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Tennessean Features CedarStone Banks' Willie McDonald

Willie McDonald - CedarStone Bank

How a poor Tennessee boy with only a high school education spent 67 years as a beloved banker

Tennessean Features CedarStone Bank's Willie McDonald CedarStone Bank

See Full Feature - by Jessica Bliss - USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennesee - Click Here

 
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Simply Saluting: The Hermitage

Simply Saluting The Hermitage with CedarStone Bank

Pictured Above Left to Right: Bob McDonald, CedarStone President and Andrew Jackson Foundation Trustee; Howard J. Kittell, Andrew Jackson Foundation President and CEO; and Willie McDonald, CedarStone Relationship Manager and former Andrew Jackson Foundation Trustee

Each month CedarStone Bank “simply salutes” an influential leader in Middle Tennessee. This month the bank is proud to recognize The Hermitage.

The Hermitage is a historical plantation, museum, and garden located in Davidson County, Tennessee, 10 miles east of downtown Nashville. The plantation was owned by Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, from 1804 until his death at the Hermitage in 1845.

The original structure of The Hermitage mansion was a brick, Federal-style house constructed between 1819 and 1821 by skilled carpenters and masons from the local area. Though this design was typical of plantation dwellings for aspiring gentlemen farmers in the Upper South it was already beginning to lose favor in more fashionable Eastern areas.

Today, the site covers 1,120 acres, which includes the original 1,050-acre tract of Jackson's plantation. It is overseen and managed by The Andrew Jackson Foundation, formerly called the Ladies' Hermitage Association. Howard J. Kittell, who has a long and distinguished career in historic preservation, has served as President and CEO of The Hermitage and the Andrew Jackson Foundation since 2008.

The Hermitage is your local treasure; a house so unique it has been named a National Historic Landmark. It is a beautiful place near home to stroll under the shade of its leafy trees, view collections and exhibitions that bring the past to life, and attend many educational programs and events. The Hermitage is a special resource that helps define our idea of who we are as Middle Tennesseans.

CedarStone Bank salutes The Hermitage, The Andrew Jackson Foundation, and its dedicated staff in their efforts to preserve the history of Middle Tennessee!

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Simply Saluting: Two Rivers Mansion

Simply Saluting Two Rivers Mansion with CedarStone Bank

Pictured Above Left to Right: CedarStone Assistant Vice President Robert McDonald, CedarStone’s Relationship Manager Willie McDonald, Two Rivers Mansion Founder/President Emeritus Phil Claiborne, Two Rivers Mansion President Phil Howard,and CedarStone Branch Manager Troy Putman.

Each month CedarStone Bank “simply salutes” an influential leader in Middle Tennessee. This month the bank is proud to recognize Two Rivers Mansion.

Two Rivers Mansion is one of the last of the elaborate antebellum country homes built in the Nashville area and one of the earliest and best preserved of the ornate Italianate houses in Middle Tennessee. Two Rivers was once part of an 1,100-acre plantation located on fertile, rolling land between the Stones and Cumberland Rivers. The junction of the two rivers suggested the name given to the property by its first owner, William Harding, whose family built the Belle Meade Plantation in west Nashville.

After acquiring the 447-acre property in 1966, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County set aside the 14-acre historic site, developing two schools, a golf course, park greenway, water park (Wave Country), skate park, frisbee golf course and picnic area for families to enjoy. Restored to the stately architectural splendor of the mansion’s early days, Two Rivers reflects the taste, textures and colors of the post-war era and today remains a centerpiece for all kinds of social gatherings – weddings, parties, anniversaries, birthdays and special events for future generations to enjoy.

CedarStone Bank salutes Two Rivers Mansion and its dedicated staff in their effort to make Middle Tennessee an even better place to live and work!

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Willie McDonald Celebrating 65 Years in Banking

CedarStone Bank executive has been helping Middle Tennessee customers since 1950

Middle Tennessee has experienced incredible economic growth over the past five years. Just imagine how much it’s grown over the past 65 years.

One man – and perhaps only one man -- can tell you. William “Willie” McDonald is celebrating his 65th consecutive year in the Middle Tennessee banking industry, the last 11 of those years as Business Development Officer for CedarStone Bank, the bank founded by his son, Bob.

“It’s an honor to continue to work alongside my father,” Bob McDonald said. “Willie is a banking legend in this state. And the relationships he has cultivated and nurtured over the past 65 years have helped CedarStone grow into a bank that our customers know and trust.”

The McDonald's At CedarStone Bank - three generations of Middle Tennessee bankers 

Pictured Above - Robert L. McDonald, Jr., Willie McDonald and Bob McDonald

Willie McDonald launched his banking career in Nashville in 1950 with Third National Bank, which later became SunTrust. He worked for Third National and SunTrust for 53 years, then had a brief stint at Regions Bank before coming to CedarStone when the bank opened its doors in 2004.

“I watched Third National grow in the 1950s so it’s been exciting with CedarStone to again be part of something at the very start and watch it grow,” McDonald said.

Last year McDonald was selected by the Tennessee Bankers Association for its Leadership in Banking Excellence Award. The award, which recognizes exceptional bankers throughout the state’s history, includes a permanent display in the TBA headquarters building. McDonald has twice been named the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year and in 2010, he received a proclamation from the Tennessee House of Representatives as the Honorary “Mayor of Donelson.”

The accolades are nice but what keeps McDonald coming back to his office every morning is the opportunity to help people and foster relationships that are long lasting.

“I always open a conversation by asking ‘Who’s your banker?’” McDonald said. “And I would say 80 percent of the people I ask tell me they don’t have a personal contact at their bank.

“So developing relationships is the key. Oftentimes our customers need somebody to listen to them and give counsel or advice. We not only talk about finances but we talk about life. We can be a sounding board that they know and trust.”

McDonald’s grandson, Robert L. McDonald, Jr., serves as CedarStone’s Relationship Manager in its Donelson office, giving the family three generations of Middle Tennessee bankers.

“From my grandfather I learned the value of customer service and building long-lasting relationships,” Robert McDonald said. “It’s an honor to follow in his footsteps -- and my father’s footsteps -- and both of them inspire me to work harder every day.”

Willie McDonald has not only helped hundreds of businesses with their financial needs but also mentored dozens of bankers over the years, including CedarStone Executive Vice President Hank Stuart, whose first job in banking was under McDonald at Third National.

“I am grateful for all that he has taught me,” Stuart said. “He continues to outwork us all and like I have always said, ‘Willie works by walking around.’”

Indeed, customers can still find McDonald walking around, whether it’s in the bank lobby, in customers’ offices or at community gatherings around the area. And McDonald is thrilled to take part in CedarStone’s latest venture, a new, state-of-the-art branch location in Donelson.

“It’s still exciting to watch a new branch open its doors for its customers,” he said. “Banking has changed in a lot of ways in 65 years but, in some ways, it hasn’t. You have to keep up with technology or it’s going to go off and leave you. But that doesn’t mean you lose the personal relationship that so many of your customers are accustomed to.

“I’m proud to be a banker. And I’m proud to call Middle Tennessee my home.”

McDonald, who was born in Monterey, moved to Nashville in 1938. He and his wife, Helen, have been married 62 years and have two sons (Bob and Bill), five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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New CedarStone Bank Donelson Branch Under Construction

willie-mcdonald-blog-hardhat-cedarstone-bank-donelson-tn

Ground has broken on the new Donelson Branch, and Willie McDonald is ready! Contractor Donnie Steed gave Willie his very own hardhat so he will fit right in on the construction site.

The new Donelson Branch will not only be great-looking but will offer customers many advantages. We've set up this special page on our website with the details of the Donelson Branch and we'll update it as progress continues. We're very proud to invest in the Donelson community with the new branch. 

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William E. “Willie” McDonald Honored by the Tennessee Bankers Association

willie-mcdonald-cedarstone-bank-lebanon-tn-emma
CedarStone Bank's own Willie McDonald has been selected by the Tennessee Bankers Association for their Leadership in Banking Excellence award. Not only is it a tremendous honor, it is a permanent one; all of the honorees are displayed in the TBA headquarters building. This July, Willie began his 65th year in banking, a true milestone. He currently works on business development out of CedarStone Bank’s Donelson Office.

The Tennessee Bankers Association's Leaders in Banking Excellence is a celebration of exceptional bankers throughout Tennessee’s history. It is an opportunity to honor those leaders who have helped shape the Tennessee banking industry and who have excelled in banking, community service, and civic involvement. Willie has, of course, excelled in all three of those areas over his long career in banking. In fact, he was nominated for the award not only by CedarStone but also by SunTrust.

Willie McDonald’s contributions to the community are almost too numerous to recount. Among his current commitments are: serving on the board of directors of McKendrees Village Foundation, McLeroy Foundation, the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Two Rivers Mansion, American Cancer Society, and the Music City Center. He is also involved with the Nashville Hotel/Motel Association, Donelson Presbyterian Church, Boy Scouts of America, Easter Seal Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Project PENCIL at McGavock High School. Recognition for Willie’s community service include the Donelson-Hermitage Jaycees Outstanding Young Man of the Year; the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year (twice) and their Lifetime Achievement Award. In January 2010, Willie was named honorary “Mayor of Donelson” by the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Willie will be formally recognized by the Leaders in Banking Excellence program at a special luncheon and ceremony on August 21. Please join us in congratulating him. For more information and a list of past Leaders in Banking Excellence honorees.

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CedarStone Bank has offices in Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, and Donelson, Tennessee.

 

 

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