David Ranii, THE NEWS & OBSERVER
DURHAM, N.C. (The News & Observer) — The corporate parent of Mechanics & Farmers Bank has named Christopher G. Smith, a partner at a Raleigh law firm, to its board of directors. Smith is the first non-African American to serve on the board.
The Durham-based financial institution’s CEO, James H. Sills III, told The News & Observer’s editorial board last month that the bank was planning to diversify its board and take steps to attract a younger and more diverse customer base.
Mechanics & Farmers is categorized as an African-American bank because more than half its shareholders are African-American.
Smith, a partner at Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, has a bachelor’s degree in political science/American government and a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
“Mr. Smith brings considerable expertise in business as well as a fresh perspective to his position as director,” James A. Stewart, the bank’s chairman, said in a statement.