, the new CEO is Mark Nelson, E&H Class of 1984. Mark has been serving FB&T for 21 years as Chief Financial Officer. As Mark moves up, his CFO position is being filled by the bank’s former Vice President of Compliance and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Officer, Eric Moore, E&H Class of 1988.

The FB&T has many E&H alumni among it’s employees, including:

Christy Bise (E&H 1994) – Human Resource Associate

Sherry Wolfe (E&H 1994) – Senior Loan Reviewer

Shawn Smith (E&H 2001) – E-Commerce Representative

Ed Blevins (E&H 1977) – Vice President, Ag and Commercial Lender

Angie Waters (E&H 1999) – Vice President, Trust Officer      

Richard “Rick” Buchanan (E&H 1977) – Senior Vice President of the Mortgage Division

Andy Puckett (E&H 2003) – Vice President, Mortgage Division

Jim Edmondson (E&H 1984) – Vice President – Internal Auditor

Kaitlyn Pruitt Widner (E&H 2016) – Digital Marketing Associate


Additional information about Mark Nelson and Eric Moore are included in the full press release below:

First Bank & Trust Company Executive Leadership Team Transitions

ABINGDON, Va., Aug. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – First Bank & Trust Company and its parent holding company, First Bancorp, Inc., today announced that William H. Hayter, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank & Trust Company, will transition from his position as Chief Executive Officer, effective August 5, 2019.  The announcement was made by William Hayter at the Bank’s 40th anniversary celebratory dinner that included bank officers, board members and executive management.

William H. Hayter, First Bank & Trust Company’s President and CEO since the Bank’s inception in 1979, announced that he will continue to serve as President of the bank and its holding company, First Bancorp, Inc.  Hayter will also maintain his position on the Board of Directors for both companies.  “Lending has been my passion for 40 years,” stated Hayter.  “I will continue to work with our lenders while seeking new growth and expansion opportunities in our market footprint.”

First Bank & Trust Company recently announced that assets have grown from $1 million in 1979 to $1.9 billion and 31 offices, as of August 2019. On the heels of this announcement, the Board of Directors  appointed Mark Nelson as the incoming Chief Executive Officer. “Mark has proven himself to be a dedicated employee, invested stakeholder and Director,” stated Hayter.  “This will be a seamless transition because of the continuity of leadership and the depth of experience on the executive management team.”

Prior to being appointed as Chief Executive Officer, Mark Nelson served First Bank & Trust Company as Chief Financial Officer for 21 years, from 1998-2019.  He is a lifetime banker, with over 31 years of experience, formerly with First American National Bank and Charter Federal Savings Bank. Since 1998, he has managed the financial accounting operations for First Bank & Trust Company, including the bank’s investment portfolio.  Nelson was appointed to the First Bank & Trust Company Board of Directors in 2006.  He is also on the Board of Directors for First Bancorp, Inc., parent holding company of First Bank & Trust Company, being first elected in 2010.  He will maintain his position on both boards.

Mark Nelson is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  He attended National Banking School at the University of Virginia in 1992 and 1993, and is currently a member of the Virginia Bankers Association Management Services Board.  Nelson is on the Board of Directors at People, Inc. in Abingdon, Virginia and a former adjunct faculty member for the business department at Virginia Highlands Community College.  He has board affiliations with the Washington County Industrial Development Authority, Virginia Highlands Airport and the Washington County Service Authority.  Nelson is a former graduate of Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia.

Nelson commented on his new position as CEO, “I am excited to lead First Bank & Trust Company, and to continue our tradition of success going forward by helping individuals and businesses meet their financial goals in the markets we serve.”

As Nelson transitions to Chief Executive Officer, Eric Moore will fill the position of Chief Financial Officer. Eric Moore has been with First Bank & Trust Company for 15 years where he served as Vice President of Compliance and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Officer from 2004-2019.  He is a Certified Public Accountant, and formerly served as Senior Internal Auditor for Charter Federal Savings Bank from 1990-1995.  He also worked for First American National Bank and The United Company, both located in Bristol, Virginia. He is a former graduate of Emory & Henry College.


About First Bank & Trust Company 
First Bank & Trust Company, one of the top community banks in the United States, is a diversified financial services firm with office locations in southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee, and New River and Shenandoah Valleys.  Financial objectives are addressed by offering free checking products for personal and business accounts, and assessing lending solutions managed by mortgage, agricultural and commercial lending divisions.  Comprehensive financial solutions are available through trust and brokerage service representatives. 

  • Mark Nelson, E&H Class of 1984
“I am excited to lead First Bank & Trust Company, and to continue our tradition of success going forward by helping individuals and businesses meet their financial goals in the markets we serve.”
– Mark Nelson
E&H Class of 1984
CEO of First Bank & Trust

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