Greater Community Bancshares Inc., the Holding Company for Greater Community Bank, has been hosting its annual shareholder meeting at the bank’s main office in Rome for over two decades.
With the recent social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19, however, that tradition was challenged.
Rather than cancel or postpone the meeting, however, President and CEO David J. Lance and Board Chairman Robert L. Berry had another idea.
“This time last year, you would hear our staff talking about having 2020 Vision when looking ahead and planning for the new decade,” says Lance. “In all of our planning, however, we never anticipated there would be a sudden need to go digital with a meeting we had held in-person for 26 years”.
“We didn’t let anything slow us down. It just made sense to hold the meeting using digital means,” says Berry. “Many of our directors and shareholders were already familiar with digital programs, such as Zoom, because we’ve seen such a rise in usage the last few months.”
The primary purpose of the annual meeting of shareholders is to elect individuals to serve a term of one year, or until the date of the 2021 Annual Meeting, on the Bank’s Board of Directors. The nominated Directors included Robert L. Berry, Paul B. Brock, Frank A. Brown Jr., Barry R. Henderson, Kenneth W. Jones, David J. Lance Sr., Donna E. McEntyre, M. Wayne Robinson, Russell S. Smith, William B. Temple, Beth L. Tilley, Martha B. Walstad, Edwin C. Watters, and Peter M. Weber.
The bank reports proxies representing 1096.0400 shares, or 92.59% of the company’s outstanding shares of common stock, had been received – the highest percentage in the company’s history.
“We look forward to this meeting, and the opportunity to reconnect with our shareholders face-to-face, each year,” said Lance. “We were proud to be able to report record-breaking earnings and accolades received during the prior year, such as being named Best Bank in the markets we serve, becoming a recipient of the coveted Banky Award, and maintain a 5-Star Superior rating with BauerFinancial for 16 consecutive quarters. These recognitions are a testament to our Bank’s stability, as well as strong management and employees reflecting great service to our customers”.
While it is hoped this time next year the risk associated with social gathering will have been eliminated, the bank will likely continue to incorporate virtual software into its everyday operations. Lance stated the Bank will be recognizing its 25-year anniversary beginning February 2021.