Background and Experience of Directors
Lewis O. Benner, Jr.
Lewis O. Benner, Jr., holds the position of bank President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Benner started his banking career 35 years ago in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as a Branch Manager for Commonwealth National Bank. He relocated to Sarasota in 1999 to work for Century Bank as a VP/Commercial Lender. He has held several commercial and senior lending positions before being chosen as Community Bank President for Gold Bank, Sarasota Region, in 2004. In 2006, he was named Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer for Sabal Palm Bank in Sarasota. Since 2010, Mr. Benner served as Chief Credit Officer for 1st Manatee Bank.
Mr. Benner attended Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, receiving a degree in Business Administration. He has also attended several programs with Robert Morris Associates and the Pennsylvania Bankers Association School of Commercial Lending. Mr. Benner has previously been involved with EDC of Sarasota, Misty Creek Country Club and the Osprey First Church of God and currently sits on the board of Gulf Coast Business Finance, Loveland Center, Venice Theater and Specialists for Animal Foundation. Mr. Benner and his wife reside in Palmetto.
George T. Smith
Mr. Smith worked for Deposit Bank of Monroe County in Kentucky for a period of nine years holding the position of Cashier prior to his move to Bradenton, Fl in the late 1960’s. He became CEO of Halco Construction in 1971 and then founded Topps Construction Company, holding the positions of Owner and CEO. In 1986, he formed a group to organize the Bank of Bradenton, a State Chartered Bank, where he served as Chairman until the bank was sold to South Trust Bank in 1994. In 1997 he formed a group to organize First Bradenton Bank, which was founded as a Thrift and later converted to a State Chartered bank. He served as its Chairman until the bank was sold in 2004. He has strong ties in Manatee County having been active in local real estate and construction here since 1971.
Norman J. Pinardi
Mr. Pinardi was born in New York City and moved to
Florida with his family in 1951. Upon graduation for the University of Florida in 1958, he served in the U.S. Air Force as an officer for three years. Upon leaving active duty, he accepted a position with Florida Alcoholic Rehabilitation Program where he served as Information Officer and Director of Information from 1961 to 1964. In 1965 he was named Director of Information for the Manatee County Committee of 100. In 1967 he joined Inter City National Bank as an Assistant Vice President and retired in 1986 as Executive Vice President. He also served as Vice President of Affiliate Trail National Bank and Bayshore State Bank. Mr. Pinardi was elected as a director of Bayshore State Bank in 1971. The bank was later sold. In 1986, he worked with George Smith to help organize the Bank of Bradenton and was named President and a Director of the Bank. He served in that capacity until the bank was sold in 1994. He then worked for SouthTrust Bank until 1997, when he again joined with Mr. Smith in the organizing of First Bradenton Bank where he was again named President and a Director of the Bank. After retiring as President in 2002, he remained as Vice Chairman of the Board until the bank was sold to Fifth Third Bank. He also served for 17 years with the Florida Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has been an active resident of Manatee County since 1964 and is very well known to the community.
Thomas L. Hodgson
Mr. Hodgson is a director and organizer of 1st Manatee Bank. Mr. Hodgson has been involved in banking in the State of Florida for more than 30 years. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of the First Bradenton Bank, a Bradenton-based community bank.
Mr. Hodgson began his banking career in 1972 with First National Bank of Mercer County, n/k/a FNB of Pennsylvania in Hermitage Pennsylvania. A native of Sharon, Pennsylvania, Mr. Hodgson graduated from Youngstown State University with a B.S. degree in Business Management. He and his family moved to Manatee County in 1978 after accepting a position with Southeast Bank as an Assistant Vice President in Commercial Lending. Mr. Hodgson has held senior management positions with a number of other Florida banks, including Vice President of Commercial Lending with Ellis Bank in Bradenton. When the Bank was sold to Nations Bank, he stayed on as Senior Lending Officer until accepting a position with First National Bank of Manatee in 1987. He remained with that Bank until January 2002 as Vice President and Senior Lending Officer then accepted the position as President of First Bradenton Bank. He maintained that position until the Bank was sold to First National Bank of Florida, which in turn was sold to Fifth Third Bank. He left Fifth Third in August 2005. Mr. Hodgson and some of the previous the directors of First Bradenton Bank decided to start a new community bank. 1st Manatee Bank was chartered in November 2007 with the main office located in Parrish, FL. An additional branch was approved and opened at 5100 Cortez Rd. in Bradenton, FL during October 2008. Mr. Hodgson has held leadership roles in a number of local civic organizations over the years; Mr. Hodgson is extremely familiar with Manatee County and its business community.
Robert J. Bellino, M.D.
Dr. Bellino received his B.S in 1962 and his M.D. in 1966 from the University of Florida. Upon graduation, he interned at St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fl and spent his residency in Psychiatry at Shands Teaching Hospital, University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Upon completion of his residency in 1970, he moved to Manatee County and established his practice. Throughout his practice he has held hospital Staff positions at six area hospitals and served on numerous committees and held various offices. He has authored several publications over the years and received a number of appointments to Florida Agencies as well as teaching appointments. During his career, he has served on various Boards and was a founding Director of First Bradenton Bank from 1998 until the Bank was sold in 2004. Dr. Bellino has been a very active member of the medical community as well as a businessman in Manatee County for over 41 years.
Mr. Spivey is a native Floridian, born in Bradenton, Fl. and attended school in Manatee County. He is the owner of Spivey Construction, responsible for construction of both commercial and single family buildings in the Manatee and Sarasota market area. He has been involved in the construction business for over 30 years and maintains an excellent reputation within the industry for quality and honesty. Mr. Spivey has been active in various civic organizations and is well known in the community.
Charles H. Deters
Charles H. Deters was born in Cinncinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in both Ocala, Florida, and Walton, Kentucky. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Thomas More College and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati Law School.
Mr. Deter’s previous banking experiences include President of Union Savings and Loan from 1960-1981, and board seats at the following institutions during various periods from 1975 to present: Farmers National Bank, Independent National Bank, Huntington Bank and Covington Trust Bank.
Mr. Deter’s other professional interests include Chairman of the Deters Company, Snappy Tomato Pizza Company and Independence Lumber and Supply Company, Inc.
Jeremy J. Deters
Jeremy J. Deters was born in Covington, Kentucky, and currently resides in Walton, Kentucky. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Thomas More College and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati Law School.
Mr. Deter’s professional interests include owner of Jeremy J. Deters P.S.C. and President of Snappy Tomato Pizza Company and the Deters Company. He also serves as Vice President of Independence Lumber Company, Inc. and member of Navigo Prep LLC.
Mr. Deter was previously involved with Independent National Bank in Ocala, sitting on the Board from 2002-2010.
Our Senior Management Team:
John J. Schmitt
Mr. Schmitt was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. In 1979, he moved to Florida and worked in restaurant management until beginning his banking career in 1993 at First National Bank & Trust in Manatee County. Over his 11 year tenure at 1st National, he was promoted to vice president and Commercial Lending Officer. He was their top producing Commercial Lender during his last three years there. In 2004, he left 1st National and went to work for Fifth Third Bank as a Vice President in Commercial Lending. In 2006, upon leaving Fifth third, Mr. Schmitt retired from banking for a year to pursue other interests. John has served as Executive Vice President and Senior Lending Officer since the bank opened in 2007.
Mr. Watterson currently holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He is a veteran of the banking industry and began his career at Barnett Bank of Bayshore in 1979, which later became Barnett Bank of Manatee County. Brian graduated from Manatee Community College in 1978 and from the University of South Florida in 1981. He is also a graduate of the Florida School of Banking, University of Florida and the Bank Administration Institute School for Bank Administration at the University of Wisconsin. He has held the position of Chief Financial Officer with several banks, including Key Florida Bank, SouthTrust Bank of the Suncoast, American Bank and First Priority Bank.