Merchants and Planters promotes three during growth and expansion, release notes


Merchants and Planters Bank in Newport is announcing the promotion of three staff members. The promotions are being made in recognition of the company’s “growth and expansion,” notes a press release from the bank.

Josh-Brandt.pngJosh Brandt

Josh Brandt has been promoted to assistant vice president-trust operations.  Brandt is a graduate of Newport High School and has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. He has been with Merchants and Planters Bank since August 2011, when he began working as a teller. He later obtained experience in the bank’s operations department before finding his calling in the trust department in 2013, the release notes.  

“Coming to work for M and P has turned out to be an excellent decision and has given me a new extended family,” Brandt says in the release. “The best part of my job is being able to work under management and directors who genuinely care for their community.” 

Brandt and his wife, Misty, reside in Newport with their two sons, Caleb and Dillon. In his spare time, Brandt enjoys playing baseball with his boys and bass fishing.

Elizabeth Canard.jpgElizabeth Canard

Elizabeth Canard has been promoted to assistant vice president – loan officer. Canard began her career with Merchants and Planters Bank in February 2010 as a loan assistant and has since been an instrumental part of the lending team.  She is a 2016 graduate of the Barret School of Banking and is currently pursuing a degree in business finance at Arkansas State University. Canard has been a proud Jackson County resident since 2010.  

“Family brought me to Jackson County, but little did I know that my M and P family would keep me here,” Canard says. “The relationships I have built with my M and P team and our customers have been some of the most fulfilling of my life.”

Canard and her husband Derek live in Campbell Station with their three children.  In her spare time, she enjoys boating with her family at the lake and watching her son play baseball for the Tuckerman Bulldogs.

Jill-Coles.jpgJill Coles

Jill Coles has been promoted to internal auditor of Merchants and Planters. With more than a decade of banking experience, which includes four years in regulatory compliance, Coles is a natural fit for the position, the bank notes in the release.  She graduated from Cord-Charlotte High School in 2005, obtained her associate’s degree from the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville in 2007, and went on to earn her bachelor of science in Spanish education in 2009 from Arkansas State University. When Coles isn’t working at Merchants and Planters, she’s at home with her husband with their two young daughters.

“I’m proud to recognize the accomplishments and professional potential of Josh, Elizabeth, and Jill,” says Jim S. Gowen, Jr., president and CEO of Merchants and Planters. “They represent our organization with integrity and are invested in the success of our bank and our community.  I’m excited to promote from within because it opens the door for others to excel and allows us to add new members to our M and P family.”

M&P Community Bancshares, Inc. currently has assets exceeding $250 million and is the holding company for Merchants and Planters Bank and M & P Insurance and Investment Services in Newport. Merchants and Planters Bank has offices serving the communities of Batesville, Southside, Newark, Newport, Tuckerman, Swifton, Searcy, McCrory, and Des Arc.  

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