Fletcher driven by the opportunity to reinvest in the community


Editor’s Note: This October, we will celebrate our 30th class of 40 Under Forty honorees. Each week in 2022, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia will highlight one of our 2021 40 Under Forty honorees leading up to the announcement of our milestone class this fall.

Wes Fletcher went from management trainee to vice president at First Bank & Trust in seven short years, a feat that First Bank & Trust vice president and loan officer Tenesia Berry chalks up to his energy and enthusiasm.

Fletcher said that energy and enthusiasm is fueled by a deep desire to give back to his community in any way possible.

“That’s one reason I love doing what I do,” Fletcher said. “I get to help reinvest in our community and help business owners achieve their dreams.”

Fletcher has risen so fast because he has consistently asked for more responsibility and more leadership opportunities, and then he has done the work necessary to grow into his new roles. He said the opportunity to intern under current First Bank CEO Mark Nelson between his junior and senior year of college gave him a firm foundation in banking. Since he has been employed at First Bank, his boss Hugh Ferguson has taught him a lot about the relationship side of the business.

In a letter of recommendation Ferguson penned on Fletcher’s behalf, he shared his observations from the past six years of working closely with Fletcher. “Not only has Wes become an exceptional young banker, he is an exceptional young man. He has always gone over and beyond what has been asked of him and has always exceeded his goals.”

Fletcher’s positive impact on our region go well beyond his role at the bank. He has invested in the community in a multitude of ways, most notably as a member of the Johnson City Housing Authority Board, Bristol Public Library Foundation Board, and the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House Golf Committee. Fletcher has also served as First Bank’s captain for the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon, graduated from the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2020 program, helped promote financial literacy through the Tennessee Banker’s Association and served as a “Shoe Guy” for the Ballad Health Foundation Wine, Women and Shoes fundraiser.

As he moves forward, Fletcher said he plans to keep asking for more responsibility and growing into each new opportunity. “I just want to continue to grow and learn,” he said.

With so many of the best and brightest in our region moving to larger metropolitan areas, Ferguson is grateful that Fletcher chose a different path.

“He grew up in Bristol, Va., graduated from ETSU and has stayed in Johnson City,” Ferguson wrote. “Let’s hope we can keep him here, and he can help convince other young people to do the same.”

Next week we will profile Dr. Paige Gilbert-Green of Highlands Family Medicine. If you would like to nominate someone for inclusion in the 2022 class of 40 Under Forty, visit 40under.com and follow the instructions.

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