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Bank Independent spreading across Huntsville, Madison County

HUNTSVILLE – As business boomed in the Huntsville area, one company for sure wasn’t going to miss the boat. In fact, the Leighton-born and Shoals-based Bank Independent set sail toward the expanding market before many others with locations in the Rocket City, as well as Madison, dating back to the summer of 2014.

Tuesday, Bank Independent held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of its fourth Huntsville location, this one a sales office on South Memorial Parkway, to give the company a total of six in Madison County.

The bank, which opened a loan office in downtown Huntsville a decade ago, now has 33 sites across the region.

“When you’re banking with Bank Independent, you’re partnering with an organization which invests in their team members, their customers, and their community,” CEO Rick Wardlaw told the gathering at the newest site, at the Market at Hays Farm.

Community involvement is a recurring theme for the bank, which dates back to 1947 when farmers put the company’s roots down in Colbert County.

“While other banks have slashed their investments in their communities, we have accelerated ours,” Wardlaw said. “Our level of community engagement is second to none. I want to brag on our nearly 700 team members who dedicate their work life to our who dedicate their work life to our communities.”

Among the bank’s employees and executives who joined the celebration were Executive Vice President and Eastern Region President Tim Singleton.

“It’s absolutely incredible what’s happening in South Huntsville,” he said. “We’re very much happy to put our flag down and be a part of it.”

DeMarco McClain, BI’s Huntsville City president, tipped his hat to Singleton’s leadership in bringing the bank into Madison County.

DeMarco McClain (256 Today)

“Yet another moment in our journey for Madison County, the opportunity to celebrate our South Huntsville grand opening,” McClain said. “In 2007, the bank decided that they wanted to come over into a contiguous market and organically grow in Huntsville. Being that we were operating in Limestone and Morgan counties, it made it easy. 

“But the recent growth of Redstone Arsenal, as well as some of the automotive manufacturing growth, made it a really attractive opportunity. That was 2007. We all know what happened in 2008. We had to pause a bit for a small financial crisis that we went through as a country. But that gave us the opportunity to really scour and find the perfect first employee from Madison County. That was Tim Singleton.”

Singleton and McClain marveled at the nearby growth.

“South Huntsville is a thriving community,” McClain said. “We’ve got great people and a really, really, really great opportunity for development right now.”

Before cutting the ribbon bank President Macke Mauldin, whose grandfather was a founder of the bank, reinforced the company’s commitment to mission. 

“We spend a lot of time intentionally building our culture where we serve our communities, because that’s why we were founded – to serve the community of Leighton,” he said. “And so 77 years later, we’ve gone from $1 million to $2.7 billion and 33 branches. We argue about that all the time, but we have 33 offices throughout North Alabama, and we’re awfully proud to be here in Huntsville and in South Huntsville.

“And we look forward to prosperity for the whole community.”

At the end of the day, it all comes back to Bank Independent’s mantra.

“We’re built to serve,” Singleton said, “not to sell.”

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