Red Bay CEO, city councilman takes charge of ICBA

Brad M. Bolton, president, CEO and senior lender of Community Spirit Bank in Red Bay, now has another leadership accolade to add to his resume. Bolton was elected chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America for 2022-23. His term began March 3 at the conclusion of the ICBA LIVE national convention in San Antonio.

“I’m honored to serve as ICBA chairman and to represent the nation’s community banks and defend their unmatched role in our financial services system for the benefit of all Americans,” said Bolton, who also serves as a Red Bay city councilman and is a member of the Franklin County Community Development Commission. “Community banks have always been a source of financial support for their customers, and I’m proud to do my part to ensure that legacy lives on so they can continue fostering communities of prosperity nationwide.”

Service with ICBA is not a new venture for Bolton. He is chairman of the ICBA Executive Committee and the board of directors. He is a member of ICBA’s federal delegate board and its policy development and nominating committees. He serves on the ICBA ThinkTECH Selection Committee and is executive committee liaison to the bank services committee.

“Brad is a devoted and passionate advocate for his community and a lifelong community banker committed to improving the state of our industry,” said ICBA immediate past chairman Robert Fisher. “His dedication and adherence to the ideals of community banking make him well suited to head our organization, working alongside ICBA’s Executive Committee, to preserve relationship banking for future generations.”

A second-generation community banker, Bolton served as past chairman of the Alabama Young Bankers, known as Leadership Community Bankers. He also serves on the Legislative Committee of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

“On behalf of the directors, officers and employees of Community Spirit Bank, I congratulate Brad on this recent election,” said Tammy B. Montgomery, director/EVP/COO for Community Spirit Bank, noting it as a “phenomenal” accomplishment. She praised Bolton as “a true advocate and leader for community banking in every sense of the words.”

“This is most humbling and an extreme honor for both Brad and Community Spirit Bank,” she added. “He works tirelessly for the betterment of our industry on the local, state and national levels. We are very proud of him in this new position and are confident he will continue to make a difference in community banking as he assumes this next level of leadership with the ICBA.”

At the ICBA LIVE event, Bolton encouraged fellow community bankers to sacrifice a few minutes of every day to engage in ICBA advocacy efforts for the benefit of future generations.

“Community banking is different,” said Bolton. “It is a story of personal relationships.

“We know our customers, we worship with them, we go to football games on Friday nights with them – we live and breathe our community because we all call it home.”

Bolton also outlined his priorities as chairman, including identifying the next generation of future leaders through succession planning or, as he called it, “community continuation.”

“Let us sacrifice a few minutes of every day to engage in our advocacy efforts,” he urged. “Let us make our community bank voice heard so we can continue to succeed, so that those who follow us will succeed and those communities we serve will continue to have an independent community bank they can count on.”

Bolton also previously served on the Atlanta Federal Reserve Board’s Community Depository Institution Advisory Council.

Billy M. Bolton, chairman of Community Spirit Bank’s board of directors, said Bolton’s “continued ascension in our national banking association’s executive committee is a testimony of his hard work and dedication not only in our own bank but the association as well.”

“He truly cares about the banking industry and strives to make a difference in serving our customer’s needs and promoting community banking,” he added. “The ICBA is the only national association that exclusively represents the community banking sector.

“It is not only an honor for him and his wife Julie to be elected chairman, but it is a tremendous honor for Community Spirit Bank. On behalf of our entire directorate, I congratulate him and Julie and look forward to his continued service on behalf of ICBA.”