About First Avenue National Bank

Our Mission:

To do more than what’s expected for our customers and the community.

Core Values:


Who We Are:

Founded in 2006 in Ocala, Fla., First Avenue National Bank currently has three locations – two in Ocala and one in The Villages, Fla. FirstAve strives each day to be a bank the community can be certain is sound, profitable and employs the technology necessary to exceed customers’ personal and business needs.

FirstAve considers it a privilege to be engaged in the communities in which we are located. We value the opportunity to support projects, events, and longer-term partnerships with organizations that reflect our commitment to serving the community in meaningful ways.

Brief History:

In 2005, three Ocala bankers, John R. Hunt, Pat Moses and Jason Welborn, committed themselves to the process of starting a new local bank, one that would focus on excellence of service, ease of accessibility to banking personnel by customers, close working relationships with clientele, and the latest banking technology.  Soon, State Representative Dennis Baxley joined as an organizer and prospective Chairman of the Board.  The group sought other directors who were young, intelligent, enthusiastic, with superior interpersonal skills, and who had a passion for the Bank’s success.  The group was blessed with the addition of John Q. Adams II of Adams & Company, CPA’s; Kenneth C. Ausley of Ausley Construction; Dr. R. Craig Kuykendall of Ocala Heart Institute; State Representative Joe H. Pickens; and Don H. Stauss of Big D Roofing.  All are of the highest integrity and strongest character.  We also were fortunate to attract a high quality employee in Janice Hallmark, Vice President, Loan Operations, who contributed significantly through our formative stage and in the raising of our capital.  She represents the excellence we expect from all of our officers and employees.  Subsequently, we were fortunate to have Katie Glynn, Staff Attorney for the Clerk of the Circuit Court, join us right after we received our charter.  More recently, Renee Pelzman, attorney at law, has joined our Board and contributed to our collective wisdom.

Our theme is Local Leadership, Local Knowledge, Local Commitment.  It’s one we think separates us from other financial institutions because we are focused solely on North Central Florida.  We have a perspective for the area which often is lacking with other banks considering a loan request or unique deposit need.  Our theme also involves dedication to the financial success of the citizens of our community by providing easily accessible personal service and the latest technology.  Lastly, there is an intangible quality to our mission that permeates everything we do – to warmly welcome both old and new friends, to respond promptly and accurately, and to treat everyone with honor, respect and courtesy.

Our Board of Directors:

See our Board Members page


Why We’re Different:

I.     Accessibility.  The significant aspect that distinguishes First Avenue National Bank from our competitors is accessibility.  We are accessible to all our customers.

  • Our Live Person Rule:  The first step in accessibility is our phone system.  If you call during business hours, a person will answer the phone.  No punching in 16-digit account numbers or repeatedly pressing zero before you talk to a real person.  The individual who answers your call will find out what you need and direct you to the right person to address that need.  If the person is not available you will have the choice to either leave a message with the person who answered the phone or leave a voice mail.
  • Our Sunset Rule:  If you call with a question, and the individual you speak to cannot answer the question immediately, that employee will call you back the same day with a response.  If it takes longer than the rest of the day to get the response, the employee will call you to let you know the status.  You will always receive a call back from First Avenue National Bank the same day you call.
  • Our Direct Line Rule:  Every person at the Bank, including the President,  has his or her direct line phone number on his or her business card so you can always call that person directly.  If the person you are calling is not available, you can either leave a voice mail message or exit to the Bank’s main number to speak to someone else who can help you.  No one at First Avenue National Bank hides away in an isolated office.

II.     Quick Loan Decisions When you need a loan, we know you want a decision fast and from local people who have a perspective for the community.  Our promise is to consider all aspects of a loan request and to respond promptly.

III.    Friendly Service, Friendly Technology At First Avenue National Bank, we mix an accessible, high-touch feel with the latest in high-tech bank deliverables.  We offer the most sophisticated level of online banking.  Customers can see all of their transactions, pay bills, transfer funds from one account to another, and more.  We intend to stay ahead of the field when it comes to technology!