TowneBank names new CEO amid Farmers merger

Published 5:46 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

Suffolk-based TowneBank, which is in the process of acquiring Windsor-based Farmers Bank, announced a change in its company leadership last week.

William “Billy” I. Foster III has been tapped by TowneBank’s board of directors to succeed J. Morgan Davis when he steps down as chief executive officer Dec. 31. 

Davis, who plans to retire on March 31, 2023 after assisting with the transition process, will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors and as an executive consultant focused on mergers and acquisitions, member relations and other special projects. 

This announcement came in a company news release and follows a months-long process led by a special committee formed by the board to direct the search for Davis’ successor and to conduct a comprehensive review and assessment of the company’s long-term management succession plan for its senior leadership management structure. 

Foster joined the Towne family in 2004 as regional president to lead the bank’s expansion into the Norfolk community, according to the release. Since that time he has served in several executive roles, including his current role as president of the bank’s markets in Central Virginia and North Carolina. Prior to joining Towne, he served as the eastern region president of Central Fidelity Bank. 

“Billy’s extraordinary leadership style is deeply rooted in the Towne culture of caring that serves as the foundation of our long-term success,” G. Robert Aston Jr., executive chairman, said in the news release. “His stellar record of achievement throughout his career stands as tribute to his warm, welcoming nature that is a hallmark of great community bankers. Rest assured, the future strategic direction of our Company will be to maintain a steady, conservative course while reaching for new and exciting horizons.” 

Foster said he looks forward to working with his predecessor and the entire management team.

“The impact Morgan Davis has made on the culture of our Company and the success we have achieved cannot be overstated,” he said in the release. “…We look to the future while remaining true to our culture of caring for others and enriching lives – in every community we serve.” 

Foster attended Old Dominion University, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in accounting and also earned a masters of business administration from the College of William and Mary. 

He and his wife Beth have three children and reside in Virginia Beach.