Southern Bank

Southern Bank of Tennessee announced plans for a transition in leadership that includes the appointment of a new chief executive officer and president but keeps three of the bank’s original officers in key leadership positions.

Samuel Short was named Southern Bank’s new chief executive officer, and Justin Cary, the bank’s president. Both men have been officers of the bank since its inception.

David Major and Sam Short, senior members of Southern’s leadership team and familiar names in the banking industry locally and across the state, are to assume the roles of chairman and vice chairman respectively, while Ed Davenport is to continue as executive vice president.

Under the transition plan the five officers are to comprise an executive oversight council responsible for general bank operations and strategic planning.

“We are fortunate to have a number of exceptionally talented, capable and highly motivated professionals leading our bank. Two of these are Samuel and Justin and we believe it is the appropriate time now for both of them to become more engaged in the bank’s leadership and be placed in decision making roles,” said Major.

Major noted that he, Sam Short, and Davenport will continue to be actively involved with the bank on a daily basis but added that the appointments of the new CEO and president “will allow our bank to take advantage of their knowledge and expertise and place us on a clear path for the future.”

Southern Bank was launched in 2012 when the newly incorporated institution acquired Community Bank of East Tennessee. Since its founding, Southern Bank has established banking centers in Smyrna, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet and has maintained banking operations in Clinton, the county seat of Anderson County.

The bank has realized significant growth and provides a cadre of services that include personal and consumer banking, on-line banking, commercial lending, home mortgages, and financial planning and investment services.

Samuel Short, a Smyrna High School basketball standout in the mid-1990s, is graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and LSU’s Graduate School of Banking. His career in banking began as a bank examiner with the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions.

Following his service as a state bank examiner, Short’s professional experience included time spent with two Tennessee banks, including Bank of the South, which previously was headquartered in Mt. Juliet. At Bank of the South, Short worked in the Rutherford County market in his hometown of Smyrna. During this period he held a number of positions including serving as a consumer and commercial lending officer.

After Bank of the South’s merger with another institution, Short continued to work as a commercial lender with a primary focus in the area of real estate earning him the distinction of being titled a Real Estate Lending Specialist.

In 2012 he became one of 10 original employees with Southern Bank. Before his appointment as Southern Bank’s CEO, he served as the bank’s senior vice president and senior lender while working closely with the bank’s management team on day-to-day operations.

Short is a past Chairman of the Tennessee Banker’s Association Young Banker Division and has actively been involved in a number of civic and community activities. He is a former Board Chairman of the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce and member of Rotary.

Cary, a 17-year veteran of the banking and financial services industry, was also one of Southern Bank’s charter employees in 2012. A graduate of the University of Tennessee and the LSU Graduate School of Banking, Cary has held key positions of responsibility with the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions and Professional Banking Services where he received extensive training in general banking operations.

His foremost areas of expertise include credit analysis, underwriting, and managerial oversight. Other strengths include a focus on bank regulation and administration, product development, and marketing. Cary serves as a member of the Tennessee Banking Association Credit Committee and through his role as a committee member he is a frequent speaker and commenter.

He participates in a number of community and civic activities and volunteers for the Make A Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of children with critical illnesses between the ages of two and one-half to 17-years old.

Cary held the title of senior vice president before being named president of Southern Bank of Tennessee. In his role as senior vice president he, as Short, worked closely with the bank’s management team on day-to-day bank operations.