published Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Tullahoma's Southern Community Bank expands with Chattanooga office

Bank at a glance

Name: Southern Community Bank

Assets: $145.9

History: Founded in 2005 as the Bank of Tullahoma, the bank changed its name to Southern Community Bank in 2011

Staff: 47 employees

CEO: Bill Yoder,

Locations: Tullahoma, Huntsville, Sewanee, Murfreesboro and Chattanooga

A Tullahoma bank is expanding beyond its home turf into Chattanooga.

Southern Community Bank, which was founded in 2005 as the Bank of Tullahoma, has opened a loan origination office in Chattanooga.

"We're a well-capitalized, liquid community bank that is trying to make loans and grow, and Chattanooga seems to be a thriving market," said Bill Yoder, president and CEO of Southern Community Bank. "I lived in Chattanooga 17 years ago, and I've seen the improvements that have been made in the community, and we want to be a part of that."

With 30 banks and 27 credit unions already operating in metropolitan Chattanooga, consumers already have plenty of options of where to borrow and save their money. But Yoder said he sees the need for another small business lender in Chattanooga.

"We've had success with our loans in this market," he said.

Robert Stahl, a 30-year bank veteran, is heading the Chattanooga loan production office. Eventually, bank officials say, they hope to open a full-service branch or several branches in Hamilton County.

Yoder, who was once district manger for First American Bank in Chattanooga, helped organize the Bank of Tullahoma eight years ago by raising $12.5 million in investments, primarily from local investors. Although other banks organized during that era have encountered plenty of real estate losses from the housing slump, Southern Community Bank has remained profitable over the past five years through the recession.

The new Chattanooga loan production office is at 832 Georgia Ave., in downtown Chattanooga.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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