In 1927, just two years before the Great Depression, D.K. Hollis Sr., a young and ambitious entrepreneur opened Citizens Bank of Hahira. He navigated the bank, which included a branch in Morven, through tough economic times.
With starting assets of $41,244, the bank continued to prosper and Hollis Sr. managed its growth to more than $1.3 million before he passed away in 1960. At the age of 23, his son, D.K. Hollis Jr., embarked on a banking career that has spanned five decades.
Hollis Jr., who earned a business degree from the University of Georgia, had political aspirations before becoming a bank president. He served as Hahira’s youngest mayor at the age of 22, but with his father’s passing he put his political dreams aside to focus on the bank his father had started.
Today, Citizens Community Bank has grown its assets to $135 million, with two branches in Valdosta, a branch in Morven, and headquarters in Hahira.
Citizens Community Bank now has the third generation of Hollis family members as part of its leadership, including David K. Hollis III, director and vice president, and Starling Hollis Waldron, who joined in 2003 as the controller and is now chief financial officer and vice chairman of the board.
“It has been an amazing opportunity to come back to Hahira and work with my father and learn the banking business directly from him,” Waldron said. “I have learned that it is not always about making a profit but about being fair to the customer. I think every employee at our bank feels this way as well.”
Through the years, Hollis Jr. attracted and groomed a talented group of people to help manage the bank.
The bank’s executive management team now includes CEO Glenn Copeland and President Tim Jones.
“There is loyalty among the staff that has translated into a bank that now serves five generations of customers,” said Copeland. “We are proud and honored to continue to provide quality banking products and services to five generations in the Lowndes and Brooks County areas.”
Citizens Community Bank continues to be competitive with technology driven services—ATM machines, Remote Capture, Internet banking, and mobile applications. However, the service is still focused on building relationships.
“You see, in a time where most banks are distancing themselves from the customer through technology, we feel that our high-tech and high touch approach to serving the customer helps to set our bank apart from the competition,” said Jones. “The bank will continue to be competitive with technology driven services, but we feel that our niche is what D.K. Hollis Sr. started in 1927, and it is timeless. We provide excellent customer service at a fair price and always try to exceed the customer’s expectation.”
Copeland is proud of the high level of customer service that defines the bank’s core values.
“When you call Citizens Community Bank, you will not get a voice menu; you will get a staff member that will help you with whatever your needs may be at that moment,” Copeland said. “Loan committee members live here and know the market personally; therefore, decision making is local and response time is fast.”