Board of Directors

Community Leaders … Leading Your Bank.


J. Lee Stewart
Southern Heritage Bank

Lee Stewart has more than 40 years of banking experience. He began his career in 1972 at American National Bank in Chattanooga serving as Business Development Officer and Credit Officer. In 1980, he joined First National Bank of Columbus, GA., to organize the bank’s internal loan review functions, and later he was promoted to Vice President of Commercial Lending. In 1985, he joined First American National Bank in Bristol, TN, as Senior Vice President for Commercial Lending and was promoted to City President in 1988 before being transferred in early 1990 to the Cleveland office of First American, where he served as City President until mid-1998.

Mr. Stewart is a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College, The National Commercial Lending Graduate School at the University of Oklahoma and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. His civic activities include involvement with the United Way of Bristol, where he was awarded outstanding volunteer of the year in 1989, and the United Way of Bradley County, where he has served as Campaign Co-Chairman and as Chairman of the Board. He was a member of the organizing committee of the Greater Cleveland Soccer Association and served as President of the group. He has been active in the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, serving as Treasurer and Chairman of the Board. He has served on the boards of Cleveland Family YMCA, Junior Achievement and Cherokee Council of Boy Scouts. He is a member of the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club. He and his wife, Cynthia, are members of First United Methodist Church.


Board of Directors

Jeffrey D. Agee
First Citizens National Bank

Mr. Agee serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Citizens and First Citizens Bancshares, Inc., the holding company for Southern Heritage Bank.  He previously served as President, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of First Citizens National Bank and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of First Citizens from August 1999 to June 2004.  Mr. Agee holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee and is a graduate of ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Georgetown University and of BAI School of Bank Administration at University of Wisconsin.  He is also a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and certified through FINRA as holder of a Series 27 license.  He serves as Financial and Operations Principal of First Citizens Financial Plus, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Citizens National Bank) and possesses an understanding of SEC rules and regulations, internal controls and financial reporting.  He also currently serves on boards of directors of 16 community and professional organizations and past chairman of the Tennessee Bankers Association.

Steven W. Ledbetter
Southern Heritage Bank

Steve Ledbetter is the President and Chief Financial Officer at Southern Heritage Bank. He began his career as an auditor in 1974 with Arthur Andersen & Co., working in the audit, tax and management consulting divisions. Mr. Ledbetter joined Cleveland Bank & Trust in 1979 as Vice President and Controller, and was promoted to Senior Vice President and Controller in 1987.  In 1993, Mr. Ledbetter accepted the position of Senior Vice President and Division Manager of the Commercial Lending Group at First American National Bank in Cleveland, where he remained until his resignation in August of 1998. 
Mr. Ledbetter is a graduate of Carson Newman College and The Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute of CPAs and a member of the Tennessee Society of CPAs. He is active in the local community through membership in the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce and the United Way, and is a past president of both the Council of United Services and the Cleveland YMCA. He and his wife, Beverly, are members of First Baptist Church.

Judy Long
First Citizens National Bank

Ms. Long serves as President & Chief Operating Officer of First Citizens and First Citizens Bancshares, Inc., the holding company for Southern Heritage Bank.  Ms. Long previously served as Executive Vice President.  Ms. Long previously served as Corporate Secretary of First Citizens from 1997 until September 2011, at which time she was appointed to the board of directors of First Citizens National Bank.  Ms. Long also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of First Citizens and First Citizens National Bank from 1997 to 1999, Senior Vice President and Administrative Officer from 1996 to 1997 and Vice President and Loan Operations Manager from 1992 to 1996.  Ms. Long has been employed by First Citizens since July 1974.  Ms. Long holds a bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in finance from Union University and is a graduate of the Mid-South School of Banking, the School for Bank Administration, BAI Graduate School of Bank Operations and Technology, and Dyersburg/Dyer County Leadership and Weststar Leadership programs.  In addition, she serves on the board of directors for Fidelity National Information Systems Charter Bank Group, the board of directors of NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association and Chairperson of Tennessee Bankers Technology Conference Advisory Committee.  Ms. Long has also served various civic organizations such as Rotary - Past President, American Cancer Society, Leukemia Society of Tennessee, Life Choices, Dyersburg State Community College Annual Fund Campaign and Dyer County Agricultural Committee.

Larry S. McDaniel
Town Squire Men's Wear

Mr. McDaniel graduated in 1971 from Charleston High School, where he was salutatorian of his senior class. He attended Cleveland State Community College for two years and opened the Town Squire Men's Wear in 1977. In 1984, he opened The Town Boutique Ladies Wear. In 1996, he was selected by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce as Small Business Owner of the Year.  In 2006, he and his wife, Linda, purchased The Baby Place and moved it to Stuart Park Plaza on Keith Street.
Mr. McDaniel and his wife, Linda, are active members of Waterville Baptist Church where he teaches Sunday School and has also served as the assistant treasurer of the Bradley Baptist Association. He is a member of the Cleveland Rotary Club where he has served on the board of directors and as sergeant at arms. He is also a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and has served as Vice Chairman for the Retail Division and on the Membership and Development Committee.

Jim Williams
Cherokee Construction Co.

Jim Williams is CEO and owner of B&W Contractors Inc. (d.b.a. Cherokee Construction Company), CEO of Earthworks Unlimited and president of Quality Steel Erectors Inc. He has been involved in the construction industry for over 30 years. He is past president of the Board of Directors of the "Christmas in April" program. He serves on the Foundation Board of Cleveland State Community College and the Industrial Technology Advisory Council.

Mr. Williams is a member of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, United Way Pillars Club and serves on the Advisory Board for American Buildings Company. He and his wife, Diane, attend First Baptist Church.

Jim A. Workman
Bender Realty

Jim Workman has been in the real estate business since 1978 and is currently the owner/broker of Bender Realty, one of the most prominent real estate companies in Cleveland.  Mr. Workman received an Associate of Science in Business from Dyersburg State and attended East Tennessee State University. He has served on several different United Way committees in the past and is presently on the Board of Directors.

He is also a member of the Bradley Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Workman is a past Kiwanian of the Year award recipient, and he received the Robert Varnell Leadership Award from the local Chamber of Commerce in 1997. He is a past Chamber chairman and past president of the Tennessee Real Estate Education Foundation and Cleveland Board of Realtors. He and his wife, Marilyn, are members of Broad Street United Methodist Church.

Bryson M. Kirksey
Burns, Henry and Kirksey, PC

Attorney Bryson Kirksey has been practicing law in and around the Cleveland – Bradley County Community for the past five years,  with an emphasis on tax, estate and business planning.  Mr. Kirksey earned his accounting degree from Carson – Newman College  (Jefferson City) in 2005, and his law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.) in 2008. Mr. Kirksey continued his education receiving his masters of law in taxation in 2009 from Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) and holds a CPA license as well as being an Accredited Estate Planner.

A member and deacon of First Baptist Church, Mr. Kirksey is also involved with the Estate Planning Council of Chattanooga, the Tennessee Bar Association and Tennessee Society of CPAs.  Mr. Kirksey and his wife, Katie, have two children.


Brenda Lawson
Brenda Lawson & Associates LLC

Ms. Lawson is founder of Brenda Lawson & Associates LLC, a management company formed for the oversight of businesses in which she is a majority owner.  As co-founder of two rent-to-own businesses and a deferred presentment business, she has managed the financial and organizational growth of companies serving 17 states with more than 1500 employees and revenues exceeding $100 million. She and her husband, Stan, are principal owner/developers of Spring Creek Development, Cleveland’s first lifestyle neighborhood offering residential, retail and business park properties. Ms. Lawson is owner and chief executive officer of numerous companies across the state including Swing Perfect, Friendly Auto, Solutions Finance and Iron Doors, LLC.

As an avid supporter of The University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Chattanooga, Ms. Lawson is serving as a member of the UT Development Council and Executive Committee of the University of Tennessee Alliance for Women Philanthropists. She has also co-chaired the Capital Campaign for the University of Tennessee. Ms. Lawson serves on the UTC Foundation Board of Trustees and the UTC Advisory Board for the College of Business. Currently, she is chairing a capital funds campaign for Tennessee Christian Preparatory School.    

Mrs. Lawson serves as President of Cleveland 100, an organization that lends financial assistance to families of emergency first responders who lose their lives in the line of duty. She organized and chairs Diaper Love of Bradley County, a program to provide diapers to needy families. She founded Creating Christmas Memories which works with local elementary school officials and provides Christmas gifts for those in need. Mrs. Lawson is a past President of the Bradley/Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, past United Way Campaign Chair and serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club and the United Way of Bradley County. She is also a member of the Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation.

She is a past recipient of the Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award along with the local Junior Achievement Free Enterprise Award. She is past recipient of the Sertoma Service to Mankind Award and a 2004 UTC College of Business Entrepreneurial Honoree and the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2006, she was awarded the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Professional Fund Raisers. In 2010, she was the recipient of the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise Award from the Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce.

She and Stan have three children, Steve McKenzie, Ashley Wallace and Zach Lawson, and one grandson, Tripp.