Blog - Special New Year

This is a special New Year at the Bank of Zachary as we begin 2017 with a new leader at the helm. One day after his 38th birthday, Mark S. Marionneaux became the 8th President in our 112 year history. In addition to his relative youth, Mark brings enthusiasm and a clear-eyed vision to our venerable institution.

Central to that vision is our continuing commitment to remaining an independent, locally owned and locally managed community bank. The Bank of Zachary, with Mark Marionneaux as President, will be managed for the long-term, focused on meeting the financial needs of our community.

This is the tradition that was passed down to me in August 2006 when I was named the 7th President of the Bank of Zachary. Throughout the century-plus history of the Bank, dedicated men and women have built a reputation of service and I considered it my primary responsibility to maintain this distinction during my tenure as President.

I grew up in Zachary, as did my parents and grandparents. It is a point of family pride that added to the names of past Presidents of the Bank of Zachary – deBretton, Fields, Mills, Rhodes, Daniel and Morris – will be Kennedy. As a community banker and native son of Zachary, my ten years as President of the Bank of Zachary have certainly been the most enjoyable and satisfying of my career.

Thank you to Harry Morris and Ed Canning for giving me this opportunity, along with Board Members Russell Bankston, Sam Johnson, David Thornton, Tom Ed McHugh, Randall Brian, Dr. Howard Martin, Hardee Brian, and the late Al Mills.

During my tenure as President, the challenges to the community banking industry have been tremendous. The housing crisis that affected so much of our country was followed by an oppressive regime of regulations aimed at the unscrupulous but which landed the hardest on the innocent.

Congress and the regulatory agencies never seem to appreciate that community financial institutions have consumer safeguards built into our business model. If we take advantage of our customers, we go out of business. Heavy-handed government edicts are not as effective, and not nearly as permanent, as the discipline of the free market.

It is a sad fact that during the past ten years, a multitude of community banks have disappeared. A great many were sold or merged out of existence because their ownership and management were dispirited and overwhelmed by the unrelenting cascade of regulatory burden. Come what may, the Bank of Zachary is determined to meet and conquer any and all challenges. It will be my honor to continue as Chief Executive Officer, and I look forward to working with our new President and our excellent staff as we continue our tradition of excellence.

By Judy Foreman

Investing in home ownership is the single largest financial transaction most of us will ever participate in. Building your next home can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. It can also be stressful and time consuming. Below are several tips to consider when preparing to build your next home:

  1. Finance = Schedule a meeting with your lender early in the process and get pre-approved. Many lenders can help with both your construction loan and your permanent mortgage. Your lender works for you and should serve as a trusted advisor before, during and after your construction project.
  2. Locate = Remember to consider development costs such as removing trees and stumps, running utilities and building up your elevation when comparing land options that fit your budget. Other factors to evaluate may include zoning, school districts, building restrictions and whether or not the property is in a flood zone.
  3. Design = Many designers and architects have existing house plans for sale and may offer to customize to those plans for a fee. Custom house plans can be a rewarding way to influence the design of your next home. Be patient during this process and always ask for feedback when designing your plans.
  4. Build = Working with a turn-key builder, partnering with a flat-fee contractor or subcontracting the project yourself are three common methods for building a new home. Consider the level of expertise and involvement required of you and do not hesitate to talk with several builders and contractors before making a final decision.

Planning and preparation are critical to your success. Expect the project to cost more and take longer than you originally estimated. Seeking advice early and often from others such as your mortgage lender and your builder can be a great best practice throughout the process.

Judy Foreman is a Senior Vice President and head of mortgage lending at the Bank of Zachary. She can be reached at (225) 654-2701.

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In January, I had the privilege of announcing that the Bank of Zachary elected two new officers. Ruth Ann Kuhns is our new Loan Operations Officer and Renee Deshotels is now Assistant Cashier.

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Mrs. Kuhns has been a member of the Loan Support Department of Bank of Zachary since 2005, after working 16 years in the financial services industry. She is a resident of Zachary, and a native of French Settlement.   Among her duties, Mrs. Kuhns is in charge of central loan processing at the Main Office.

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Mrs. Deshotels joined the Bank of Zachary in July 2010 after 11 years as payroll and accounts payable manager for the Pelican Yacht Club in Fort Pierce, Florida. She is a native and resident of Baton Rouge. Mrs. Deshotels works in the Accounting Department and handles much of the human resources duties for the Bank.

We are blessed with an exceptional staff at the Bank of Zachary, and these two ladies are excellent additions to our officer corps.