People First Bancshares, Inc. Acknowledges Director and Employee Contributions to Ongoing Success at Annual Meeting

March 31, 2023

People First Bancshares Inc. Acknowledges Director and Employee Contributions to Ongoing Success at Annual Meeting


Pana, Ill. – March 29, 2023 – People First Bancshares Inc., held its annual meeting at Peoples Bank & Trust in Pana, IL. During the meeting, the Board of Directors recognized new and retiring directors and the organization’s performance over the past year.

Chairman Mike Trexler recognized retiring director David Slater for 16 years of dedicated service to the organization. On behalf of the board, Trexler stated, “We thank David for his outstanding leadership, guidance and service.” Trexler also introduced Brittany D. Walters who joined the company’s Board of Directors last year.

John Gardner acknowledged and thanked recent retirees, Greg Curl and Karen Kerr, for their service, and recognized Susan Palliser and Jeff Grimmett, both AVP Consumer Banking, for their recent promotions.

During a review of operations, Gardner reported, “The company grew and prospered due to service to customers and communities and employee and product improvement.”

Gardner explained, “96% of customers surveyed rated their overall customer service experience as “good” or “excellent”. Bank employees and directors devoted over 3,500 hours to community service and the bank established a not for profit subsidiary, Peoples Assistance Company.” Peoples Assistance Company processes applications for the USDA Section 504 Home Repair Program, which provides loans to very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes, or provides grants to elderly, very low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.

The bank invested in training. Gardner stated, “In addition to software training, consumer compliance training, participation in affiliation groups and attendance in state banking association schools, seminars and webinars; six bank officers attended national graduate bank schools. And as a leading community bank in government guaranteed lending, we continued to develop our capabilities – PBT lenders completed over 750 hours of SBA training in 2022.”

The bank developed new products to serve customers. Two debit card enhancements were recently introduced. Gardner noted, “Save by Spending – Rewards! allows customers with signature based debit card purchases over $100 to receive a credit for 0.25% of the transaction amount. And Save by Spending – Round Up! allows customers to have each debit card transaction rounded up to the nearest dollar and transfers their spare change into a savings account.”

The bank reported record financial performance including growth in  Assets to $595.1 million, growth in Loans to $347.1 million, and growth in Deposits to $511.7 million. The company recorded an increase in Net Income to $6.9 million during 2022.

Also during the meeting, Brad Davis and Josh Shallenberger were re-elected to three-year terms as directors of the Bank and Holding Company. Other directors of the Bank and Holding Company are Michael E. Beyers, Michael M. Trexler, John Gardner, David Dorn, Jr., Christopher Swing, and Brittany D. Walters.

During the organizational meeting of the Board of Directors of People First Bancshares, Inc. which followed the annual meeting, David Slater was elected Director Emeritus, Michael M. Trexler was elected Chairman of the Board and Brad Davis was elected Vice Chairman of the Board. Other officers include John Gardner, President & CEO; James Adcock, Secretary; Terry Schafer, Asst. Secretary and Craig Deere, Treasurer & CFO.

Peoples Bank & Trust is a locally owned and managed, independent community bank with ten offices located in Charleston, Altamont, Tower Hill, Pana, Taylorville, Morrisonville, Springfield, Waverly, Palmyra and White Hall. Peoples Bank & Trust is a full-service bank offering outstanding customer service to consumers, small businesses, and farmers in Central Illinois. People First Bancshares, Inc., with corporate offices in Pana, Illinois, is the holding company for Peoples Bank & Trust.

For more information on Peoples Bank & Trust and their available banking services or how they can help with consumer or business lending needs, contact the bank at 888-728-1954 or visit