Paragon National Bank hosted its fifth annual shareholders’ meeting June 24, 2010, at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Shareholders, directors, and employees gathered in the Winegardner Auditorium for a presentation by President & CEO Robert Shaw about Paragon’s 2009 accomplishments and financials, as well as goals for 2010.
Official shareholder business included the re-election of James F. Freeman, Edwin S. Roberson, Glenn W. Cofield, and Craig L. Weiss to the Board of Directors.
During the non-official portion of the meeting, Shaw discussed Paragon’s accomplishments for 2009 against stated goals, including the improvement of loan portfolio performance, maintenance of a conservative loan loss reserve, and an increase in non-interest income. In 2009, the bank also continued core deposit growth momentum, maintained control of expenses, continued to deliver extremely high customer service quality, and positioned the franchise for future growth. 2009 highlights included the grand opening of the Grove Park Banking Center, a strengthening of the executive management team, and the raising of $500,000 in additional capital.
Other notable activities in 2009 were Paragon’s implemented plan to substantially reduce non-performing assets, which are currently at their lowest levels since September 2008. Paragon also completed an efficiency study of back-office operations, brought in external loan professionals to review all performing loans greater than $500,000, and improved the loan approval process with the addition of an officers’ loan committee. Paragon and its employees continued to shine in the community in 2009; Controller Tracey Wilson Thesmar was named to the Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, Paragon was awarded a Southeast Community Bank GIVE Award and named a finalist for the Spirit of Giving Awards and Corporate Neighbor Awards.
“Our key areas to focus on in 2010 remain similar to 2009,” Shaw told shareholders. “We plan to continue aggressively dealing with credit issues and continue to build our core earnings capacity. I anticipate that we’ll see profitability again soon.”