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Board of Directors

pictured left to right, starting in back row: frank king, bryan stott, and carroll shelton (all retired 5/2024), judson dalton, robert hurt, robert finch, james watts, elton blackstock, vivian brown, donald merricks, james burton, todd hall, michael watson, and connie burnette.

Not Pictured: Dr. robert l. johnson, ii, & Ramsey w. yeatts (joined board 5/2024). photo taken in 2023


James e. burton, iv

Chairman of the Board

Mr. Burton, retired, was the Business Development Manager for Slurry Pavers, Inc. from 2020 to the end of 2022. He has also served as the sole member of Pavement Consulting Services, LLC, a pavement consulting company since April 2019. From 2015 until 2019, Mr. Burton served as Vice President of the Asphalt Contracting Division for Boxley Materials Company (“Boxley”), which specializes in highway construction and asphalt paving. He was employed by Boxley’s predecessor company, Templeton Paving, LLC, from 1984 to 2015 and prior to that served as General Manager for Amlite Corporation. Mr. Burton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute. He has previously served as president and a director of the Old Dominion Highway Contractors Association and as a member of the board of trustees of Westminster Canterbury in Lynchburg, Virginia. Mr. Burton brings to our Board leadership and consensus-building skills, experience in executive management, insights into corporate finance and risk management, and extensive knowledge of the communities served by our Company.


Donald W. Merricks 

Vice-Chairman of the Board

Mr. Merricks retired from the Bank in February of 2021 after serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Integration Officer. He is the prior Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Virginia Bank Bankshares, Inc. and Virginia Bank and Trust Company (Virginia Bank), having served on the Boards for 14 years and as Chief Executive Officer for nearly 3 years. Prior to joining Virginia Bank, Mr. Merricks owned and operated J. W. Squire Company, Inc., a Danville, VA based building specialties company, for 20 years. He was Executive Vice President for First Virginia Bank-Piedmont, where he was employed for approximately 25 years in various roles within operations, accounting, and commercial lending. Mr. Merricks is also a former member of the Virginia General Assembly, having served in the House of Delegates for 6 years, retiring in 2014. Mr. Merricks currently serves as Chair of the Board of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, VA. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from Averett University. His involvement in the community and his diversified business background and experience provide our Board with valuable insight regarding markets served by our Company and its overall banking operation.

Elton W. Blackstock, jr.

Mr. Blackstock, who is a Pittsylvania County native, retired as Administrator of the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority in 2012, where he was employed for 15 years. He has over 30 years’ experience with the military, law enforcement, and corrections, which includes the United States Navy, Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Department and Virginia Department of Corrections. Mr. Blackstock previously served on the Western Region Jail Association Board; the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors as the Staunton River District Representative and as its Finance Committee Chairman; the Pittsylvania County School Board; the Pittsylvania County and Danville Regional Industrial Facility Authority Board; and as chairman of the Staunton River Regional Industrial Authority Board and the Pittsylvania County Service Authority Board. Mr. Blackstock received his Associate degree from Danville Community College. Through his professional background and public service, Mr. Blackstock has acquired skills in budget development, personnel and operational policies, issue resolution, and preparation of legal defense matters, all of which are of value to our Board.

Vivian S. Brown

Ms. Brown retired from Pinnacle and First National Bank in May 2023. She served as Vice President of the Company and Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer of the Bank, where she had been employed since 2005 in various roles in branch and retail management. Ms. Brown currently serves as Vice President of the Central Virginia Community College Foundation board and is a past Chair of the Central Virginia Community College board. She has also served on the boards of the Greater Lynchburg Boys and Girls Club and the Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity. Ms. Brown earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Averett University and is a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management. Ms. Brown brings 35 years of banking experience to our Board.

Connie C. Burnette

Ms. Burnette is Vice President and Manager of Human Resources for Wiley/Wilson, an architectural and engineering firm, where she has been employed since 2007. Prior to Wiley/Wilson, she worked as the Human Resources Director for Consolidated Shoe Company, Inc. Other work experience includes Accounting Manager for Consolidated Shoe and Assistant Controller for Courtland Manufacturing Company. Ms. Burnette has her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP) certifications. Additionally, she is an active member of the National Employee Stock Ownership Plan Association where she has served on the Executive Committee of the State and Regional Chapter Council and is currently Vice President of Programming of the Mid-Atlantic/Carolinas Chapter. Ms. Burnette graduated from Rustburg High School and attended Central Virginia Community College. She provides valuable input to our Board regarding the oversight of employee compensation and benefits programs as well as advocacy of the Bank within the markets our Company serves.

Judson H. Dalton 

Mr. Dalton is employed by English Construction, a third-generation family-owned business based out of Lynchburg, Virginia providing a wide array of construction services throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States. He currently serves as a Project Manager, Estimator, and Home Office Manager for English, and is a member of English’s founding family. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Randolph Macon College. Mr. Dalton has strong knowledge of the Central Virginia market, and his experience in the construction industry provides our Board with valuable insight regarding this important sector of the economy.

Robert L. Finch, Jr.

Mr. Finch retired as Chief Executive Officer in 2023 from Finch & Finch, Inc. Funeral & Cremation Service located in Altavista and Gladys, Virginia but continues serving the firm as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Finch & Finch is a family-owned and managed business, established in 1905, with Mr. Finch representing the fourth generation of the Finch family. He attended Lynchburg College, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1980 from Elon University, received an Associate degree from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Georgia in 1992, and was licensed as a Funeral Service Licensee that same year. Mr. Finch currently serves on the board of directors of the Powell Foundation and the Endowment Committee for the Altavista Area YMCA. He is a Past President of the Virginia Funeral Directors Association (VFDA). Mr. Finch is dedicated to community activities and is Treasurer of the Citizens for Altavista Baseball. He is a former member and a past President of the Lions Club of Altavista and a past board member of The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, Altavista Area YMCA, Altavista Chamber of Commerce, and Altavista Vocational Advisory Council. Mr. Finch brings to our Board extensive management acumen and valuable knowledge of the Altavista market.

Aubrey H. "Todd" Hall, III

Mr. Hall is President and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Bankshares Corporation and of First National Bank. He joined the Bank in 2003 and has 32 years of banking experience. Mr. Hall serves as the Chairman of the Board for Bankers Insurance, LLC and also serves on the boards of the Powell Foundation, the Virginia Bankers Association (“VBA”), and VBA Management Services, Inc. He is a past Chairman of the board of directors of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance and VBA Management Services, Inc. Mr. Hall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Lynchburg College (now the University of Lynchburg). He is a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia and the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, where he is a prior member of the board of trustees. Mr. Hall has a diverse background in the banking industry and strong knowledge of the banking business. He provides our Board keen insight into the markets served by our Company and carries with him the respect of the other members of the Board as the leader of the Company.

Robert Hurt

Mr. Hurt serves as General Counsel for 4C Health Solutions, Inc., a healthcare data analytics firm based in Wilmington, Delaware. A native of Chatham, Virginia, Mr. Hurt previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Virginia’s Fifth District for 3 terms from 2011–2017. While in Congress, he was appointed to the Financial Services Committee, where he served as the Vice-Chair of both the Capital Markets and the Housing and Insurance Subcommittees. After stepping down from Congress, Mr. Hurt served as the Dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University, where he led a school that served over 10,000 students and 300 faculty members. Prior to representing Virginia’s Fifth District, Mr. Hurt worked as an attorney and served as a citizen-legislator from Southside Virginia representing his neighbors in the Virginia Senate, in the Virginia House of Delegates, and on the Chatham Town Council. He also served as Chief Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Pittsylvania County and established a successful private law practice in Southside Virginia. Mr. Hurt earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampden-Sydney College and received his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. Mr. Hurt recently concluded terms serving as chair of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation board and on the boards of the Office of Congressional Ethics for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. Mr. Hurt provides a wealth of practical market, legal, government, and financial services experience to our Board.

dr. Robert L. Johnson, II

Dr. Johnson served as Superintendent of Campbell County, Virginia Public Schools from 2009 until his retirement in June of 2023. He received his Doctor of Education in 2004 from the University of Virginia, where he also received his Bachelor and Master of Education degrees. He received the William H. Seawell Memorial Award in 2003 and is currently a past member of the American Association of School Administrators and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. Dr. Johnson has served as a member of the Central Virginia Workforce Development Board and the UVA K12 Advisory Council. He is the past Chairman of Virginia’s Region V Superintendents and served as Region V's legislative representative for 6 years. Dr. Johnson has an extensive background in education and administration and provides our Board with leadership and consensus-building skills on a variety of matters, including corporate governance and succession planning.

Michael E. Watson

Mr. Watson is retired from Flippin, Bruce & Porter, Inc., a Lynchburg investment advisory firm, where he was employed from 1997 to 2021 and served as Controller/Treasurer. His previous employment experience was as Chief Operating Officer for The Greenwood Partnership, Chief Financial Officer for The Lester Group, and Audit Manager with Coopers & Lybrand. Mr. Watson is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Virginia Tech. Mr. Watson provides our Board with invaluable expertise in financial accounting matters, auditing practices and risk management programs and policies.

James O. Watts IV, esq.

Mr. Watts is Vice President of Scott Insurance, one of the largest independent insurance agencies in the Southeast, where he focuses on Commercial Property & Casualty Insurance. He has been employed with Scott since 1999. He practiced law at Edmunds & Williams in Lynchburg from 1991 to 1999, where he became a partner. Mr. Watts received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in 1988 and his law degree from Washington & Lee University in 1991. He currently serves on the board of YMCA of Central Virginia and as president of the board of Lynchburg Area Development Corporation. Mr. Watts provides our Board with valuable input based on his legal and business expertise as well as strong advocacy as the Bank continues to enhance its presence in the Lynchburg market.

Ramsey w. yeatts

Mr. Yeatts is a Pittsylvania County native and President and Principal Broker of Ramsey Yeatts & Associates, Realtors, a real estate brokerage firm located in Danville, Virginia, which serves the City of Danville and the counties of Pittsylvania, Halifax, Henry, and Campbell in Virginia, as well as Caswell County in North Carolina. His previous employment experience includes a successful 17-year banking career with Central Fidelity Bank and First Citizens Bank. Mr. Yeatts previously served as President of the Dan River Region Association of Realtors and currently serves on its Budget Committee. He also serves as assistant basketball coach at Tunstall High School where he is President of the Friends of Tunstall Basketball. He previously served on the board of the Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, where he is a past Treasurer. Mr. Yeatts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bridgewater College in 1988 and is a member of Bridgewater’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the Pittsylvania County Sports Hall of Fame. He brings to our Board over 35 years of experience in real estate and banking within the markets our Company serves.