Paul Pickhardt, Senior Vice President, SBA Lending Manager for Countybank, announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2023.
Pickhardt has worked for Countybank for more than six years. He has been instrumental in developing the SBA lending department into the esteemed small business lending team it is today. Under his strong and innovative leadership, Countybank has received multiple recognitions for its SBA lending program’s success, including being named the top SBA 7(a) South Carolina-based lender for four consecutive years (2019–2022). Additionally, his team surpassed a notable milestone of more than $100 million in loan closings in 2022.
“We are incredibly grateful for how Paul has built and grown our SBA lending department since joining Countybank in May 2017,” said R. Thornwell Dunlap III, President and CEO of Countybank. “While we will miss Paul’s leadership, we wish him nothing but the best as he enters retirement.” Ken Harper, Countybank’s Chief Banking Officer, added, “we appreciate all the ways Paul made our organization better. His enthusiasm and work ethic have been and remain exemplary.”
“It’s bittersweet to be leaving the team I have worked with for so many years,” said Pickhardt. “But I’m excited to begin this new chapter of my life and know I’m leaving the team in good hands. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this portion of my career. Your support has meant the world to me.”
Although Pickhardt will retire later this year, he will remain affiliated with Countybank in a training capacity in 2024. Chris Jackson, who joined Countybank as Senior Vice President, SBA Division Manager in June, will take over SBA division leadership responsibilities once Pickhardt steps down. He has worked closely with Pickhardt over the past several months to ensure a smooth transition.
Jackson has more than 20 years of banking and SBA lending experience. He was previously Senior Vice President and Head of SBA lending for German American Bank, where he managed the department and developed lending strategies. Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Business Administration degree from Capital University.
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