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First Freedom Bank announces promotions

Staff Reports • Feb 9, 2018 at 12:11 AM

First Freedom Bank recently announced promotions for four of its staff members. 

Each of the individuals started with First Freedom in an entry-level position. Their promotions are reflective of their work and the company’s focus to educate, train and promote from within. 

Laura Johnson, former assistant vice president and deposit operations manager, was promoted to vice president.  

Johnson started with First Freedom in March 2008 as a financial services representative. She demonstrated operational skills and was assigned to the deposit operations area two months later. Progressing quickly, Johnson was promoted to deposit operations supervisor in January 2011 before she was promoted to operations officer and deposit operations manager in June 2013. In 2017, Johnson was promoted to assistant vice president.  

Johnson has 18 years of banking experience, compounded by a specialized education revolving around bank automation, money laundering and information security. Johnson holds the accredited ACH professional certification from National Automatic Clearing House Association, the certified anti-money laundering specialist certification from the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists and the certified banking security manager designation from the SBS Institute. Johnson also holds a general banking diploma and a bank operation diploma from the American Bankers Association.

Originally from Mt. Juliet, Johnson currently lives in Lebanon with her husband, Jeremy, and daughter, Kaylee. 

Laura Morris, former operations officer and loan operations manager, was promoted to assistant vice president. 

Morris started with First Freedom in November 2011 as a financial services representative. As a result of her interest in loans and background in accounting, she was promoted to loan operations in December 2012.  In August 2016, Morris was promoted to loan operations supervisor before she was promoted to operations officer and loan operations manager in January 2017.

Morris has eight years of banking experience. She holds an associate’s degree in accounting from Everest College. Originally from Portland, Morris lives in Old Hickory. She has one son and one grandchild. 

Kayla Ring, former construction specialist, was promoted to bank officer and will function as the construction manager. In the role, Ring is responsible for documentation, structuring, closing, inspecting and funding of the bank’s residential construction loan portfolio.   

Ring started with First Freedom in August 2013 as financial services representative before she was promoted to FSR manager in November 2013. In September 2015, Ring was promoted to construction specialist, where she assisted in the management of the bank’s new and existing construction loans.

Ring has 10 years of total banking experience. She has completed multiple training modules through the Tennessee Bankers Association in the areas of cash flow, credit analysis and credit documentation. Ring is a Wilson County native and a graduate of Wilson Central High School. She currently lives in Bethpage with her husband, Michael, and their son, Aiden. 

Sarah Poss, former personal banker and marketing specialist, was promoted to bank officer and will function as the bank’s marketing officer. she will also continue to serve as a personal banker in the Providence office. 

Poss started with First Freedom in January 2015 as a financial services representative. By the end of the year, her performance warranted a promotion to FSR manager for the Lebanon office and training coordinator for the entire company. In May 2016, Poss was instrumental in establishing and eventually managing the bank’s uniform operational audit process throughout the company’s footprint. In June 2017, Poss was promoted to personal banker and marketing specialist in the company’s Providence office.   

A native of Detroit, Poss is a graduate of Watertown High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Middle Tennessee State University. She has taken additional classes in the areas of training and communication through the Tennessee Bankers Association. She lives in Watertown with her husband, Justin. 

First Freedom Bank, headquartered in Wilson County, was established in 2006. A full-service community bank, First Freedom Bank offers personal and commercial banking services from six locations in Wilson, Putnam and Jackson counties and has about 70 employees. First Freedom Bank has assets in excess of $440 million and is owned by more than 1,100 shareholders throughout Middle Tennessee. First Freedom Bank is member of the Better Business Bureau, an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additionally, First Freedom earned the Five Star rating by Bauer Financial, an independent bank and credit union rating firm.

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