Banking on experience: Veteran banker heads SouthEast Bank in Chattanooga with new office, growth plans

Edge magazine features Ron Jones, SouthEast Bank's Chattanooga president for Hamilton County.

When the federal government took over most direct student loan programs nearly a decade ago, Tennessee's biggest private provider of college loans bought a commercial bank to diversify its operations and expand its lending into consumer and business loans as a conventional bank.

Educational Services of America, which was doing business as Edsouth Services, acquired Community Bank of the Cumberlands in Cookeville in 2009 and bought the SouthEast Bank in Athens three years later to deploy its equity into FDIC-regulated banks.

photo Edge magazine features Ron Jones, SouthEast Bank's Chattanooga president for Hamilton County.

In January, SouthEast Bank expanded to downtown Chattanooga with a branch in Liberty Tower and tapped veteran banker Ron Jones as its first city president for Hamilton County.