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Monday, November 7, 2011

Shuler Announces Retirement; Heustess Named President of ArborOne

Florence, SC – ArborOne Farm Credit CEO Jack Shuler announced today that the board of directors has named Kathy Heustess president of the association effective immediately and will succeed Mr. Shuler as CEO on January 1, 2012. ArborOne is a part of the national Farm Credit System and serves the twelve counties of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

Jack Shuler has made the decision to retire effective December 31, 2011, after nearly 40 years of dedicated service to the Farm Credit System. Moving to Florence in 1987, Shuler has long been a driving force at ArborOne Farm Credit (formerly Pee Dee Farm Credit) and throughout the Farm Credit System; leading with integrity in many capacities during his tenure. On a national level, Shuler chaired the committee responsible for implementing Farm Credit’s Reputation Management Program and also served on the Presidents Planning Committee for twelve years. In the AgFirst district, he was the chairman of the first automated credit delivery program, Credit Pro, as well as many other appointed work groups and committees.

“Serving with passion and distinction, Jack has positively promoted local agriculture and rural America in a manner that has truly made a difference and for which we are grateful,” said Chairman of the ArborOne Farm Credit Board of Directors Mickey Ward.

Under Shuler’s leadership, ArborOne Farm Credit has grown from a company with $150 million in managed assets to over $800 million. Well capitalized, the association continues to provide credit to local farmers and agricultural related businesses.
The board has chosen Kathy Heustess as the successor president and chief executive officer. Working at ArborOne for 22 years, Heustess brings a wealth of knowledge with her into the position. Hired in 1989 as controller, she was promoted to chief financial officer shortly thereafter and in 2008 became chief operating officer. During her four years as COO, Heustess has been responsible for the day to day operations as well as deeply involved in the planning and implementation of the strategic business plan and vision for ArborOne.

As a native of Horry County, Kathy has a farming background and has spent her entire life in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. A graduate of Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, she holds a CPA designation in S.C.

In announcing Heustess’ promotion, Board Chairman Ward said, “This is an implementation of the association’s succession plan.” Noting Heustess’ depth of experience in the association’s financial and credit areas, he added, “Kathy is uniquely qualified for this position; her knowledge and dedication have long been recognized by the board and me.”

Before joining ArborOne, Heustess worked with Cargill, Inc. and a local CPA firm. Heustess and her husband, Billy, live in Florence, SC, and they have 2 sons.

ArborOne Farm Credit, headquartered in Florence, South Carolina, is an agricultural lending cooperative owned by its member-borrowers. It provides farm loans for land, equipment, livestock and production, rural home mortgages as well as crop and life insurance. It is part of the national Farm Credit System, a network of financial cooperatives established in 1916 to provide a dependable source of credit to farmers and rural America. For more information, visit ArborOne.com.

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