Earnest succeeds Wilkes at Heritage First

Ryan Earnest has succeeded Greg Wilkes as CEO AT Heritage First Bancshares in Rome. / Doug Walker

Veteran Rome banker Greg Wilkes has put the wraps on a 45-year banking career, the last ten years with Heritage First Bancshares and Heritage First Bank.

Dr. Ken Davis, chairman of the Heritage First Board of Directors said, “Greg’s influence and experience are central components in the success of our banking company. He successfully led our company through the ‘Great Recession’, which proved to be among the most challenging periods in our bank and industry’s history.”

Davis said shareholders and the Heritage First staff alike banking team will continue to benefit from the legacy of his integrity for years into the future.

Wilkes’ banking career began with Atlanta-based Citizens and Southern Bank. He came to Rome with the old National City Bank, where he advanced to the role of CEO. He also served as the CEO at Rome’s Home Federal Savings.

Wilkes then moved to Florida where he served as CEO of the Lakeland-based Florida First Bank before returning to Rome to become the CEO with Heritage First.

“Having provided leadership at the highest level of three banks in the Rome Market over his career, Greg’s mark on local banking is unmatched,” Davis said.

Ryan Earnest has been appointed to succeed Wilkes as Chief Executive Officer of Heritage First Bancshares, Inc.

“Having had the opportunity to work under Greg’s steadfast mentoring and direction, I have been personally and professionally enriched by following the many purpose-driven examples that he has set by his actions. I represent the entire Heritage First family in thanking Greg for his service to our institution and for his leadership by example,” said Earnest.

Master gardeners set program at Chieftains Herb and Plant Sale

The Floyd County Master Gardener Volunteers will hold an Ask An Expert About Plants Day at the Chieftains Herb and Plant Sale on Saturday, April 13 and 14 at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds.

Experts will be available that Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and that Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

The herb and Plant Sales has been an annual fund raiser for Chieftains Museum for more than three decades .

Master Gardeners will be able to field questions and help visitors choose plants with the greatest potential for success around the home or in the garden. Soil sample bags and informational pamphlets will also be available.

For more information, please call the Floyd County Extension Office at 706-295-6210.

Shorter, GDOT partner for small business workshop

Small business owners in the Rome and northwest Georgia area who may be interested in business opportunities with the Georgia Department of Transportation should consider a workshop Tuesday in conjunction with the Small Business Development Center at Shorter University.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and veteran-owned small businesses will have an opportunity to learn about projects that may be available across the state.

Participants will also learn how to apply for Routine Maintenance Projects with the Georgia DOT.

The workshop will be held this coming Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon at 232 Shorter Avenue.

Contact Anthony Miles at 678-420-5500 for additional information.

Associate Editor and business columnist Doug Walker is always looking for news and tips about area businesses. To contact Doug, email him at DWalker@RN-T.com or call 706-290-5272.