Chamber Presents Business Spotlight Award To Renasant Bank

Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce President Raymond Hawkins (left) presented the Business Spotlight Award to Renasant Bank. Pictured at the bank during the presentation are (front row, from left) Hawkins, Janet Dickey, Retired Market President, Yalobusha County; Justin Canterbury, assistant branch manger; Jessica Smith, personal banker; Blaire Hughes, teller; and Linda Maynor, Chamber director; (back row) Chuck Upchurch, Chamber director; Tonya Eubanks, Chamber director; Zandra Walker, Chamber manager; Linda White, Chamber member; and Baine Turnage, Chamber director.

Renasant Bank was awarded the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Spotlight Award Monday. Established in 2016, the award has been awarded to over a dozen businesses in recognition to their support of the community and Chamber.
Renasant Bank was established in 1904 as The Peoples Bank and Trust Company. Their main goal was to bring together the relationships of Tupelo’s city businesses and other areas in Northeast Mississippi. The bank was founded to serve the people of the community aside from political or social alliances that were commonly found in other institutions in the area.
Renasant has operated under the same guiding principles for nearly its entire 114 years of operation. They knew that the road to success would be accomplished by putting the needs of its clients and communities first.
Renasant Bank’s leadership established a strong set of core values throughout the past century which included to value its associates, work as a team, maintain quality, lead through vision and inspiration, maintain two-way communication at all levels, put client trust first, have an environment that was nurtured with respect and professionalism, and maintain a challenging and enthusiastic workplace and always advocate for the company.
Renasant is a shining example of responsibility and prudent banking practices by staying true to its customers through the ups and downs that life brought them. Its strong core values are the reason the bank was able to weather both the Great Depression and the Great Recession and come out stronger on the other side.
On January 1, 1988, The Peoples Bank and Trust Company merged with the Bank of Water Valley which had two offices at that time in Water Valley and two in their Bank of Coffeeville location. Total assets at the time of the merger were approximately $51 million.
At the time of the merger Bennie Cole Taylor was serving as Bank President for Bank of Water Valley. Prior to his presidency he served on the board of directors of The Bank of Water Valley and he encouraged the board in 1978 to automate their banking services. This process was completed in the late 1970 sand early 1980s. After the merger the Water Valley Branch became the processing center for eight other Peoples Bank and Trust offices in North Central Mississippi. Frank Brooks, who was also on the Bank of Water Valley Board of Directors, later became a Director on the Board of Peoples Bank and Trust and Renasant until his retirement.
In 1988 the bank established its first vision stamen through its board of directors. “We are bankers, a team of professionals united and dedicated to provide quality financial services to our customers and personal attention to each.  With this motto the bank became The Peoples Place throughout their footprint.
During the 1990s the bank began to differentiate themselves by expanding their technology services and building a new technology center that would process all of their banking offices at one location and offering new checking services not offered by other institutions. A new philosophy of ‘customer focused selling was adopted. The bank also reached the one billion dollar mark during that time.
In 2001 the bank changed leadership to E Robinson McGraw. His focus was to double or triple relationships of existing customers and grow new customers. In addition the bank began to scout other markets in adjoining states.
In 2004 the bank acquired Renasant Bancshares in Memphis Tennessee and also Heritage Bank in Alabama in 2005. These two moves prompted a more marketable brand for the bank and the name was changed to Renasant. The same principles that had been carried forward from the banks original establishment would remain the same “to be of the people and for the people.”
In 2006 the bank constructed the Renasant Center For Ideas in partnership with the Community Development Foundation. This center is a business incubator to promote and facilitate business innovations and is located in Tupelo.
Although the recession of 2008 was hard on all banks, Renasant remained strong by tightening their lending requirements and focusing on low cost deposits. Through this practice they were able to avoid TARP money from the Treasury. Over the next several years following the decline in 2008 Renasant was able to add more banks in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. During his 18 year term of service, E Robinson McGraw was able to grow the bank from $ 1.2 billion in assets to $12.6 billion by the end of 2018.
The year 2018 began a new chapter with a new president after Robin McGraw’s retirement. Mitchell Waycaster became the new president of Renasant Bank. Through every change in leadership every new leader built on the initial premise of service to the customer. Mitchell Waycaster is no different. He believes that the bank can be grown with a focus on core products, and focus on community –level relationships in each of its markets.
It is that same level of commitment that the employees of the Water Valley office of Renasant Bank strives to offer to their customers and the community. They are service minded and seek first to understand the customers need and then provide the best service or product to the customer. Renasant Bank has been and will be a Community minded bank since 1904 and going forward.

Business Spotlight Drawing for $25 VISA Card
In honor of this Business Spotlight award the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is offering a $25 gift card to the person who can correctly answer this question:
What hassel free package does Renasant Bank use to completely transfer all of your banking relationships to your new Renasant accounts, including direct deposits and auto payments?
All correct answers will be compiled and the winning name will be drawn on January 22. You have “10 days and two ways” to answer between now (January 12) and January 22.
You may (1) reply on Facebook OR (2) stop by the Chamber of Commerce office any time during regular office hours and leave a written answer. The winner will be called OR notified on Facebook.
The winner’s name and photograph will be published in the following edition of the Herald.

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