Past leaders recognized as part of Ohio Bankers Foundation “Wall of Excellence” –
Story and photo by Patricia Beech –
Ernie McFarland of Manchester, former President of Adams County’s First State Bank, was honored Wednesday, Nov. 8 in a ceremony held at the Ohio Bankers League annual event in Columbus. McFarland will appear on the foundation’s “Wall of Excellence” which highlights individuals who have contributed significant leadership to the banking industry.
The award was presented by Mike Pell, current President and CEO of First State Bank, and longtime friend and colleague of McFarland.
“It was an awesome opportunity for me to recognize Ernie on the Wall of Excellence,” Pell says. “He served our local communities for over 40 years – that’s what Ernie’s all about – service, and it was a great opportunity for me to get to recognize him in front of the 500 bankers who were there for the event.”
McFarland, a 90 year-old World War II veteran, says from the time his banking career began he was inspired to improve and grow Adams County’s local communities.
“Mr. M.G. Harover had been president of the Manchester Bank for 50 years when I went to work there in 1966,” says McFarland. “He had very successful career and a very successful bank, and I wanted to uphold the tradition he created because he inspired me to work to make the community a better place.”
In 1969 McFarland’s bank merged with The Winchester Bank Company to become the First State Bank of Adams County. In 1977, he was chosen to serve as the bank’s president.
McFarland brought his ideals of community service to his new position, according to Pell.
“I think it’s important that First State Bank has stayed focused on serving our community with passion for many years – that was the bank’s founding mission and it still is today,” he says. “That’s one of the things Ernie embraced when he was here.”
McFarland’s focus was service. He served his family, his local church, and the customers and employees of First State Bank and the Ohio Banking Industry. His numerous professional affiliations include: serving as Chairman for the Group IV Ohio Bankers Association; the Ohio BankPac Board of Directors; the Conference of State Bank Supervisor, State Rep; the American Banker Association, Contact; a past member of the Ohio Bankers Insurance Fund; and a past member of he Small Bank Advisory Council of Federal Reserve Bank Cleveland.
In 1994, he retired as President and CEO and handed the reins to his son David. He continued to serve on the Board of Directors until 2003.
In 2016, McFarland lost his wife of 67 years, Caryl. He says today he enjoys spending time with his family, including his five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.