Board of Directors
Andrew J. Briggs
Former President & CEO Limberlost Bancshares, Inc.
Mr. Briggs was the former Chairman of Limberlost Bancshares, Inc. and President of its wholly-owned subsidiary Bank of Geneva. Upon completion of the merger on January 1, 2019 of Limberlost Bancshares, Inc. into Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, Inc., he was appointed the Board of Directors of the Company and the Bank. With 40-plus years of banking experience, Mr. Briggs now serves as the First Senior Vice President for Business Development of the Bank. He was the 2019 Chairman of the Indiana Bankers Association and currently serves as the Immediate Past Chairman. He is a member of the Indiana Bankers 40 Year Club.
In September 2019, Mr. Briggs was honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash award by Indiana Governor, Eric J. Holcomb. This award is given to exemplary Hoosiers in recognition of their distinguished service statewide. Actively involved in the community, Mr. Briggs is Treasurer of the Indiana State Museum, corporate secretary of Limberlost State Historic Site, a current Director and past Treasurer of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority, Treasurer of Adams County Economic Development Corporation, and Treasurer of the Adams Public Library System. Additionally, he is past President of the Geneva Town Council.
Mr. Briggs is a graduate of Ball State University. His extensive banking background and experience in corporate leadership enables him to provide knowledge and expertise to the Board regarding the banking industry, business development, and community development. Mr. Briggs serves on the Enterprise Risk Management Board Committee.
Eugene N. Burkholder
Owner, Falor Farm Center
Mr. Burkholder owns and manages Falor Farm Center, Inc., a large, independent agricultural retail fertilizer, chemical and seed company. His involvement with Falor Farm Center, Inc. spans over 35 years. He is part owner and member of Black Swamp Equipment, LLC, Burkholder Farms, LLC, and owner of JRBC Properties, LLC. He is also a cash grain farmer. Through his business relationships, he is knowledgeable of the markets covering Fulton, Defiance, Lucas, Henry, and Wood Counties in Ohio and Lenawee County, Michigan. These are the same areas where the Company’s potential customer base is growing and expanding. His induction into the Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2011 attests to the depth of his agricultural involvement. He is a current member of the Fulton County Agricultural Society and Ohio Agricultural Business Association.
With his involvement in multiple companies, he also brings an understanding of the concerns and operations of small business. He is a current member of NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses), the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the Pike-Delta-York School’s Financial Advisory Board. Mr. Burkholder chairs the Enterprise Risk Management Committee and is also a member of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Burkholder is familiar with the workings of the Bank as he previously served on the Bank’s Delta Advisory Board. He graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy specializing in soil fertility. A graduate of Wauseon High School, he previously worked for Fulton County Soil & Water Conservation Society and taught Vocational Agriculture at Stryker Local Schools in Stryker, Ohio.
Lars B. Eller
President & CEO, Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, Inc. & Farmers & Merchants State Bank
Mr. Eller joined The Farmers & Merchants State Bank as its President and Chief Executive Officer in September 2018. He was also appointed to the Board of Directors of Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, Inc. and The Farmers & Merchants State Bank in September 2018. He assumed the additional position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, Inc. on February 1, 2019 upon the retirement of the then current President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Eller has a Master of Business Administration degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and an undergraduate degree from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Prior to joining the Bank, he worked as a consultant for Cambridge Savings Bank. In 2013, he joined Royal Bank of America as Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Banking Officer. Royal Bank of America was a publicly held community bank based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which was acquired in 2017. Previous banking experience includes serving as Director of Sales and Marketing at Clarity Advantage Corporation; Senior Vice President of Retail Banking for TD Bank in Pennsylvania, Head of National Sales for U.S. Wealth Management at TD Bank, leadership roles at National City Bank in Cleveland, Youngstown, and Dayton; and starting his banking career with TD Bank Financial Group working his way through the ranks as a management trainee to an area manager.
Having recently relocated to Northwest Ohio, Mr. Eller has extensive experience at both large national and regional banks, as well as community banks. He can provide knowledge and expertise to the board regarding executive management, sales and marketing, retail banking, bank mergers and acquisitions, human resource management, executive officer compensation and incentives, strategic planning, and shareholder relations. He is a member of the Executive Committee.
Jo Ellen Hornish
CEO Hornish Bros., Inc./Fountain City Leasing, Inc./Advantage Powder Coating, Inc.
Ms. Hornish is the President and CEO of several Defiance area companies. She oversees the day-to-day strategic and financial operations of Hornish Bros., Inc., Fountain City Leasing, Inc., Advantage Powder Coating, Inc., OneSource Diversified Services, Ltd., and Hornish Properties, LLC. Hornish Bros., Inc. is a trucking company purchased in 1984 which has common and contract authority in 48 states and Canada. It has been recognized as an eight-time General Motors Worldwide Supplier of the Year. Fountain City Leasing, Inc. is a privately-owned business with over 125 trucks and 550 trailers leased to Hornish Bros., Inc. and employs over 115 drivers, office, and shop employees. Advantage Powder Coating, Inc. was formed to powder coat iron castings for the automotive community, with a line capacity to process over 100,000 pounds of castings per hour. Advantage Powder Coating, Inc. has expanded its services to include impregnation, feddling, inspection, and other foundry related services. OneSource Diversified Services, Ltd. supplies rental properties and buildings for vendors providing services to automotive companies. Hornish Properties, LLC is a holding company for farmland and real estate. Due to her corporate leadership and involvement in the automotive and transportation industries, Ms. Hornish can provide guidance to the Board on corporate management and matters relating to the automotive industry and transportation industry. She currently serves on the Audit Committee and the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee.
Ms. Hornish is also a managing member of the Sam Hornish Jr. Foundation and is responsible for gifting which includes many local and national charities. Area recipients include the Sam Hornish Family Heart Center at Defiance Regional Hospital, the Defiance Senior Center, Sam Hornish Family Youth Lounge at the Defiance YMCA, Sam Hornish Family Fitness Room at Tinora High School, Sam Hornish Family Chapel at the Defiance Hospice Center, and the Browning Masonic Community Alzheimer Unit at Waterville. National charities include Feed the Children, Wounded Warrior Project, USO, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Shriners Hospital for Children, Tunnel to Tower City of Hope, and the Salvation Army.
Born and raised in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, Ms. Hornish relocated to Northwest Ohio over 40 years ago. She currently resides near Defiance, Ohio. Her memberships include the American Trucking Association, Ohio Trucking Association, the Northern Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council, and Women’s Giving Circle of Defiance.
Jack C. Johnson
Chairman of the Board, Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, Inc.; President, Hawk's Clothing, Inc.
Mr. Johnson has over 40 years’ experience in running an independent retail clothing business. His background and experience encompasses the various aspects of running a small retail business including accounting principles and practices, purchasing, retail sales, marketing, human resource management, and taxes. He brings valuable insight regarding small retail business operations; retail marketing and sales of products and services to consumers; and consumer buying habits and trends during various economic cycles. Prior to joining the Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, Inc. Board of Directors, Mr. Johnson served on the Bank’s Bryan Advisory Board. Mr. Johnson is Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and is a member of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee, the Compensation Committee, and the Enterprise Risk Management Committee.
Mr. Johnson graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration specializing in marketing. A life-time resident of Williams County, Ohio, he is a member of the Bryan Chamber of Commerce and former board member representing the retail division. In addition, he is a member and former president of the Bryan Retail Merchants Association, a graduate of the Hagger Business School, a member of the Men’s Apparel Guild of California, and a member of the Action Sports Retailing Group. Annually, Mr. Johnson attends a trade show called Surf Expo which provides educational seminars offering guidance and advice on current retailing and marketing ideas. Recent seminars addressed secrets of successful retailers; tips, trends and techniques for the new era of merchandising; and effective email strategies for retailers. Mr. Johnson is a former member of The Doneger Group, a fashion merchandising and consulting group providing apparel retailers with merchandising information and trend analysis for the apparel market segments.
Lori A. Johnston
President, Paramount Insurance & ProMedica Insurance Corp.
Lori Johnston is the President of ProMedica Insurance Corporation, the insurance division of ProMedica Health System. In this role she oversees the $2 billion medical, dental and workers compensation insurance plan with operations in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. ProMedica Insurance Corporation provides insurance products in the Medicare, Ohio Medicaid, Commercial, Health Exchange and Workers Compensation sectors. Prior to her role at ProMedica Insurance Corporation, Ms. Johnston has served in various executive roles with ProMedica since 1996, including Vice President and Senior Vice President of Finance (12 years); Chief Information Officer, overseeing all Information Technology for the health system including the implementation of ProMedica’s Electronic Health Record, Epic; and President of the ProMedica Physicians Group.
Before coming to ProMedica, Ms. Johnston was a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young where she served on the audit and healthcare consulting teams in Northern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan for thirteen years. She led and conducted audits and financial consulting projects. Ms. Johnston maintained an active CPA license from 1985 to 2010, which is currently inactive. Her extensive experience in corporate leadership and executive management enable her to provide knowledge and expertise to the Board regarding corporate management, corporate finance, strategic planning, organizational development, human resource management, and healthcare strategy. With an extensive accounting and financial background, Ms. Johnston is deemed the financial expert for the Board’s Audit Committee. As the financial expert, Ms. Johnston can provide significant insight regarding accounting principles and practices; auditing and risk management strategies, government regulations, internal controls and procedures for financial reporting, as well as insight on audit committee functions. In addition to her professional work, she has spent time in Central America and the Philippines doing medical mission work.
Ms. Johnston is the current chairman of the Ohio Association of Health Plans and is a board member of the Health Plan Alliance. She has a Master’s of Business Administration degree from the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree from the University of Toledo. She serves on the boards of the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye, Compassion Health Toledo, the St. Francis de Sales High School Foundation and the Advisory Council for the Area Office on Aging. She currently is chairing the Northwest Ohio Go Red for Women initiative and is on the fundraising cabinet for the Northwest Ohio YWCA. Ms. Johnston is originally from Henry County, Ohio and now resides in Lucas County, Ohio.
Marcia Sloan Latta
Vice President for Advancement, University of Findlay
Dr. Marcia Latta serves as Vice President for Advancement at The University of Findlay where she oversees fundraising, alumni and parent relations, community outreach, and the nationally-known Mazza Museum. Prior executive experience includes serving as Vice President for Advancement at DePauw University where she organized and launched a $250 million campaign and more than doubled funds raised, and as the Bowling Green State University Foundation Vice President and Campaign Director for BGSU’s Building Dreams Centennial Campaign which resulted in nearly $150 million raised – the largest fundraising effort in Northwest Ohio history. Dr. Latta is a frequent presenter across the nation and internationally on development and board governance issues. She began her career as a congressional aide on Capitol Hill and then did volunteer work in Costa Rica before beginning her work in advancement. In addition to higher education, Dr. Latta has worked in hospital philanthropy, marketing, and served as the founding president of the Bowling Green Community Foundation.
Dr. Latta is a former president of the Northwest Ohio Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals, which named her its Outstanding Fundraising Executive. She holds a doctor of education degree in leadership and policy studies from BGSU and has completed Harvard University’s School of Education’s Management and Leadership in Education program. Through her experience and education, she provides a strong understanding and commitment to leadership, board governance, corporate management, and public policy. Dr. Latta chairs the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. She is active in many civic and professional organizations including the Toledo Zoo Board of Directors where she chairs the Governance Committee, Rotary International, and the Watterson Family Foundation, among others. A former resident of Williams County, Ohio, she now resides in Wood County.
Steven J. Planson
President, Planson Farms, Inc.
Mr. Planson has successfully managed a large family farm corporation for over 25 years with a primary focus on grain production and processing tomatoes. In addition, he is involved with a family trucking operation. Mr. Planson and his wife were previously named the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Outstanding Young Couple in recognition of their farming operation accomplishments and leadership in the agricultural community. He is a past recipient of Red Gold Master Grower Awards for his tomato growing operation. His extensive farming background and practical experience provide significant insight regarding farm business management; agriculture finance; commodity sales and marketing; as well as the local farm economy and challenges to the farming industry. He also offers a valuable perspective on local and state government matters from his service as a Township Trustee. Mr. Planson is a member of the Audit Committee and the Enterprise Risk Management Committee.
Prior to joining the Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, Inc. Board of Directors, Mr. Planson served on the Bank’s Stryker Advisory Board. A life-time resident of Williams County, Ohio and graduate of Stryker High School, Stryker, Ohio, Mr. Planson has served as a Springfield Township Trustee in Williams County, Ohio for over 20 years. As a Township Trustee, he also served on the Springfield Township Zoning Board. He was a member of the Stryker Farmers Exchange Board for 22 years, serving as president six of those years. A former board member of the Williams County Farm Bureau and former trustee of the Campbell Soup Tomato Growers Association, Mr. Planson is an active member of the Williams County Farm Bureau, Stryker Chamber of Commerce, Stryker Heritage Council, Stryker Rotary Club, and Friends of Stryker Library. In 2011, Mr. Planson was the recipient of the Paul Harris Award by the Rotary Foundation. The Paul Harris Award recognizes individuals who have made contributions in promoting human philanthropic projects throughout the local community and around the world.
Kevin J. Sauder
President & CEO, Sauder Woodworking Company
Mr. Sauder has served as President/Chief Executive Officer since 2001 of Sauder Woodworking Company, a large privately-held, family-run corporation. The corporation, which is North America’s largest manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture, employs over 2,800 employees. Through its subsidiaries, Sauder Manufacturing and Progressive, Inc., serve the worship, education, health care, and assembled bedroom furniture markets. His extensive experience in executive management and corporate leadership enables him to provide knowledge and expertise to the Board regarding corporate management, corporate finance, product sales and marketing, and human resource management. His knowledge and expertise further enable him to assist the board on matters involving business acquisition, financial turnarounds, strategic planning, executive officer compensation and incentives, and shareholder relations. Mr. Sauder is Vice President of the Board of Directors, Chairman of the Compensation Committee and a member of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Sauder has a Master’s of Business Administration degree from Duke University, and an undergraduate degree from Miami University. A long-term resident of Fulton County, Ohio, he is the Immediate Past President of the Archbold Rotary Club. Mr. Sauder is the past Chairman of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, and Finance Committee Chair and current Board Member of the ProMedica Health System.
Founding and Managing Member of Simon PLC Attorneys & Counselors
President and Educational Consultant of Stamm Management Group
Dr. Stamm presently serves as President and Educational Consultant of Stamm Management Group. Until his retirement in 2018, he served as Chair of the Division of Business at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he also taught economics for eighteen years. Prior to that he was Chair of the Division of Business and Economics at Nyack College in New York with campuses both in Nyack and New York City. In addition, he teaches Economics for Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.
He received his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Economics, his MBA from Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania, his Ph.D. in Economics from Fordham University in New York City, and additional coursework at Gordon College and Florida State University. His academic specializations and certifications are in Applied Microeconomics, International Economics, Macroeconomic Theory, and Industrial Organization. Dr. Stamm has taught graduate courses several times in China, been a special lecturer in economics for the past six years at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and is a reviewer for the “Christian Business Academic Review.”
He has extensive experience in management, marketing, promotion, finance, and economic analysis. Dr. Stamm is a regular economic commentator on radio stations in West Michigan and periodically serves as an Economic Analyst for West Michigan Television Stations. He has had several articles published in newspapers and business journals on topics related to economics along with his annual economic forecast. He is a member of the Audit Committee.
Raised in Archbold, Ohio, he worked for several years in the community before moving to the East Coast where he was involved in concert promotion and production with large outdoor festivals in addition to marketing concerts for Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden. He and his family now reside in Ada, Michigan. His current memberships include the American Economic Association, the Association of Christian Economists, Omicron Delta Epsilon (the Graduate International Economics Honors Society), and Delta Mu Delta (Business Honor Society). Dr. Stamm is also a trustee of Pillar College in Newark, New Jersey.