Aquesta Bank’s President & CEO, Jim Engel, announced today the retirement of Mr. Kenneth (Buddy) Caldwell from Aquesta Bank. Caldwell, the bank’s Chief Lending Officer, has been in the banking industry for over 39 years and with Aquesta since its inception.
“Buddy was an Aquesta Bank employee before there was an Aquesta Bank,” said Engel. “After an initial coffee shop meeting, I met with Buddy in the basement of my house to formulate plans for a new Lake Norman community bank. Buddy drove to my house on his Harley wearing black leather chaps! Since those days, I’ve enjoyed working with Buddy building Aquesta Bank from a dream to the reality you see today.”
Buddy Caldwell is a rare breed in the Cornelius area. At a time of so many transplants from other areas of the country, Buddy was born and raised right here in Davidson, attended North Mecklenburg HS and married his childhood friend, Judy. In fact, Buddy was best known in his hometown as an athlete in both football and baseball. He attended the University of South Carolina on football/baseball scholarship and was later drafted and played baseball for the Texas Rangers Baseball Organization. At age 14, he began his very first job at Hoke Lumber Company in Davidson, where he was paid out of pocket since he was too young to be on the payroll. A little known fact: Buddy met his future wife when Judy was 12 and Buddy 13 at a baseball game at McEver Field in Davidson.
Buddy has a long and distinguish banking career. He began his first banking job as a lender at 23 years old working for Piedmont Bank & Trust in 1972 (as he says “the original Piedmont Bank”), and has served in various lending and executive capacities for Piedmont, First Union National Bank, and then for over 19 years at First Charter Bank. He then helped to start and lead Aquesta Bank as Chief Credit Officer, commercial lender and Executive Vice President.
Since the inception of the bank in 2006, Buddy has served in the dual capacity of Chief Credit Officer and Chief Lending Officer. As Chief Credit Officer, Buddy has helped guide Aquesta safely through the most difficult economic period in our lifetime. Buddy’s dual role as Chief Credit Officer and Chief Lending Officer was split in 2010 to better segregate these two roles. Buddy became the bank’s Chief Lending Officer and has continuously and successfully focused on safe, profitable growth of the commercial loan portfolio.
“I am excited for Buddy as he enters a new phase of his life and wish he and his wife Judy the very best,” said Engel. “I’m saddened knowing we won’t have Buddy’s calm, friendly and loyal presence as an employee but I know he will remain supportive of Aquesta Bank as a shareholder and customer.”
When asked what his plans are for retirement, Buddy indicated that he was looking forward to spending time with his children & grandchildren, riding his Harley and brushing up on his golf game. Buddy will officially retire at the end of April of this year.
Aquesta Bank is a community bank dedicated to providing quality, customized banking for the Lake Norman area. Aquesta focuses on personal financial solutions as well as those for small to medium-sized businesses. The bank has locations in Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville, NC, and will have a second location opening in Mooresville in May 2011.
Aquesta Bank’s wholly owned independent insurance agency (Aquesta Insurance Services, Inc.) has offices in Cornelius, Mooresville, Concord and Wilmington.
For more information on Aquesta Bank, please contact Lauren Furcht, Director of Marketing at (704) 439-4343 or visit our website at www.aquesta.com.