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Greg Littleton

December 2012 Distinguished Alumnus

Greg Littleton was born in Winter Haven and raised in Auburndale, where he graduated from Auburndale High School in 1985. He received his Polk State College Associate of Arts degree in 1987 and his bachelor’s degree from Freed-Hardeman University in 1989, and later graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. Currently he is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Bank & Trust.

As the youngest in his family, he followed in the footsteps of his older sister and brother after high school and enrolled at Polk State College. His sister was the first in the family to obtain a college degree. Greg received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Polk State. He spent much of his time attending classes and working part time. After graduating from Polk State, and later Freed-Hardeman University, he returned to Polk County. America’s economy was struggling at the time, and the first job offer he received was from Barnett Bank as a collector. Greg worked for Barnett for eight years before moving to Citizens Bank in 1997. He originally was hired to open a new branch of the bank in Lake Wales in 1998, and in 1999 he was promoted to Executive Vice President. He became President of the bank in 2001 at the age of 34.

Citizens Bank acquired American Bank & Trust in 2004, and changed the company name to Citizens Bank & Trust. Citizens Bank had doubled in size over the mere seven years that Greg had worked with the company, and the new acquisition doubled the size once again (from $50 million in assets to roughly $450 million today).

Citizens Bank & Trust was established in 1920 by Latt Maxcy. The bank was family-run for many years; even today members of the Maxcy family are involved through the Board. When Greg joined the bank in 1997, it had 20 employees and he was one of six officers. Today, the bank has twelve branches, 150 employees, and 50 officers.

Through Greg’s leadership, Citizens Bank & Trust has been able to stay competitive with the products and services offered by larger national banks. For example, in 1997 the bank did not make home equity loans, offer debit cards, or provide e-mail and Internet banking services. Today, every product offered by national banks can be found at Citizens Bank & Trust.

As President, Greg holds quarterly breakfast meetings with newly-hired employees. The bank also holds events throughout the year, such as cookouts and trips to spring training games to encourage a close relationship among employees.

Since Citizens Bank & Trust is a community bank built on relationships with people, Greg has a strong desire to give back to the community, both through the Bank and through time given to local organizations. He has served as a member of the Polk State College District Board of Trustees since 2007, including a term as both Vice Chair and Chair. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Central Florida Development Council (for which he also served a previous term as Chairman in 2004). He is a board member of the United Way of Central Florida, Treasurer of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and Treasurer of the Polk Museum of Art Board. He is also on the Lake Wales Arts Center Advisory Board and is the Immediate Past Chair of Polk Vision. He recently concluded his term on the Florida Bankers Association Board and is a past chair of the Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce.

Greg, his wife Julie, and their two daughters Currie Ann and Anna Beth, live in Winter Haven. Currie Ann is a student at the Polk State College Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School.