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Escanaba, MI, June 1st, 2017 – The directors of First Bancshares Corporation (First Bancshares), the parent company of First Bank Upper Michigan (First Bank) and Northern Michigan Bank and Trust (NMB&T) announce today that an application has been filed with the appropriate regulatory agencies. NMB&T will merge into First Bank Upper Michigan. The Directors have chosen First Bank Upper Michigan as the name for all 10 locations throughout the central Upper Peninsula. 

 In November 2015, First Bancshares Corporation announced the acquisition of NMB&T.  Following regulatory approval the actual ownership change was consummated on March 2nd, 2016.  Since then the acquisition has proven to fit with First Bancshares’ strategic focus.  The banks have worked together in many ways over the past 16 months and this merger will only further enhance the synergies.

Once the merger is completed, under one bank charter, First Bank will have over 115 associates with 10 branches located in Delta, Marquette, and Dickinson Counties. The banks will see additional economic benefits by reducing the duplication of resources toward compliance, auditing, regulatory examinations and other outside consultants needed to comply within our current regulatory environment.  

“This is the next logical step in our desire to remain a strong community bank enhancing our ability to improve client services and provide more opportunity to our professional staff of caring associates,”  said Jeanine Dagenais, President and Chairperson of First Bancshares. 

Currently, both banks use the same core processing system which will help to simplify the system integration process.  Our third party IT provider will be assisting the banks to ensure an accurate and proficient integration.

“We plan on continuing to improve our products and provide our clients with the best banking solutions available while still maintaining our local bank feeling.  We will still have the same smiling faces our clients have grown to know and rely upon,” noted Todd Maki, President & CEO of First Bank.

The merger is tentatively planned for the fourth quarter of 2017

About First Bancshares Corporation

First Bancshares is a private holding company that was formed when it acquired First Bank Upper Michigan in 1988 and continued to grow with Northern Michigan Bank and Trust in March of 2016.  First Bank provides a full range of consumer and commercial banking as well as investment management services at its locations in Escanaba, Gladstone, Garden, Marquette, Ishpeming, Iron Mountain, Kingsford and Bark River.  First Bank was originally formed from the purchase of First National Bank of Gladstone MI in 1988. First National Bank of Gladstone was formed in 1916, and is currently celebrating over 100 years in serving our local communities.  Sound management and exceptional client services are the foundations upon which First Bank was founded and are common threads that have been woven through time to carry the bank forward.  For more information about First Bank, go to www.first-bank.com.

Community Banks help fill the Food Banks

Escanaba, MI November 3, 2016 - A month-long challenge to see which organization’s employees were able to best fill the truck beds with food items came to a close on Halloween.   Northern Michigan Bank and First Bank, sister banks of First Bancshares Corporation, concluded it was a tie and divided the bounty amongst the Salvation Army, and St. Vincent’s of both Gladstone and Escanaba.  Representing the organizations with the truck loads of groceries are Dennis Wiltzius of First Bank along with Jared Ogren and Jay Owens of Northern Michigan Bank.  President & CEOs Todd Maki, First Bank, and Randall Peterson, Northern Michigan Bank, are proud to acknowledge the generosity of the banks’ employees.    

First Bank Announces Promotions

Escanaba, MI; March 8, 2016 – The directors of First Bank, Upper Michigan are pleased to announce the recent promotions of two members of their executive team. 

Todd Maki has been promoted to President and CEO of First Bank.  Maki brings extensive knowledge to the role gained from his 29 years of banking experience.  He has been with First Bank since 1998, most recently in the position of Senior Vice President.  Prior to First Bank, Maki served the communities of Ishpeming and Escanaba at Michigan Financial Corporation in the areas of lending and management.  He is a graduate of Northern Michigan University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and is also a graduate of Northern Michigan School of Banking as well as the Michigan Bankers Association Commercial Lending School.  Maki is a member of the Escanaba Rotary Club and enjoys outdoor activities and coaching youth sports in his free time. He resides in Gladstone with his wife, Lisa, and three children.

Mark Lektzian was promoted to Executive Vice President and Senior Lender of First Bank.  Lektzian joined First Bank in 2003 as Senior Vice President and has a combined 32 years of experience in the areas of lending, management, and operations.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a minor in Finance from Siena Heights University as well as an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Finlandia University.  Lektzian serves on the OSF Community Advisory Board and is a member of the Escanaba Elks Club.  He lives in Gladstone with his wife, Tracy, and their two daughters.

First Bancshares Acquires Northern Michigan Bank & Trust

Escanaba, MI, March 8, 2016 - The directors of Northern Michigan Bank & Trust announced today that First Bancshares Corporation (First Bancshares) has completed a stock purchase to acquire ownership interest in Northern Michigan Bank & Trust (NMB&T).  NMB&T will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of First Bancshares and will retain its name.  Northern Michigan Bank & Trust operates seven locations in the Upper Peninsula and has served businesses and residents since 1892.

The directors have also announced the appointment of Randall Peterson as President and CEO of NMB&T effective March 7, 2016.  Peterson brings with him an abundance of knowledge and experience from his 43 years of management in the banking industry.  Most recently, Peterson served First Bank of Upper Michigan as CEO and President since 2012.  Prior to joining First Bank, Peterson was the Regional Chairman of Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Upper Peninsula for Citizens Bank from 2003-2009, and the President and CEO of Associated Bank from 1982-2002.  A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Peterson also earned his M.B.A. in Finance from University of Michigan.  He is a Vietnam veteran and served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1967-1971.

“I look forward to working with the outstanding management team and staff of Northern Michigan Bank & Trust,” remarked Peterson.  “We will continue to provide excellent service to the community while meeting their financial needs.”

Jeanine Dagenais, President and Board of Director Chairperson for First Bancshares also commented, “Northern Michigan Bank & Trust and First Bancshares share similar values and a long history of strong support in the community.  We are excited about this opportunity to work with the outstanding team of associates at Northern Michigan Bank & Trust to continue that tradition while expanding the business beyond Delta County.”

About First Bancshares Corporation

First Bancshares is a private holding company that was formed when it acquired First Bank Upper Michigan in 1988.  First Bank provides a full range of consumer and commercial banking as well as trust and investment management services at its locations in Escanaba, Gladstone, and Garden.  Originally established as First National Bank in Gladstone in 1916, First Bank will celebrate 100 years in banking this year.  Sound management and exceptional guest service are the foundations upon which First Bank was founded and are common threads that have been woven through time to carry the bank forward.  For more information about First Bank, go to www.first-bank.com.   As of December 31, 2015 First Bank had total assets of $179 million.

About Northern Michigan Bank & Trust

Northern Michigan Bank & Trust also has deep roots in the community.  It was established in 1892, originally as Bank of Escanaba.  Today, the bank maintains branch locations in Escanaba, Marquette, Ishpeming, Kingsford, Bark River, Gladstone, and Iron Mountain where it provides full-service banking including deposit, lending, and trust services.  For more information about Northern Michigan Bank & Trust, go to www.nmbank.com. As of December 31, 2015 NMB&T had total assets of $243 million.

In connection with the acquisition, Northern Michigan Corp. was advised by the investment banking firm of Donnelly Penman & Partners and the law firm of Howard & Howard.  First Bancshares was advised by the financial advisory firm of Wipfli, LLP and the law firm of Boardman & Clark.  

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