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April 17, 2017, 07:41:44 AM

MOUNT VERNON – After 39 years in banking, Mark Leonard is retiring.  “It was a difficult decision for sure,” Leonard said.  “First-Knox National Bank has been home for many years and I’ve been fortunate to work with customers who seem more like family.  This has been more than a job for me; I’ve been fortunate to work with some pretty terrific people over the years, coworkers and customers alike, and formed friendships that I will take with me”. 

Leonard began his career in 1976 upon graduating from Kenyon College with a degree in economics.  He spent nine years at another financial institution before joining First-Knox in 1986 as a commercial lender.

“I’ve known Mark since we were kids,” said Vickie A. Sant, president of First-Knox National Bank.  “It’s been a pleasure to work with him all these years and we will miss having him around on a daily basis.  Mark is a kind and fair person and always has everyone else’s best interests at heart.  He will be missed.”

Over the years Mark has remained actively involved in the local community.  He currently sits on the Owl Creek Conservancy board and the DP & S board.

Leonard is married to Pam and they reside in Mount Vernon.  They have one grown son, Jared, daughter-in-law Meghan, and one granddaughter, Keaton.  “I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife and family and doing a little traveling,” Leonard said.  “It’s definitely bittersweet, but it felt like the right time and I’m confident in the abilities of our current group of lenders.  They are well-equipped to carry on the First-Knox tradition.”

With Mark’s retirement, James Hobson will transition to senior commercial lender.  Hobson has been a commercial lender with First-Knox since 2006 and has been in the banking industry for over 25 years.  “James has a good foundation of commercial lending and has developed his skills over the years to the point that he is ready for this next step in his career.  He brings a new perspective to the role that will help lead our commercial lending line of business in the coming years,” said Sant.

Hobson is active in the Mount Vernon and Fredericktown communities.  He is a member of the

Mount Vernon Rotary, Fredericktown Village Council, president of the Fredericktown Community Development Foundation, and board member and finance chair for Licking/Knox Goodwill Industries.  

“I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill,” Hobson said.  “But I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mark for the past nine years and I’m looking forward to taking this next step in my career.  I’ve got a great support system and a terrific group of lenders with whom I work.”

Hobson is a resident of Fredericktown, where he lives with his wife, Renee and children, Nathan and Anna.  He has one grown son, Tyler.

Hobson is available at the Main Office during regular business hours, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  He can be reached at 740.399.5205.

Leonard’s last day is Friday, October 23.  

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