Bank adds two to board of directors

By Katie Demeria

First National Corporation, the bank holding company of First Bank, which began in Strasburg in 1907, recently announced the appointment of two local individuals to its board of directors.

President and CEO Scott Harvard said the company amended its bylaws to create two additional seats on the board, bringing the total to 11 with the appointment of Emily Marlow Beck, of Winchester, and W. Michael Funk, of Woodstock.

“The point of it was to continue to add diversity and different geographic perspectives to our board to enhance our strategic thinking and help, frankly, to broaden our group of directors,” Harvard said.

Both Beck and Funk, Harvard continued, bring skills that First National Corporation considers will add value to the group.

Beck has experience with the automotive industry, as well as a law degree that will allow her to bring a “really interesting perspective to the board,” according to Harvard.

Funk is a former CEO of Virginia Savings Bank, Harvard added, and will bring skills related to understanding bank regulations, credit and risk.

“As well as having a strong sense of the businesses in our communities and what they need and what we can do to better serve them,” Harvard continued.

First National Corporation does self-assessments at the board level, he said, to see where there is strength and where more depth is needed.

“[Beck and Funk] both bring some really complementary skills and experiences to the board that we’re really excited about,” Harvard said.

The board of directors is responsible for strategic planning and risk oversight. It represents the shareholders, according to Harvard, and develops strategies to help build the company.

As a company that has been in the area for 108 years, he pointed out, having a strong relationship with the community is very important.

“Boards are, really, just groups of people, so it’s great to have folks from different geographic areas and with different perspectives,” he said.

First Bank supports 10 offices throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley, according to a news release. Beck and Funk have both been involved with businesses in various towns throughout the area, including Front Royal, Winchester, Woodstock and Strasburg.

“We’re really pleased to have them join the board,” Harvard said of Beck and Funk. “We have a good, strong representative group both geographically and across different business sectors, so we feel we have great leadership that will create a strong commitment to our communities.”

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com