Prime Meridian Bank Celebrates Grand Opening With Ribbon Cutting
by James Coulter
Many banks claim to be community banks. Prime Meridian Bank and its employees pride themselves with being true members of the community.
Prime Meridian Bank offers efficient banking and financial services, including quick turnaround times on loans; but their bank is more than simply a financial institution. With their focus on hospitable and quality customer service, it’s a true-blue community institution.
“Prime Meridian Bank is redefining community banking with unwavering focus on financial stewardship and a deep understanding of client needs,” their website states. “We take an approach to banking that emphasizes technology and innovation. We focus on personal attention, hospitality, and client service.”
Most, if not all, of their employees have experience within the community outside of handling bank accounts of local residents. Many of their employees are involved with local and community boards and organizations, helping to give back in more ways than one on the ground level.
Michael Michallef, Jr., Polk County Market President, has been on the board for many local organizations such as Baycare Hospital. He has been on the board of directors of Peace River for ten years, and on the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce for 12 years. Because of their involvement within the local community, he and his staff remain familiar with the people and businesses there.
“[We have] knowledge of the community and the businesses and people without them having to explain [for] an hour what they do and what their businesses are,” he said. “We know them. We are familiar with them.”
Michallef originally started in Lakeland with Community Southern Bank in 2007. He had been involved with the CEO, Sammie D. Dixon, Jr, since 1999, and had been invited to Lakeland to help run the bank there.
Recently, after Center State Bank closed their old location, the old building became available. As such, the location seemed like the most opportune for Prime Meridian Bank to expand their services. So they purchased it, made the renovations, and have since moved in, Michaellef said.
“Quite honestly, it was an easy sell,” he said. “This great town has so many benefits for Prime Meridian Bank to expand to Polk County and open an office here. Even more so to be back in our old digs with many of our previous employees. We are back to make the same impact as previously, and we are here to stay long term.”
The bank celebrated the opening of their new location on Thursday morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Bill Mutz, as usual, was there to cut the ribbon with the ceremonial scissor. He praised the bank for renovating the old building and using it to offer their new business.
“It is wonderful for the city to see this building reconstructed by this team, and it is a great team, and it has served wonderfully before, and it is going to be even better now,” he said. “So we are excited to see this investment here in Lakeland, Prime Meridian will be a great partner we know.”
Weymon Snuggs, a board member for the Lakeland Chamber, mentioned how the new banks served as an investment in the community, and even praised them for providing healthy competition with other local banks.
“Thank you for being here and investing here in Lakeland,” he said. “I have known Michael for many years, he has been an excellent banker in town. So I say this will all the love and affection being a competitor. I wish all of you tremendous success. It is wonderful to have you all in town.”
Prime Meridian Bank is located at: 3340 Florida Ave S, Lakeland, FL 33803. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.primemeridianbank.com/