First National Bank of Waterloo president and CEO to retire

First National Bank of Waterloo and President and CEO Gary Hemmer on Tuesday announced his intention to retire on June 30, 2020.  Hemmer began his tenure with the bank more than 20 years ago on July 1, 1999.

“Hemmer has provided strong and steady leadership over the past 21 years as president and CEO of First National Bank of Waterloo,” said Robert Hoffmann, chairman of the board of directors. “Under his tenure, the bank has grown from about $150 million in assets with three banking centers to about $600 million in assets with 13 banking centers at the time of his retirement.”

“It has been a real privilege to work for one of the premier financial institutions in Southern Illinois. I am proud of our organization, our board of directors, our staff and our advisory boards,” said Hemmer. “Banks are the economic engines that enable communities to grow.  They help people and businesses realize their dreams.  I am proud to have served this industry and to have been a banker. It has been a privilege to work with a great board of directors that has helped guide and direct this organization. It has been an honor to work with the bank’s outstanding staff which is to be credited with the success of the bank.  It has been a joy to serve our customers who are also our friends.”

Hoffmann said the board has created an executive committee to identify Hemmer’s replacement and that announcement will be made shortly. Hemmer will remain on the board and will assume the role of chairman of the board at this year’s Annual Meeting in February. Hoffmann plans to retire from the board and will become director emeritus.

Hemmer, 66, has served three banks during his 45-years in banking.  He started his career at First National Bank in St. Louis where he worked for six years.  He also worked at First National Bank of Belleville for 17 years before coming to FNB Waterloo.  He has had the opportunity to become a leader within the industry at both the state and national level as he served as chairman of the Illinois Bankers Association and Treasurer of the American Bankers Association.  He has also served on various boards and committees for both trade associations.

Hemmer received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Finance from St. Louis University.  He also graduated from the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking.  In 2007, he was recognized as the Illinois Banker of the Year by the IBA.  In 2001 he was the recipient of Northwestern Financial Review’s Rising Star for Illinois.

He has served on various civic organizations including the Waterloo Rotary Club, Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, Monroe County YMCA, Camp Wartburg, and United Way of Illinois.  He served on the Belleville School District 201 Board for 16 years.  He has served Southern Illinois District of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as treasurer and board member.  He has been active with his church, Zion Lutheran Church of Belleville.  He is currently serving as chairman of the ABA Insurance Service Board of Directors.

“I am looking forward to spending more time with our family and grandchildren, traveling, riding my bike, and cheering for the Fighting Illini,” Hemmer said.


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