Community Bank, based out of Lakewood Ranch, is set to acquire First Community Bank of America.
Bill Sedgeman, chairman and CEO of Community Bank, opened his first branch in Lakewood Ranch
in November 1995. At the time, he had one branch with 12 employees; today he has approximately 55 employees at five locations, and that number will grow once the acquisition is completed.
"With this merger, there will be an additional five branch offices in Pinellas alone," Sedgeman says. "There are other branches in the First Community franchise, which will give us a total of 17 branches in the greater Tampa Bay area once the acquisition is complete."
Unlike other acquisitions, which can cause layoffs, Sedgeman plans to keep First Community Bank of America
employees. "In our agreement to acquire First Community Bank, we agreed that we would keep all of their employees, and we are sincere about that," Sedgeman says. "We are both community banks, so the good news is that no jobs will be leaving the market."
As for new jobs, Sedgeman predicts that the bank will continue to grow and hire in the future. "I believe the economy will rebound and we will add positions in the sales area and product support," Sedgeman says. "Customers need sales people to explain the various products and services we offer, so that will be an area we will be hiring for."
Aside from the acquisition, Community Bank
will be opening a new location in St. Pete
at 158 Beach Drive on May 2nd.
Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Bill Sedgeman, Community Bank