DURHAM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--During June 10, 2010 annual Shareholders Meeting of M&F Bancorp, Inc., parent company of Mechanics and Farmers Bank (M&F Bank), F. V. “Pete” Allison, Jr. was named the 2010 recipient of the Mechanics and Farmers Bank Founders Award. The Bank launched the Founders Award in 2009 to honor and maintain a connection to the historic institution’s heritage. The annual award recognizes individuals or entities that embody M&F Bank’s “Founding Principles,” hallmark values or attributes that were exemplified by the men who established the Bank in 1907, and which have guided the Bank ever since.
Allison stepped to the podium greeted by a standing ovation, then quietly reminisced about moving to the area from his native Virginia. “After I graduated from Hampton, I went to NYU and got my MBA, and I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do in life. Durham turned me around…My father worked for North Carolina Mutual, so at one point I came to Durham and liked it. I met Shag Stewart (John S. “Shag” Stewart, then president of Mutual Savings & Loan) and I liked him. Soon after that he offered me a job at Mutual Savings. My parents were so tickled about me coming to Durham, and I’ve been here ever since.” Allison credited Stewart and J. H. Wheeler with teaching him about banking, and his mother-in-law, Bernice Ingram, who “knew this community inside and out” with teaching him about Durham.
During a career that spanned five decades, Allison worked for only two institutions; he served in the business office of his alma mater, Hampton University, before joining the thrift then known as Mutual Savings & Loan as a teller/accountant in 1953. He rose steadily through the ranks to become the company’s president and CEO in 1978. Allison shepherded Mutual Savings through several of the organization’s most eventful years, which included the transition from a mutual savings & loan association to a mutual savings bank (Mutual Community Savings Bank, Inc. SSB), two successful acquisitions (American Federal Savings & Loan, and Greensboro National Bank), and a significant and sustained growth period.
Descriptions of Allison by colleagues, associates, friends and family paint a picture of an unassuming, personable, fair-minded, strong and quietly effective man who led by example, and who always sought the best for his company and his family, all while gracefully managing to avoid the limelight. On the management style of the highly respected and well-liked Allison, one former colleague said that “if you couldn’t work for Pete, you couldn’t work for anybody.”
“We felt it was only fitting to recognize Pete Allison’s contribution to the growth and viability of Mutual Community,” said Kim D. Saunders, president and CEO of M&F Bank. “Not only does his career exemplify our Founding Principles, but Mutual Community’s rich history and achievements have added to and become part of M&F’s legacy. In a way, it is poetically appropriate that Mr. Allison receive this year’s Founders Award, and assume a place of honor in the annals of this distinguished institution.”
Mechanics and Farmers Bank (M&F Bank) is a state-chartered commercial bank founded in 1907, and has operated continuously and profitably since 1908. M&F Bank is one of few NC bank designated by the United States Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Its vision is to be the preferred community bank in its markets. M&F Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of M&F Bancorp, Inc., a one-bank holding company headquartered in Durham, NC, with assets of approximately $281 million as of March 31, 2010. M&F Bancorp’s common stock is quoted in the over-the-counter market through the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “MFBP.” For additional information contact M&F Bancorp Corporate Headquarters, 2634 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC at (919) 687-7800 or visit www.mfbonline.com
1) Shown l-r: J. A. Stewart, M&F Bancorp Chairman; A. L. Spaulding, Vice Chairman; F. V. “Pete” Allison, Jr.; K.D. Saunders, president & CEO; William V. Bell, mayor of Durham
2) Shown l-r: Dr. F. Vincent Allison, III; F. V. “Pete” Allison; Dr. Lavonia Allison; K.D. Saunders, president & CEO
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