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Will White replacing Dick Valentine as United Community Bank leader
Valentine retiring in March
Dick Valentine
Dick Valentine

United Community Bank has announced longtime Gainesville banker Will White will succeed veteran banking leader Dick Valentine when he retires from his role as regional president and CEO in March.

In his new role, White will be CEO of the Gainesville and Hall County operation. White has worked with Valentine for more than 25 years and will supervise operations of all five United branches in the Hall County area. Valentine’s last day will be March 31.

Valentine worked 35 years locally in the banking business, building the bank’s presence in Gainesville and Hall County from one branch to five.

If there’s one thing Valentine said he’s learned, it’s this: “The industry and the community are constantly changing, and you have to be able to adapt to those changes in order to be successful.”

“I’ve also learned what it means to be able to give back to the community that you grew up in … Gainesville is a special place, and it’s been a pure pleasure to serve here in my hometown,” Valentine said.

In addition to leading Hall County, Valentine most recently was also responsible for another region that includes Dawson County.

Valentine has also been heavily involved in the community over his career, previously serving as chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Committee, as chairman and campaign chairman for United Way of Hall County and as president of the Gainesville Jaycees. Valentine will remain involved with United Community Bank as a member of the Hall County Advisory Board.

“We are extremely grateful to Dick for the steady direction he has provided in Hall and Dawson counties over the past 10 years,” said Bill Gilbert, president of community banking for United Community Bank. “He has been instrumental not only in the growth of our bank, but also in the economic growth of this region. We are confident Will White will continue to provide strong, local leadership in Hall County.”

White is a native of Hall County and a graduate of Gainesville High School, then Gainesville College and the University of Georgia. Most recently, he was responsible for leading the commercial lending group for United Community Bank in Gainesville. He has more than 30 years of banking experience. He and his wife, Tricia, have three daughters and five grandchildren.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead this exceptional group of bankers in Hall County,” White said. “Dick has assembled an incredible team that is deeply committed to customer service and providing personalized solutions for our clients. We look forward to continuing to support our friends and neighbors throughout the area.”

The region as a whole will now be led by Jack Keener, another longtime Gainesville area banker who lives in Gainesville with his wife, Caroline, a teacher at Riverbend Elementary, and son, Griffin. Keener will be the new regional president for United Community Bank in Northeast Georgia, which includes Hall, Dawson, Rabun, Habersham, Jackson, White and Lumpkin counties.