Beyond Banking: Meet Gloria Heath

October 27, 2023

Being a relationship manager in the financial services industry takes a unique skill set. Building human connections in between lines of numbers is exactly what Gloria Heath does for First Bank and Trust Company.

For more than 20 years, Gloria has been cultivating longstanding relationships with agricultural operators by taking the time to understand the story that their finances tell. Behind every financial analysis, there are real people with a dream and a plan. Gloria makes sure that our teams never lose sight of a client’s vision for their financial future by prioritizing the relationships she builds with them.

Gloria with Cody Combs on his farm in NC

Gloria Heath, Relationship Manager - Agriculture & Commercial Lending


Keep reading to learn more about how Gloria Heath makes an impact on her customers, the community, and the team at First Bank & Trust Co. of Virginia.

What initially drew you to the financial services industry?

I’ve always been a numbers-oriented person but what really fascinates me is the story behind the numbers. They may tell you the story of a small business owner who is just getting their operation off the ground, or the story of a well-established family farm that’s been passed from one generation to the next. You can find so much history in financials. It takes a lot of trust for someone to open up about that history and share their financial information with you, nonetheless, discuss it in detail. I’m honored to be a part of a team of trusted advisors that our clients can count on for the support and expertise they need.


How is your role important to your community?

Access to quality financial services is what keeps a community alive and growing. Businesses and families need financial professionals they can trust to guide them in the right direction, especially during times of economic volatility. In ‘good’ times, every bank is interested in lending money. But in times, like now, when inflation and interest rates are on everyone’s mind, some banks become very conservative and may even choose not to finance certain industries, like agriculture.

We try not to close the door on our clients. We examine your needs with the current economic environment in mind and try to offer solutions that can help you spend each dollar wisely. We examine every opportunity carefully to understand the risks and cycles you may face.

When a community doesn’t have comprehensive financial services, it’s going to struggle to grow. Having multiple options to choose from is important too. That competition allows customers an opportunity to make sure that the lenders they are working with are offering reasonable rates and services.


Individually, what sets you apart from others in your industry?

Experience is the best teacher. I’ve been in the lending industry for more than 20 years. In that time, I’ve seen and learned a lot. My goal is to share my experience, and the lessons it taught me, with my clients. I focus on listening to their needs, understanding their operation, and knowing their family.


In your opinion, what is unique or different about the services and offerings that First Bank and Trust brings to the community?

Lending is not a transaction; it is truly a relationship. First Bank and Trust understands that. The bank has an incredible customer focus that you don’t always find within the banking community. The needs and best interests of each customer are the first consideration in everything our team does. It’s important to build a relationship with a trusted lender because we can become a sounding board for financial decisions. That’s something we prioritize because we truly believe that your success is a win for us too. We will be your cheerleaders and your teammates, and we are always going to celebrate your successes with you.

Gloria joined the First Bank and Trust Company team in 2022. She lives in Clinton, North Carolina with her husband, Barry Heath, and two sons, Miles and Mason. She works closely with the Bank’s eastern North Carolina lenders Nelson Powell, Sam Johnson, Trevor Smith, and Jay Smith to provide comprehensive solutions for all the branch’s agriculture and commercial clients.

The First Bank and Trust Company offers total banking services to its customers, including deposit services and financing for the expansion of farm operations, real estate purchases and improvements, equipment, livestock, and operating lines of credit. In June 2023, First Bank & Trust company was recognized as the nation’s fourth largest agricultural lending portfolio among ag banks and the 22nd largest agricultural lender among all U.S. commercial banks.

Heath and Nelson Powell lead efforts in First Bank and Trust Company of Virginia’s newest location in Clinton, North Carolina, which opened as a non-branch bank office in June. In addition to the loan production office in Clinton, the Bank now has three full-service offices in North Carolina; Red Oak, Lillington, and Mt. Airy, contributing to 26 full-service locations across Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The addition of the Clinton, North Carolina office marks the bank’s fourth location in North Carolina, and the Bank’s ninth loan office, totaling more than 30 locations throughout First Bank and Trust Company’s footprint.


To learn more or contact Heath, visit Branch Locations & Hours | First Bank & Trust Company.

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