Seasoned banking veteran takes helm at First Federal in Aberdeen

Dale Tate took over in May as chief executive officer at First Federal Savings and Loan and will be welcomed July 16 with a daylong meet and greet ceremony. (Ray Van Dusen)

Dale Tate took over in May as chief executive officer at First Federal Savings and Loan and will be welcomed July 16 with a daylong meet and greet ceremony. (Ray Van Dusen)

ABERDEEN – First Federal Savings and Loan welcomed its new chief executive officer, Dale Tate, in May. Tate, who fills the position left by former CEO Neil Hilliard, has 35 years of banking experience across Mississippi.

“I’ve been in this career as a lender for 30 years and this is all I know. Coming into this organization with such a knowledgeable staff is refreshing. In the banking environment today, this location is definitely down home and it is as much of a throw back as can be,” Tate said.

Beginning as a teller at Starkville’s National Bank of Commerce in 1978, Tate’s resume touts jobs such as lending agent and bank president at various banking locations in Meridian, Greenwood, Tupelo and Columbus.

“I was bank president at Bank First in West Point and I resigned last December because I was ready to get out of the business and do something different and then First Federal gave me a call,” Tate said.

Tate’s interview process began in April and he got a call back in early May.

“I told my wife that I thought they would offer me the job and she said it was a gift from God. This is a wonderful opportunity,” Tate said.

Since starting as CEO, Tate has been getting acclimated to services offered at First Federal, reviewing policies and procedures and learning changes in the banking industry made in his six month absence of the field.First Federal Savings and Loans opened in Aberdeen in March 1936 and Tate is the fifth CEO since then.

“This organization has made good loans, been profitable and has been a contributing factor to the community and it will continue to do so. The old axiom is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ and that applies here,” Tate said.
First Federal offers savings, CDs and mortgage loans to Aberdeen, Monroe County and neighboring counties in a way Tate describes as a personal, down home touch.

“First Federal has weathered a number of recessions and never consolidated with larger banks. We’re able to stand among the bigger companies and with this great board of directors and employees who believe in this organization and offer a good product, it’s going to be successful,” Tate said.

Tate and his wife, Debbie, are celebrating 30 years together. The couple has two sons who are 26 and 20. The Tates currently live in Columbus, but plan to eventually purchase property and build a home in Monroe County.

Tate’s welcome reception is July 16 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.