Steve C. Henna, by unanimous vote of the board of directors, has been elected President / CEO of The FNB Community Bank (FNB) effective July 15, 2023. Henna, a Vandalia native and longtime FNB employee said, "While this is not a position I ever sought, I am honored to be selected by the board of directors to fulfill this role. Being promoted to President / CEO allows me to have greater impact in the communities we serve, as well as in this institution filled with extraordinarily talented individuals who care deeply about serving our customers. Together we will keep moving forward."
Henna began his career at FNB in 1998 as a loan officer specializing in agriculture and commercial lending. During the next 25 years, he was promoted to senior lender, chief lending officer, senior vice president and was also elected to the boards of directors in 2015.
Upon graduation from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (SIU-C), Henna began his agriculture lending career as an Ag Program Specialist for the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) in Benton and Taylorville prior to moving to Farm Credit Services (FCS) as an ag loan officer in Newton and St. Louis where he was dealing with special credit. "During the 1980s - the farm crisis - I saw close-up, through my positions at FmHA and FCS, the emotional impact the loss of a family farm had on customers. I was in charge of liquidating assets, and I told my boss I didn’t think I was cut out for that particular job because it was just too heartbreaking to witness the devastation. He told me that he thought I was absolutely right for the job because the person who cares the most will treat the people the best. This is a memorable conversation, and I continue to carry the lessons learned during that era. I have worked to understand the situations and, more importantly, the people involved—whether in lending or other aspects of life."
A 1980 graduate of Vandalia Community High School, Henna credits an experience in FFA that helped him capture a vision for his future. As a junior, he was honored with the Star Chapter Farmer Award, a distinction for which he did not even know he was being considered. "In that moment, when my ag teacher, Darrell Fesser, presented me with the award, I realized that this is what I want to do...be involved with agriculture in some way."
In addition to graduating from SIU-C with a bachelor's degree in ag business, Henna completed additional educational programs including the Midwest School of Community Bankers in Bloomington, IL and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, WI.
After his positions with the FHA and FCS, Henna returned to Fayette County as an ag loan officer working for two years for the First National Bank of Ramsey. His next move was to First Bank where he worked for nine years in lending under Ernie Chappel, then president of First Bank.
When his colleague and mentor, Chappel, left First Bank and became president of FNB, years later he asked Henna to join him. "Ernie and I had a close relationship and would often go to lunch together during which our conversations gave me insights to his thought process of how to get things accomplished. While I have never strived to be just like Ernie, I was influenced by how he worked with both customers and employees. He wanted people to think for themselves and then he worked to involve those individuals at a higher level, sincerely utilizing their talents. As President / CEO, I plan to do likewise."
When asked to expound on his own leadership style, Henna used the words inclusive, empowering and strategic. He said, "The more input you get on a topic or situation, the better. I want to hear what others think…hear their ideas. I want the employees and the Board of Directors to take the time to plan strategically, and I want it to be ongoing, not a once-a-year event. No doubt, there will be some missteps along the way, but that helps us know what works and what doesn’t work." Henna views being an active listener as imperative to successful leadership.
In addition to his involvement as a youth with FFA, Henna has honed his own leadership effectiveness through service to numerous community organizations and boards. Throughout the years, he has served as president of the Family Y of Fayette County, the Vandalia Lions Club and the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as treasurer of the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District Board, the Vandalia Main Street Board, and he has also served on the Economic Development Commission. He is a life member of the National FFA Alumni Association and a member of Emmanual United Methodist Church.
Henna pledges to continue and increase the bank's community involvement, a longstanding tradition for FNB. "I want our bank and our employees to have the chance to give back to our communities and we will be looking for ways to make a significant impact."
"Here at the bank, we have often referred to ourselves as 'the FNB family' ...people who enjoy working together. It is an atmosphere I plan to champion...committed to the bank continuing in the right direction as a premier place to work in the county, in the region. We already have an exceptional staff and want others to join us as we offer opportunities to create and establish meaningful careers as part of ‘the FNB family.'"
While Henna spent several years away from Fayette County pursuing his education and launching his career, he returned to Vandalia, his hometown, to stay. Family is very important to him. Henna shared, "I'm happy to make my home here with my wife, Mia. We’ve been married for 35 years and are happy that our children and their families live relatively nearby." They have 2 adult children and three grandchildren. Their daughter, Stephanie, and her husband, Mitch Ashbaugh, live in Clarksville, TN. Their son, Nathan, and his fiancée Sydney, live in Vandalia, IL. His parents, Dale and Kay Henna, live on the family farm near Brownstown, IL.
FNB Board of Directors Chairman, Todd Shulman, said "Steve is the natural successor to lead The FNB Community Bank. He is the right person at the right time to carry this organization forward. He has been an employee of the bank for nearly 25 years, a part of the management team since 2008, a Senior Vice President and Director for eight years. His focus on customers, the community, and our employees is exceptional. Steve has been instrumental in the bank’s performance. The members of the Board of Directors are confident Steve can guide The FNB Community Bank into the future."