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 (vice chairman of the board and chairman of the Compensation Committee) and the Farm Credit System Presidents’ Planning Committee (chairman of the Finance Committee and member of the 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., from Fulton, Kentucky, is owner and operator of Hancock Farms. His operations consist of row crops including corn, wheat canola, and soybeans. He serves on the board of River Valley, ACA; the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization; and Kentucky Small Grain Growers, a grain cooperative. Mr. Hancock received a BS in Agriculture from the University of Tennessee-Martin and an MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Tennessee. Mr. Hancock was elected as Chairman of the Board for 2018 and will serve as an ex-officio member of all Board Committees in 2018.  Mr. Hancock became a director in 2013 and his term expires on December 31, 2020.

Ellis W. Taylor, Vice Chairman

AgCarolina Farm Credit, Governance and Compensation Committees

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

James “Jimmy” C. Carter Jr.

AgSouth Farm Credit, Audit Committee

James C. Carter, Jr., from McDonough, Georgia, owns and operates Southern Belle Farm, Inc., a beef cattle and hay farm that includes fruit and vegetable crops and provides agriculturally related educational activities. Mr. Carter also operates a feed business from the farm and provides artificial insemination services and supplies for cattle. Mr. Carter is a director of AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA, and the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization. He serves as chairman of the Henry County Water and Sewage Authority, a provider of water and sewer services and he is a representative on the Ocmulgee River Basin Advisory Council, a water resource management council. Mr. Carter serves as vice president of the Henry County Farm Bureau which focuses on the promotion of agriculture. He is a member of the board for the Henry County Cattleman’s Association, a cattle industry trade association. Mr. Carter has a BS in Agriculture and an MS in Animal Nutrition from the University of Georgia. Mr. Carter will serve on the Board Audit Committee in 2018. Mr. Carter became a director in 2011 and his term expires on December 31, 2018.

Jenny R. Black

FARM CREDIT OF CENTRAL FLORIDA, AUDIT COMMITTEE

Jenny R. Black, from Lakeland, Fla., owns and operates 375 citrus groves in Central Florida and is a member of Peace River Packing Co., a family-owned citrus cooperative. She manages two agricultural operations, Ridge Investments and Black & Myers Properties. She also owns and operates Jenny Black Consulting, an information technology consulting firm. Mrs. Black is a board member of the Polk County Florida 4-H Foundation Board and a director of Farm Credit of Central Florida. She is manager of BHB Holdings and a member of the Polk County Farm Bureau and Florida Citrus Mutual. Mrs. Black received her bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Florida. She is also a Certified Project Manager. She serves on the Audit committee. Mrs. Black became a director in 2018, and her term expires Dec. 31, 2019.

William J. Franklin, Jr

Farm Credit of the Virginias, Risk Policy Committee

William J. Franklin, Jr., from Duffield, Virginia, owns and operates Franklin Farms a beef cattle and hay farm.  Mr. Franklin is also Chief Executive Officer of Scott County Telephone Cooperative.   Mr. Franklin is a director of Farm Credit of the Virginias, ACA.  He also serves as a director on the boards of the following agricultural and telecommunication organizations:  Scott County Cattle Association, IRIS Networks, LIT Networks, National Rural Broadband PAC Board, and Carolina-Virginia Telecommunications Membership Association.  He is also a member of the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board.  Mr. Franklin has a BS in Ag Education from Virginia Tech.  Mr. Franklin will serve on the Risk Policy Committee in 2018.  Mr. Franklin became a director in 2018 and his term expires on December 31, 2021.

Bonnie V. Hancock

Outside Director, Risk Policy Committee

Bonnie V. Hancock, outside director for the Board, is from Wake Forest, North Carolina. Ms. Hancock is Executive Director of the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at North Carolina State University (NCSU), and she teaches courses in financial management, enterprise risk management, and strategy and financial statement analysis. Prior to joining NCSU, Ms. Hancock 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. Ms. Hancock has a Bachelor of Business Administration with an accounting major from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Science in Taxation from Georgetown University. She 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 Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, which monitors servicers’ obligations related to distressed borrowers, where she serves as chair of the audit committee; and the North Carolina Coastal Pines Girl Scout Council, a leadership development organization for girls, where she serves as chair of the audit committee. Ms. Hancock will serve on the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2018. Ms. Hancock became a director in 2010 and her term expires on December 31, 2021.

Dale R. Hershey

MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Audit Committee

Dale R. Hershey, is from Manheim, Pennsylvania, where he is a partner in Hershey Brothers Dairy Farms.   Mr. Hershey has served as senior partner in the ownership and management of the dairy and cropping enterprises since 1980.  He serves on the board of directors of MidAtlantic Farm Credit, ACA,  the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization, and Farm Credit Council Services, a Farm Credit System service provider. He also serves on the AgAdvisory Committee for his local municipal township and is a member of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the National Holstein Association.  Mr. Hershey has a BS in Community Development and an MS in Ag Economics and Rural Sociology from Penn State University. Mr. Hershey will serve on the  Board Audit Committee in 2018. Mr. Hershey became a director in 2008 and his term expires on December 31, 2019.

Walter C. Hopkins

MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Governance (Chair) & Compensation Committees

Walter C. Hopkins, Sr., from Lewes, Delaware, is the owner and operator of Green Acres Farm, a dairy and grain farming operation. He also manages Lyons LLC, a land holding company. He serves on the board of directors of MidAtlantic Farm Credit, ACA, and is chair of both the AgFirst Plan Sponsor Committee and the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Sponsor Committee. Mr. Hopkins has a BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Delaware. Mr. Hopkins will serve as chair of the Board Governance Committee in 2018 and will also serve as a member of the Board Compensation Committee in 2018. Mr. Hopkins became a director in 2013 and his term expires on December 31, 2020.

William K. Jackson

AgChoice Farm Credit, Risk Policy Committee (Chair)

William K. Jackson, from New Salem, Pennsylvania, is a partner in Jackson Farms, a dairy operation with other farming interests, including corn and alfalfa. He is president of Jackson Farms 2, LLC, a small dairy processing facility that produces milk and makes ice cream marketed to area stores and sold via an on-site convenience store. Mr. Jackson 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, a local economic development committee; the Fayette County Fair Board, a local county fair; and the Penn State Fayette, Eberly Campus Advisory Board, which oversees campus community involvement. Mr. Jackson has a BS in Agricultural Business Management from Penn State University. Mr. Jackson will serve as chair of the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2018. Mr. Jackson became a director in 2013 and his term expires on December 31, 2020.

S. Jerry Layman

AG CREDIT Agricultural Credit Association, Risk Policy Committee

S. Jerry Layman, from Kenton, Ohio, assists with Layman Farms LLC, a no-till corn and soybean operation, and Layman Farm Drainage, an agricultural tile installation business. Mr. Layman currently serves as a board member of AgCredit, ACA. He represents AgCredit on the Independent Associations’ Retirement Plan Sponsor Committee and is a member of  the AgFirst Plan Sponsor Committee.. Mr. Layman is a stockholder in the agricultural cooperative Heritage Farm Coop. Mr. Layman has a BS in Agriculture Education from the Ohio State University and a MS of Education Leadership from the University of Dayton. Mr. Layman will serve on the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2018. Mr. Layman became a director in 2015 and his term expires on December 31, 2018.

J. Alvin Lyons

Central Kentucky AgCredit, Audit Committee

J. Alvin Lyons, from Georgetown, Kentucky, is owner operator of Lyons Family Farms, a farming operation of row crops including corn, soybeans, wheat, tobacco, and hay.  His farm also includes a commercial cow calf herd and stockers.  Mr. Lyons also serves as Magistrate of Scott County Fiscal Court.  Mr. Lyons is a director on the Central Kentucky AgCredit, ACA.  He is a director of the Scott County Farm Bureau Board, Scott County Rural Land Management Board, and the Scott County Beef Improvement Association.  Mr. Lyons also serves on the University of Kentucky Ag Leadership Development Steering Committee.  Mr. Lyons has completed the University of Kentucky Ag Leadership Development Program and the University of Kentucky Master Cattleman Program. Mr. Lyons will serve on the Board Audit Committee in 2018.  Mr. Lyons became a director in 2018 and his term expires on December 31, 2021.

S. Alan Marsh

First South Farm Credit, Governance & Compensation Committees

S. Alan Marsh, from Madison, Alabama, is a partner in Marsh Farms, an operation consisting of row crops including cotton, soybeans, wheat and corn. Mr. Marsh is a director of First South Farm Credit, ACA and Limestone County Farmers Federation, an agricultural trade organization, and he is president and stockholder of South Limestone Co-op Gin,  a cotton ginning operation and 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. Mr. Marsh serves on the Board Governance and the Board Compensation Committees in 2018. Mr. Marsh became a director in 2010 and his term expires on December 31, 2021.

Fred R. Moore Jr.

MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Governance & Compensation Committees

Fred R. Moore, Jr., from Eden, Maryland is president of Fred R. Moore & Sons, 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, ACA, Wicomico Soil Conservation District, an environmental and conservation entity and Wicomico County Farm Bureau, an agricultural promotion organization. He currently serves as an active life member of the Allen Volunteer Fire Company. Mr. Moore has a BS in Agriculture Education from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He serves on the Board Governance and the Board Compensation Committees in 2018. Mr. Moore became a director in 2014 and his term expires December 31, 2021.

James M. Norsworthy III.

First South Farm Credit, Risk Policy Committee

James M. Norsworthy, III, from Jackson, Louisiana, runs 100 Cedars Cattle Farm, a cow-calf operation with other farming interests including a commercial hay operation and 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 the board of directors for Centreville Academy, an educational institution, and served as a former mayor of the town of Jackson, Louisiana. Mr. Norsworthy has a BS of Vocational Agriculture Education from Louisiana State University. He serves on the Board Risk Policy Committee in 2018. Mr. Norsworthy became a director in 2008 and his term expires on December 31, 2019.

Katherine A. Pace

Outside Director, Audit Committee

Katherine A. Pace, outside director for the Board, is from Orlando, Florida. Ms. Pace 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 thru Family Business Consulting, effective January 1, 2018 she began serving as Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer of NASCAR Holdings, Inc., a motorsports business. Prior to forming her company, she was a tax partner with KPMG, LLP, 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 BS in Accounting from Furman University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and she is a current and past member and director of numerous trade and charitable organizations. Ms. Pace is the board designated financial expert and serves on the Board Audit Committee. Ms. Pace became a director in 2006 and her term expires on December 31, 2019.

William T. Robinson

AgSouth Farm Credit, Audit Committee (Chair)

William T. Robinson, from St. Matthews, South Carolina, is the owner/operator of Robinson Family Farm which consists of corn, hay, cattle, and timber. Mr. Robinson is currently employed as Executive Director for The SEFA Group, an engineering, construction, and transportation company, and is retired from the department of Treasury and Corporate Financial Planning at Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state owned electric and water utility. He is a member of SC Farm Bureau and serves on the boards for South Carolina Palmetto Agribusiness Council, the Orangeburg Area Cattleman’s Association and the Lexington County Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Robinson obtained a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Clemson University and a Master of Business Administration from Charleston Southern University. He currently serves as chairman (being Chairman ends in Feb 2018) of the board of AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA. Mr. Robinson is Chairman of both the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Sponsor Committee. Mr. Robinson serves as chair of the Board Audit Committee in 2018. He became a director in 2016, and his term expires December 31, 2019.

Michael T. Stone

Cape Fear Farm Credit, Compensation (Chair) & Governance Committees

Michael T. Stone, from Rowland, North Carolina, 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, ACA, a director of Southeastern Health hospital, and a director of Dillon Christian School. He also serves on the Board of the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization.  Mr. Stone has a BS in Agricultural Business Management with a minor in Animal Science and a MS in Agriculture from North Carolina State University. He serves as chair on the Board Compensation Committee and is also a member of the Board Governance Committee in 2018. Mr. Stone became a director in 2015 and his term expires on December 31, 2018.