MIDDLE GEORGIA (December 2021) - Planters First Bank is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Eli Tinsley to Bank CEO, Dan Duchnowski to Chief Banking Officer, and Pamela Wheeler to EVP, Director of Enterprise Risk Management.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Eli has 24 years of banking experience and most recently served as Bank President and Chief Banking Officer. Eli is a graduate of the University of Georgia where he earned his degree in Agricultural Economics and a graduate of the LSU Banking School. Eli was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia in June and within the position, he represents the interest of Planters First Bank and other community banks throughout Georgia. He is also a member of the GBA Leadership Board of Directors. Eli is highly involved with his local community and currently serves as a member and past President of the Cordele Lions Club, Executive Board Member and Past Chairman of Crisp County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Cordele-Crisp Tourism Division, IDC member, Cordele Housing Authority Board Member, Board Member of the Georgia Veterans Friends of the Park and active in various other local charities. Eli is a member of Cordele First United Methodist Church, Eli and his wife, Julie, have two children, William and Julia. Eli and Julie spend much of their free time supporting and celebrating their kids’ activities.
Since being promoted to President in 2020, Eli has done a tremendous job managing our different markets, ensuring the bank's success during the pandemic, and continuing to build/maintain personal and business banking relationships. Many of our customers trust Eli for clear and effective advice when making their most important decisions.
Eli Tinsley had the following to say about his new position, “I am humbled and honored to serve in this new role as President and CEO of such an outstanding organization. Due to our amazing team and their focus, commitment, and determination, I’m confident we’ll maintain our positive momentum. I am looking forward to leading Planters First Bank as we continue to grow and serve the people and businesses in middle Georgia.”
Chief Banking Officer
Dan has 21 years of banking experience and most recently served as EVP, Chief Deposit Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer at Planters First Bank. Prior to joining Planters First Bank in February 2020, Dan was the SVP, Digital Solutions Manager at S&T Bank where he was responsible for core deposit growth, digital marketing, and digital banking products. Dan’s prior experience also includes Fidelity Bank (Ameris), State Bank (Cadence), ETRADE, TriState Capital Bank, and NetBank where he held numerous positions. Dan is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned his degree in Marketing. He also earned his General Banking degree from the American Bankers Association.
Duchnowski has been married to his wife, Melissa for 18 years and has two sons, Parker (14) and Liam (11). Dan and his family reside in Bonaire and are members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Warner Robins.
EVP, Director of Enterprise Risk Management
Pam has 42 years of banking experience and most recently served as SVP, Director of Enterprise Risk Management. When Pam started with Planters First Bank, she was the VP, Director of Deposit Operations. Prior to joining Planters First Bank, Pam was the Chief Financial Officer at SunMark Community Bank. Pam has held several positions besides those shown above throughout her incredible banking career.
Wheeler resides in Hawkinsville and has two sons and two grandchildren. She is a member of the Antioch Baptist Church where she serves on the Finance Committee and as Associational Messenger.
With the transition to our new Leadership team, Dan Speight, Mike Phillips, and Lisa Lane will be leaving the bank at year-end 2021. Dan, Mike, and Lisa joined the bank in 2019 to help strengthen the bank for the future. Based on the bank’s success they feel confident that the bank is in a strong position and are ready to pass the reigns to the new Leadership Team. “Much has been accomplished over the past two years,” stated Mike Phillips, “we were fortunate to have the opportunity to have a great team and bank to start with and have enjoyed watching the growth and maturity of the Team and the Bank. This new leadership team will have the horsepower to take Planters First far into the future.”
John Way, Planters First Bank, Chairman, had the following to say about Eli, “Since joining the bank, Eli has grown into a tremendous leader. This was most recently seen when he assumed the responsibility of President in 2020. His leadership during this time has allowed the bank to remain strong during a time of uncertainty due to the pandemic. I look forward to seeing how the bank will perform under Eli’s leadership as President & CEO.”
John Way, Planters First Bank, Chairman, had the following to say about Dan, Mike, and Lisa, “The guidance and support that Dan, Mike, and Lisa have provided is immeasurable. They strengthened the bank in many ways and set the stage for future success. I’m very thankful for the time that we had together, and I wish them continued success in future endeavors.”
About Planters First Bank:
Founded in 1896, Planters First Bank, the 8th oldest financial institution in Georgia, is headquartered in Cordele, Georgia, and operates seven full-service locations throughout Middle Georgia. In February 2021, Planters First Bank celebrated its 125th Anniversary.
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Chief Marketing Officer