Citizens Bank exceeds $1 billion in total assets; CEO Phil Baldwin shares plans to retire in 2021

Featured image: Adam Mitchell (left) and Phil Baldwin

Citizens Bank, headquartered in Batesville, announced Friday that it has exceeded $1 billion in total assets, making Citizens Bank one of the few banks in Arkansas to achieve this level of scope and scale.

Celebrating at an event with bank employees, customers, and the board of directors, CEO Phil Baldwin also announced plans to retire in 2021, stating his belief in “the next generation of outstanding bank leadership in place at Citizens Bank.”

“Exceeding $1 billion in total assets is a major milestone and a testament to the confidence our customers have in the people of Citizens Bank,’” Baldwin said. “Board Chairman Jeff Teague set this as a primary goal when he asked me to join Citizens Bank, and I am proud we have achieved this goal together. To us, it’s not just about reaching a billion dollars in size, it’s about fulfilling the bank’s mission statement, which is ‘People First.’

“When we put People First, we move beyond ordinary banking into a place where we change lives, where the bank adapts, grows and reaches deeper levels of impact with students, young families, small businesses, senior citizens and everyone in between. Our bottom line has and always will be how best to build communities and improve lives.”

Under Baldwin’s leadership since 2014, Citizens Bank has more than doubled total assets and net income, and received numerous awards and recognitions for financial innovation and community initiatives.

Most recently, Citizens Bank competed with hundreds of other banks nationwide to earn the American Bankers Association’s coveted Community and Economic Development Award for its part in the Impact Independence County Strategic Community Plan – a multi-faceted strategic initiative that brought together county residents and area leaders to identify ways to reinvigorate the local economy and improve the overall quality of life.

“Phil has been instrumental in helping grow Citizens Bank into a state-wide banking organization,” said Jeff Teague, Citizens Bank Board Chairman. “Thanks to his leadership, Citizens has grown to become one of Arkansas’s most trusted community banks. He is a true leader and pillar of the community and is leaving us with big shoes to fill. We’re thankful we have another year with him as we transition to the next generation of leaders committed to putting People First.”

Baldwin has served numerous organizations on a local, state, national and international level. Most notably, he has been recognized by Bloomberg-Business Week magazine as one of America’s top five social entrepreneurs and by the Council of Foundations, which presented him with its highest national honor, the Critical Impact Award for outstanding development programs and initiatives.

Baldwin currently serves as board chair of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce; is a past board chair of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation; and past national board chair of United Way of America, where he established United Ways national philanthropic strategies and policies focused on income, education, and health. He is a founding board member of United Way Worldwide and served on this board for 12 years as United Way extended its reach into 47 countries across the world.

“When I first came to Citizens Bank, I came with a goal of exceeding the $1 billion in total assets milestone,” Baldwin said. “Now, six years later, I’m excited to celebrate this accomplishment with our employees and board of directors. I am also very proud of the People First mission statement. I believe Citizens Bank is uniquely positioned for future success.

“With that in mind, DeeDee [DeeDee Baldwin, wife of Phil Baldwin] and I believe it is a good time to begin the next chapter of our lives, which will involve fulfilling a long-time dream of operating a nonprofit rescue horse program called Whispering Oaks Rescue Horse Ranch in West Fork, just south of Fayetteville. I am proud of the fact that I am leaving the bank in great hands with Adam Mitchell, who has 20 years of banking experience and is committed to our people-first mission.”

Baldwin will retire as Chief Executive Officer on June 30, 2021, but will remain as a member of the Board of Directors.

Citizens Bank President and Chief Lending Officer Adam Mitchell has been named as his successor. Mitchell has been working alongside Baldwin since 2018. With nearly 20 years of experience in the banking industry, Mitchell came to Citizens from Simmons Bank where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer, responsible for overseeing branch performance, staffing, and service and sales delivery for more than 190 locations across seven states. He was also responsible for the treasury management sales team throughout the Simmons Bank System.

Like Baldwin, Mitchell has dedicated a significant portion of his career to giving back to the community. He is an advisory board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and, together with his wife, Kristie, was honored with its Living & Giving Award in 2017 and served as co-chair of the Central Arkansas Heart Ball in 2014.

Mitchell currently serves as a board member for USAble Life Corporation, Baptist Health Foundation, and Arkansas Health Group. He has also held various roles with Hendrix College, the Arkansas Bankers Association and Junior Achievement of Arkansas.

White River Now News Team

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