First National Bank of the Gulf Coast Announces Merger; S&S's Legal Work Commended


Shareholders of Panther Community Bank, N.A. and First National Bank of the Gulf Coast Approve Merger

TIFFIN, OH., November 5 – Michael J. Kerschner, a veteran local banker, has achieved one of his longstanding goals—spearheading the growth and successful merger of a community bank.

Kerschner is the current President and C.E.O. of Gillmor Financial Services, Inc.—which owns The Old Fort Banking Company. Kerschner also served as Chairman of the Board of Panther Community Bank, N.A, an independent community bank serving Lehigh Acres, Florida, from its opening in October 2007 through the merger finalization in October 2009. Kerschner has confirmed that shareholders of both Panther and First National Bank of the Gulf Coast have approved and finalized the merger.

The resulting bank will be named First National Bank of the Gulf Coast and will be headquartered in Naples, Florida. Kerschner has been named the Vice Chairman of First National Bank of the Gulf Coast’s Board of Directors in addition to his continuing local role as President and C.E.O. of Gillmor Financial Services, Inc.

“We have been very pleased with the successful growth of Panther and we look forward to our broader opportunities in Southwest Florida as a result of this merger. From a local perspective, a great number of Northwest Ohioans remain as shareholders in the combined bank, and we appreciate the support they have demonstrated during this merger process. The combination of these two organizations creates a very strong communitybased bank and we are excited about the combined bank’s prospects.”

Gary Tice, Chairman of First National Bank of the Gulf Coast, added: “Mike Kerschner is a true professional and a real asset to both Ohio and Florida banking. We are pleased he will be continuing as Vice Chairman of our Board. I know Mike and the entire Panther Board share the combined bank’s vision to build the premier community-based financial institution in Southwest Florida, committed to superior customer service, financial performance, community and state involvement, shareholder return, and employee satisfaction.”

Mr. Kerschner elaborated on the local ties to this merger, and indicated Panther’s Board of Directors consisted of several local directors, namely Dianne G. Krumsee, Judy R. Miller, and Dr. George Kidd, Jr., all of whom will remain as directors of the combined bank.

He further indicated that Stultz & Stephan, Ltd., located in Tiffin, Ohio, and Schottenstein, Zox & Dunn, Co., LPA, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, provided Panther’s legal counsel and were instrumental in the success of this transaction.

The combined bank has shown early success by reaching over $100,000,000.00 in total assets. The bank’s main office and headquarters is located at 3560 Kraft Road, Naples, Florida, with a full-service branch office at 811 Anchor Rode Drive, Naples, Florida. The previous main office of Panther Community Bank located at 50 Joel Boulevard, Lehigh Acres, Florida, is now a full-service banking center.

For additional information, contact First National Bank of the Gulf Coast at 239-348- 8000. Information also may be received by visiting the bank online at

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