United Cumberland Bank President Jim Johnson and his wife, UCB Chief Financial Officer Vickie Johnson, are retiring.
UCB board chairman David Winchester made that announcement Tuesday, while also announcing that Michael Laxton and Whitney Roark have been named in the bank’s management succession plan to move into the roles of president and CFO.
The husband-and-wife team of Jim and Vickie Johnson will retire effective Dec. 31. Together, they represent 78 years of banking experience.
Jim Johnson has been president and CEO of United Cumberland since 2017, and also served as president of First Trust & Savings Bank prior to its merger with Bank of McCreary County to form UCB in 2014.
Johnson started in the loan department at UCB, eventually working as senior lender and serving as the architect for UCB’s loan growth policies.
Vickie Johnson has been the CFO of UCB and Bank of McCreary County for 37 years. She is also president of the McCreary Bancshares Holding Company, a role she will retain for a time as part of the transition plan.
“Our number one goal has been to handle this process correctly and with the best interest of our customers and employees in mind,” Jim Johnson said, speaking of the pending retirements. “We have been honored to serve the bank for many years and are proud of the accomplishments of our staff during this period.”
Laxton will step into the role of bank president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2022, while Roark will serve as the bank’s CFO, effective the same date.
“It was important to us to be available to assist the incoming management team in any way we can so that this transition is seamless for all involved,” Vickie Johnson said. “We want to be transparent with our customers about changes, including this one.”
As part of the transition plan, both Jim and Vickie Johnson will continue their role as members of UCB’s board of directors.
Michael Laxton has more than 16 years of banking experience with United Cumberland, and has been working closely with the bank’s management and board of directors in preparation for this transition. In addition to his management skills, he brings with him a strong background in information technology, which is becoming more important in the banking industry.
“This is a tremendous challenge and opportunity that I look forward to accepting,” Laxton said. “We’ve got a great team at UCB, and I can’t wait to work even closer with them and our customers.”
Roark has been at UCB for 12 years, and has experience in many areas of the bank. She has a master of business administration and is described by the bank’s board of directors as a natural fit for the new role. She has worked side-by-side with Vickie Johnson as assistant CFO, which the bank says will ensure a smooth transition.
“Working with Vickie for the last several years has given me the confidence to take on this position,” she said. “I am excited to work with the wonderful team we have here and build on the momentum and strong business values of UCB.”
United Cumberland Bank’s history dates back more than 115 years, and Jim and Vickie Johnson have left their mark on that history. The bank’s board of directors expressed confidence that the new management team will continue to build on UCB’s tradition of excellence.