Leadership

Our mission is to provide to deliver highly competitive funding, products, and services that empower our partners to support rural communities and American agriculture. Our leadership team ensures we adhere to that mission. Meet our Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Executives

Tim Amerson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Amerson received a B.S. degree in business finance from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from Duke University. Prior to joining AgFirst in 1987, Mr. Amerson was employed by the National Bank of South Carolina. He serves on the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Sponsor Committee, AgFirst Plan Sponsor Committee, the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation Board of Directors (chairman of the board and member of the Governance Committee) and the Farm Credit System Presidents Planning Committee (Member of the Executive Council and Business Practices Committee). Mr. Amerson is a member of the AgFirst Executive Committee.

Charl Butler

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Butler earned a B.A. in economics from Wake Forest University and a Master of Accountancy from the University of South Carolina. He completed the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He was employed by The National Bank of South Carolina as CFO prior to joining AgFirst in 2007. Mr. Butler serves on the board of the Farm Credit Captive Insurance Company as chairman, the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Fiduciary Committee as chairman, the Farm Credit System Disclosure Committee and the AgFirst Executive Committee.

Isvara Wilson

Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Ms. Wilson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in economics. She earned her Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law and is admitted to practice in New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and before the Supreme Court of the U.S. Prior to joining AgFirst in 2012, Ms. Wilson worked with Bank of America. She serves on the board of the Farm Credit Captive Insurance Company and on the AgFirst Executive Committee.

Will Brown

Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer

Mr. Brown received a B.A. in monetary economics and finance from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He joined AgFirst in 2017 and previously worked at First Citizens Bank of South Carolina, First Citizens Bank & Trust of North Carolina and Wachovia Bank. Mr. Brown serves on the Senior Management, Management Coordination, Asset/Liability Management, and Disclosure committees. He is chairman of the Loan Committee and Special Asset Management Committee.

Sam Esfahani

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Mr. Esfahani has B.S. degrees in engineering from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland; and an M.S. in business from Central Michigan University. He joined AgFirst in 2017 and previously worked for Danske Bank in Copenhagen, Denmark; and PSCU, a credit union service provider in St. Petersburg, Fla. In addition to the Senior Management and Management Coordination committees, Mr. Esfahani serves on the Information Security and Business Continuity Committee and the Services and Technology Steering Committee for AgFirst.

Stephen Gilbert

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Gilbert received a B.S. in business administration with a major in accounting and a minor in economics from Syracuse University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of South Carolina and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Prior to joining AgFirst in 2007, he was employed by Price Waterhouse LLP, Pirelli Cables and Systems North America, and Hanson Brick and Tile North America. Mr. Gilbert currently serves as chairman of the Disclosure Committee at AgFirst and is a member of the Senior Management, Management Coordination and Asset/Liability Management committees, as well as the Internal Control Over Financial Reporting (ICFR) Steering Committee. Mr. Gilbert is also a committee member of the Accounting Standards Work Group and the ICFR Work Group of the Farm Credit System.

Frances Griggs

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Mrs. Griggs received a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and a juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to joining AgFirst in 2013, she was the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Howden North America. She has previous experience as in-house counsel for insurance companies and as a litigator in private practice. Mrs. Griggs serves on the AgFirst Senior Management and Management Coordination committees. She also serves on the Asset/Liability Management, Disclosure and Executive Credit committees.

Dan LaFreniere

Chief Audit Executive

Mr. LaFreniere has a B.B.A. in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame. Before joining AgFirst in 2013, he worked for SCANA Corp. in Columbia, S.C.; The Coleman Co. Inc. in Lake City, S.C.; Baxter Healthcare Corp. in Deerfield, Ill.; and Deloitte and Touche in Chicago. He is an ex-officio member of the Bank’s Executive Committee.

Board of Directors

Curtis R. Hancock Jr., Chairman

River Valley AgCredit

Curtis R. Hancock, Jr., 72, Chairman of the Board, is from Fulton, Kentucky, and is owner and operator of Hancock Farms.  His operations consist of row crops, including corn, wheat and soybeans.  He serves on the board of the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization; and Kentucky Small Grain Growers.  He is a former member of Hickman County Farm Bureau, the local Southern State Cooperative, the Hickman County FSA and the Farm Credit Council Services, a Farm Credit System service provider.  Mr. Hancock received a BS in Agriculture from the University of Tennessee-Martin and a Master’s of Science in Ag Economics from the University of Tennessee.  As Chairman of the Board, he served as an ex-officio member of all Board Committees in 2018 and 2019. Mr. Hancock became a director in 2013 and his current term expires December 31, 2020. 

Ellis W. Taylor, Vice Chairman

AgCarolina Farm Credit

Ellis W. Taylor, 49, from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, is an owner/operator of a row crop operation, Mush Island Farms, LLC, which consists of cotton, soybeans, wheat, corn and timber.  He also is part owner of Roanoke Cotton Company, LLC, which operates three cotton gins and a warehouse.  Mr. Taylor serves as Board Chairman of AgCarolina Farm Credit, ACA.  He is a director on the boards of Farm Credit Federal Funding Corporation,  and Northampton County Farm Bureau.  Mr. Taylor has a BS in Agronomy, a BS in Ag Business Management and a Master’s of Economics from North Carolina State University.  Mr. Taylor served on the Board Compensation and the Board Governance Committee in 2018. He was elected Vice Chairman of the Board for 2018.   Mr. Taylor became a director in 2012 and his current term expires December 31, 2019.

Jenny R. Black

FARM CREDIT OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

Jenny R. Black, 44, from Lakeland, Florida, owns and operates Jenny Black Consulting, LLC, an information technology consulting company.  Ms. Black also serves as the Manager for the following citrus and agricultural operations: Ridge Investments, LLC, Black & Myers Properties, and BHB Holdings, LLC.  She is a director of Farm Credit of Central Florida, ACA.  She also serves as a director for the Polk County Florida 4-H Foundation Board, a youth agricultural organization, the Volunteers in Service to the Elderly Advisory Board, a non-profit whose mission is to assist the elderly with independent living, and All Saints Academy Independent School, an education organization. Ms. Black holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Florida. Ms. Black served on the Board Audit Committee in 2018 and will serve on the Risk Policy Committee in 2019.  Ms. Black became a director in 2018 and her term expires on December 31, 2019.

Jack W. Bentley Jr.

AgGeorgia Farm Credit

Jack W. Bentley, Jr., 61, from Tignall, Georgia, owns and operates A&J Dairy, a dairy, pasture, crop and timberland operation. Mr. Bentley is a director of AgGeorgia Farm Credit, ACA. Mr. Bentley also serves on the boards of the following agricultural and dairy trade and promotion organizations: The Dairy Alliance, American Dairy Association, Lone Star Milk Producers and the Wilkes County Farm Bureau. He is Board Chairman of USDA Farm Service Agency of Wilkes County.  Mr. Bentley has a BS in Ag Mechanics and Business from Clemson University. Mr. Bentley was also a member of the AgFirst Plan Sponsor Committee in 2018. He will serve on the Audit Committee in 2019.  Mr. Bentley became a director in 2019 and his term expires on December 31, 2022.

William J. Franklin, Jr

Farm Credit of the Virginias

William J. Franklin, 60, from Duffield, Virginia, owns and operates Franklin Farms, a cow/calf operation.  Mr. Franklin also serves as the CEO of Scott County Telephone Coop, a telecommunications company.  He serves on the boards of the Scott County Cattle Association, a trade organization, and the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board, which offers re-employment and training programs.  Mr. Franklin also serves on the following telecommunication boards:  Carolina-Virginia Telephone Membership Association, National Rural Broadband PAC Board, IRIS Networks, Board, LIT Networks Board. Mr. Franklin has a Bachelor of Agricultural Education from Virginia Tech. Mr. Franklin served on the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2018 and 2019.  Mr. Franklin became a director in 2018 and his term expires on December 31, 2021.

Bonnie V. Hancock

Outside Director

Bonnie V. Hancock, 57, is Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at North Carolina State University (NCSU) where she teaches courses in financial management, enterprise risk management, strategy and financial statement analysis.  Prior to joining NCSU, she worked with Progress Energy, as senior vice president of finance and information technology and later as president of Progress Fuels, a subsidiary that produced and marketed gas, coal and synthetic fuels, and operated fuel terminals and ash management facilities.  Ms. Hancock has a Master’s of Science in taxation from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an accounting major from the College of William and Mary.  She lives in Franklinton, North Carolina, and is a member of the boards of Powell Industries, designer and manufacturer of electrical equipment systems for industrial facilities, where she serves on the compensation committee; the National Association of Corporate Directors – Research Triangle Chapter where she chairs the programs committee; and the North Carolina Coastal Pines Girl Scout Council, where she serves as chair.  Ms. Hancock served on the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2018 and will serve as Chair of the Board  Risk Policy Committee in 2019.  Ms. Hancock became a director in 2010 and her current term expires December 31, 2021.

Dale R. Hershey

MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Dale R. Hershey, 71, is from Manheim, Pennsylvania and is a partner in Hershey Brothers Dairy Farms, managing the operations’ real estate and cropping enterprises.  The operations include a dairy operation and grows corn, alfalfa, soybeans, barley, and rye and grass hay. Beginning in 2017, the farming operation is being transitioned to a niece and nephew, and grandnephew. He serves on the board of directors of MidAtlantic Farm Credit, ACA, the National Farm Credit Council, and the Farm Credit Council Services.  He is a member of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Pennsylvania Holstein Association, Lancaster County Blue Ribbon Commission for Agriculture and the Penn Township Agriculture Security Committee.  Mr. Hershey has a BS in Community Development and a Master’s of Science in Ag Economics and Rural Sociology from Penn State University.  In addition, he has taken special courses at Eastern Mennonite University.  He served on the Audit Committee in 2018 and will serve on the Audit Committee in 2019.  Mr. Hershey became a director in 2008 and his current term expires December 31, 2019.

Walter C. Hopkins

MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Walter C. Hopkins,  71, is from Lewes, Delaware, and he along with his son operate a dairy and grain farm, Green Acres Farm.  He is also manager of Lyons LLC, a land holding company.  He serves on the board of directors of MidAtlantic Farm Credit.  He is a member of Delaware Farm Bureau, Land O’ Lakes Cooperative, Genex Cooperative and Delaware Holstein Association.  Mr. Hopkins has a BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Delaware, and has attended several professional development programs.  Mr. Hopkins served as chair of the Board Governance Committee and a member of Compensation Committee in 2018 and 2019.  Mr. Hopkins became a director in 2013 and his current term expires December 31, 2020.

William K. Jackson

AgChoice Farm Credit

William K. Jackson, 63, from New Salem, Pennsylvania, is a partner in Jackson Farms, an 900-acre dairy that grows corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.  He is president of Jackson Farms 2, LLC, a small dairy processing facility that produces milk and makes ice cream which are marketed to area stores and are also sold via an on-site convenience store.  He is also president of Jackson Farms 3, LLC and Jackson Farms Limited Partnership, which are involved in the production of natural gas.  He serves on the boards of AgChoice Farm Credit, ACA; the Fay Penn Economic Development Council; the Fayette County Fair Board; and the Penn State Fayette, Eberly Campus Advisory Board.  Mr. Jackson has a BS in Agricultural Business Management from Penn State University.  Mr. Jackson served as chair of the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2018 and will serve on the Audit Committee in 2019.  Mr. Jackson became a director in 2013 and his current term expires December 31, 2020.

J. Alvin Lyons

Central Kentucky AgCredit

Alvin Lyons, 61, from Georgetown, Kentucky, is the owner and operator of Lyons Family Farm, a tobacco, grain, hay, and beef cattle operation.  Mr. Lyons also serves as a Magistrate and budget committee member for the Scott County Fiscal Court, the legislative body for the county government.  He serves as a board member for Central Kentucky Agricultural Credit Association.  Mr. Lyons also serves as a board member for Scott County Farm Bureau, an agricultural promotion organization, the Scott County Rural Land Management Board, which focuses on land preservation, and the Scott County Beef Improvement Association, which provides beef promotion and education.  Mr. Lyons has completed the University of Kentucky Ag Leadership Development Program, Director Development programs, and the University of Kentucky Master Cattleman Program.  Mr. Lyons served on the Board Audit Committee in 2018 and 2019.  Mr. Lyons became a director in 2018, and his term will expire on December 31, 2021.

S. Alan Marsh

First South Farm Credit

S. Alan Marsh, 64, is a third-generation farmer, and partner in Marsh Farms in Madison, Alabama. His operation consists of row crops, including cotton, soybeans, wheat and corn.  Mr. Marsh is a director of First South Farm Credit, ACA where he currently serves as Chairman of the Sub-Chapter T Committee and the Governance Committee.  Mr. Marsh is a director of Limestone County Farmers Federation, and is president and stockholder of South Limestone Co-op Gin, an Association borrower.  He is also an advisory board member for Staplecotn, a cotton cooperative association. Mr. Marsh received a Business Management Certification from Stratford Career Institute and has attended numerous special courses/clinics/workshops/seminars on director training, marketing, scouting, irrigation, pesticides and farm safety.  Mr. Marsh served on the Board Governance and the Board Compensation Committees in 2018 and 2019.  Mr. Marsh became a director in 2010 and his current term expires December 31, 2021. 

Fred R. Moore Jr.

MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Fred R. Moore, Jr., 66, is from Eden, Maryland.  He is president of Fred R. Moore & Son, Inc. d/b/a Collins Wharf Sod, a turf and grain operation which grows sod (turf), corn, soybeans and wheat.  He is also partner of F&E Properties, LLC, a rental business.  He currently serves on the boards of MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Wicomico Soil Conservation District and Wicomico County Farm Bureau.  In addition, he is a member of the FFA Alumni Association and currently serves as an active life member of the Allen Volunteer Fire Company.  Mr. Moore has a BS from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  Mr. Moore served on the Board Governance and the Board Compensation Committees in 2018.  He became a director in 2014, and his term expires December 31, 2021.

James M. Norsworthy III.

First South Farm Credit

James M. Norsworthy, III, 68, from Jackson, Louisiana runs 100 Cedars Cattle Farm, a cow-calf operation with other farming interests including a commercial hay operation with a pine and hardwood timber operation. He is a member of the board of directors of First South Farm Credit, ACA.  He is a member of Feliciana Farm Bureau, East Feliciana Cattlemen’s Association, American Angus Association and the Feliciana Forestry Association. Mr. Norsworthy is a member of the Centreville Academy Board of Directors and served as a former mayor of the town of Jackson, Louisiana.  Mr. Norsworthy has a BS of Vo Ag Education from Louisiana State University.  Mr. Norsworthy served on the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2018 and 2019.  Mr. Norsworthy became a director in 2008 and his current term expires December 31, 2019.

Katherine A. Pace

Outside Director

Katherine A. Pace, 57, from Orlando, Florida, is a certified public accountant and principal of Family Business Consulting, LLC, which provides financial and strategic planning for closely held businesses.  In addition to her work through Family Business Consulting, she is the Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer of NASCAR Holdings, Inc., a privately-owned sports entertainment business. Effective January 1, 2019, Ms. Pace will also serve as CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board for Trivergent Trust Company, LLC, a trust company.  Prior to forming her company, she was a tax partner with KPMG, LLP, an audit, tax and advisory service firm, from 1985-2005.  While at KPMG, her practice included a variety of cooperative and agribusiness clients as well as participation in trade associations such as the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives.  Ms. Pace obtained her B.S. degree in accounting from Furman University.    She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and current and past member and director of numerous trade and charitable organizations.  Ms. Pace is the board designated financial expert and serves as a member of the Board Audit Committee.  Ms. Pace became a director in 2006 and her current term expires December 31, 2019.

Thomas E. Porter Jr.

Carolina Farm Credit

Thomas E. Porter, Jr., 65, is from Concord, North Carolina, where he is president of Porter Farms Inc. The operation consists of swine, poultry, and a cow/calf operation. He also manages and agritourism business on his farm.  He currently serves on the Carolina Farm Credit board of directors, the Cabarrus County Ag advisory board, President of Cabarrus County Farm Bureau, Chairman of Cabarrus County Extension advisory board, and a member of the Union Power Cooperative Board. He is also a member of the NC Poultry Federation and serves on the Commissioners Circle for the NC Commissioner of Agriculture.  Mr. Porter has 2 yrs of college. Mr. Porter will serve on the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2019.  He became a director in 2019, and his term expires December 31, 2022.

William T. Robinson

AgSouth Farm Credit

William T. Robinson, 51, is from St. Matthews, South Carolina, where he is the owner operator of Robinson Family Farm which consists of hay, corn, cattle, and timber.  Mr. Robinson is currently employed as the Executive Director for The SEFA Group, an engineering, construction, and transportation company.  He retired from Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state owned electric and water utility, in the department of Treasury and Corporate Financial Planning.  He is a member of the Orangeburg Area Cattleman’s Association, South Carolina Farm Bureau, and serves on the Board for South Carolina Palmetto AgriBusiness Council and Tri-County Electric Cooperative.   Mr. Robinson obtained engineering degrees from Clemson University and a MBA from Charleston Southern University.  He currently serves on the Board of AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA and serves on the Executive and Compensation committee and the Audit committe.  Mr. Robinson serves as Chairman of the AgFirst Benefits Plan Sponsor Committee and the AgFirst/FCBT Benefits Plan Sponsor Committee.  Mr. Robinson has served as chair of the Board Audit Committee in 2017-2019.  He became a director in 2016 and his term expires December 31, 2019.

Michael T. Stone

Cape Fear Farm Credit

Michael T. “Bo” Stone, 47, owns and operates P & S Farms, Inc. and Bo Stone Farms, LLC. The row crop units produce corn, wheat, and soybeans and the operations include a swine finishing unit under contract with Murphy Brown, a cow/calf herd, timber management and small produce for a roadside stand.   Mr. Stone is a director of Cape Fear Farm Credit and serves on the board of the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization.  Mr. Stone serves on the AgFirst Benefits Plan Sponsor Committee and the AgFirst/FCBT Benefits Plan Sponsor Committee.  He is a director of Southeastern Health hospital, and a director of Dillon Christian School.  He is member of North Carolina Farm Bureau.  Mr. Stone has a BS in Ag Business Management with a minor in Animal Science and a MS in Agriculture from NC State University.  Mr. Stone served as chair of the Board Compensation Committee and a member of the Board Governance Committee in 2018 and 2019.  He became a director in 2015 and his current term expires in 2022.