FORMER PRESIDENT, DR. O. REBECCA HAWKINS PART OF FIRST FARMERS CORPORATION BOARD THAT REPEATS AS ENDURING SYMBOL FOR BOARD DIVERSITY
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 2, 2011) – For the second year in a row, First Farmers and Merchants Corporation has been lauded by CABLE, the largest network of professionals in Tennessee committed to connecting women with opportunity, for the bank’s efforts to place women onto its Board of Directors.
The financial institution joins twelve other companies in Tennessee and fourteen companies outside the state honored today in ceremonies at the Nashville CABLE Board Walk of Fame on the Lipscomb University campus for the bank’s gender diversity.
Dr. O. Rebecca Hawkins, former President, Columbia State Community College, and M. Darlene Baxter, former Vice President of Affiliate Services for Maury Regional Medical Center, have been on the First Farmers Board of Directors since 1999 and 2007, respectively.
“We’re humbled to be among the companies who are being recognized for placing women in key positions in our top leadership ranks,” said T. Randy Stevens, chairman and CEO, First Farmers and Merchants Corporation. “Both Rebecca and Darlene are smart businesswomen who have contributed greatly to the success of our bank through the years. They also are excellent representatives for all of the women we have throughout our company who demonstrate daily that our belief in diversity is simply smart business.”
The walk of fame is an annual event intended to celebrate those companies that advocate and demonstrate the benefits of gender-balanced boards. The bank was one of only four companies that repeated the honor from 2010, the Walk’s inaugural year. Companies from Tennessee recognized include AmSurg Corporation, Nashville, HealthStream, Inc., Nashville, Regal Entertainment Group, Knoxville and First Security Group, Inc., Chattanooga. Companies outside the state recognized include CIT Group, New York, New York, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., New Albany, Ohio, and BB&T Corporation, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Dr. O. Rebecca Hawkins is past President of Columbia State Community College, a leadership position she held for 12 years, and is now President Emeritus. She continues as a member of the Advisory Board for Maury Regional Medical Center, Executive Board of Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation, Executive Board of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee and Maury County Friends of Girls Scouts Council. She is a past member of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and a past member of the Maury Alliance Board.
CABLE is Tennessee’s largest established network of professionals (600 members) with a history of helping women reach their potential.