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First Bank adds two Reliance Bank execs to management team


From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS — First Bank has added two Reliance Bank executives to its regional team.

Rick Sems has been appointed regional president for the Midwest. Sems is joining First Bank from Reliance Bank, where he served as president and CEO, leading the bank to record profits. He brings a background in strategic planning and a proven record of accomplishment in both a large bank and community banking environment.

In addition, Tim Fogerty has been appointed to the newly-created position of senior vice president – head of Specialty Lending. Fogerty was chief lending officer at Reliance Bank. Fogerty will oversee the Healthcare, Illinois and Agriculture businesses for the Midwest.

They join a commercial banking leadership team covering Missouri and Illinois, including: Joe Ambrose, newly appointed as vice chairman; Debra Hellmann, senior group manager – Midwest Commercial Banking; Dave Hopkins, group manager – St. Louis Relationship Management Metro East; Greg Fuesting, senior group manager – Midwest Commercial Real Estate; Steve Sainz, group manager – Healthcare Banking; and Stuart Langrehr, group manager – Agricultural Lending.

“With these moves, we will have one of the strongest, if not the strongest, commercial teams in the market,” says Tim Lathe, president, chief executive officer and chairman of First Bank. “As we continue to implement our strategic plan, our focus on growing revenue through adding and deepening client relationships has never been greater.”

Lathe added: “Joe’s long tenure with the Bank, with his connection to clients and the community, is the perfect complement to the strengths Rick and Tim bring.”

First Bank ( is one of the largest privately owned banks in the country with $6.09 billion in assets and 111 locations in Missouri, Illinois and California.

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