First Bancshares, Inc., a holding company for First National Bank of Bellevue and sole owner of First Bellevue Properties, held a virtual annual shareholder meeting recently. The board elected Port Clinton attorney John A. Coppeler of Flynn, Py & Kruse, and James V. Stouffer, Jr., President/CEO of Catawba Island Club, as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board, respectively.
Re-election of three tenured board members with terms expiring in 2023 were Duffield E. Milkie, Vice President/General Counsel of Cedar Fair; Dean J. Miller, President/CEO of First Bancshares, Inc.; and Melvin H. Miller, retired President/Chairman of Janotta & Herner, Inc.
The board reported that 2019 was another solid year for the company. Some detailed highlights for 2019 show a year-end total in excess of $227 million, which is roughly 2% higher than last year. The company did see a small drop in total loan balances of less than $1 million and an increase in deposit balances of over $9 million, equating to an increase of 5%. This shift lowered the loan to deposit ratio, allowing the bank to add balances in its investment portfolio.
Beginning in March 2019, the Bellevue Main Office underwent an addition and a complete renovation of the lobby with construction completed in early 2020. The Bank is expanding into Perkins Township in Erie County, opening a branch on U.S. Route 250 in August. The 145th anniversary of First National Bank will be celebrated this fall.
First National Bank, is a community bank with seven banking offices located in Bellevue, Catawba Island, Clyde, Fremont, Port Clinton, Put-In-Bay and Sandusky. It is the primary operating company of First Bancshares, the sole shareholder of First Bellevue Properties, a real estate and other asset holding subsidiary.