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FNBC celebrates 2012 as centennial year

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bank President Marty Sellars shows off the bank's original charter.Photo/Tammy Curtis [Order this photo]
Many changes have been witnessed in the banking industry over the last century, from technology to infrastructure, but customer service and growth of one home town bank, First National Banking Company, has remained constant.

In 2012, FNBC is celebrating its 100 year anniversary. At a media conference Jan. 27, Bank President Marty Sellars and other bank executives explained the success of the company, and shared upcoming events for the anniversary celebration.

The Bank of Ash Flat received its charter in 1912. That was the same year Oreo and Lorna Doone cookies were created and, incidentally, they were among the refreshments provided at the bank during the event.

The bank, previously located on Main Street in Ash Flat, was incorporated by founding officers R. E. Semple and J.L. Goodman, serving as president and vice president. The bank had one cashier, O.U. Sigler.

In the early years, VP of Sales and Marketing Martin Carpenter said coin money was brought to the bank from the post office.

Originally known as Bank of Ash Flat, the bank changed its name to First National Bank of Sharp County in 1973 when it received its national charter.

The bank moved its main branch location in Ash Flat in 1979. The money held within the bank was transported via State Police car by Mack Thompson to the new building.

In 2003, after much growth and expansion into surrounding areas, the current name of First National Banking Company or FNBC was adopted and remains.

Senior VP Deborah Fry said FNBC has planned a year of centennial celebration activities including a "Big Reveal" set for Feb. 24, but she would not give away the surprise when asked to hint about the reveal.

"We have some fun and exiting activities planned for the community every month of the year. We will announce these plans with some other surprises at "The Big Reveal." We are thankful for our partners in the community and our loyal customers for making us their bank of choice for the past century and we look forward to the next 100 years." Fry said.

FNBC has been an integral part of the local community during the last century with numerous community development projected and support of various civic organizations and scholarships.

Sellars credited the success and stability of the bank to the loyal customers in the community.

"FNBC counts itself as a member of the community, by their own words, a trusted friend, a reliable advisor and supportive coach. A centennial is a major landmark in any company's history. It speaks volumes with our staying power as well as our ability to evolve with the times and with the needs of our families. We are the bank you can count on to be there for the long haul," he said.

With only two employees and less than $20,000 in assets in 1912 to 118 employees and $316 million in assets today, FNBC is a huge part of local and surrounding communities with 11 locations in Sharp, Fulton, Izard, Independence and Baxter Counties.

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