As the chief executive of an Augusta-based bank takes on new responsibilities with the American Bankers Association, the bank announced Thursday a new president will oversee local operations.
R. Daniel Blanton will remain the chief executive officer of Georgia Bank & Trust and its owner, Southeastern Bank Financial Corp., but relinquishes the role of president to Ron Thigpen, the executive vice president and chief operating officer. Blanton will lead the national bankers association in two years. He serves as the vice chairman and will become the chairman-elect on his way to the top post.
“When he assumes those national responsibilities late this year, he’ll be a road warrior,” Thigpen said. “Visiting bankers associations in all the different states, being in Washington relative to testifying on legislation affecting the banking industry, speaking for the ABA, he’ll assume a less local role.”
Thigpen is the former president and CEO of First Columbia Bank. He joined Georgia Bank & Trust when it purchased First Columbia in 1992. He became Georgia Bank & Trust’s executive vice president and chief operating officer in 1997 after serving as chief financial officer.
The bank also announced Dr. Randolph Smith was elected chairman of the board, succeeding E. G. Meybohm, who was elected vice chairman of the board. Smith was an original investor and organizer of the bank in 1988 when it was formed and has served as a director and corporate secretary. Smith is chairman of University Health Inc., the governing body of University Hospital.