Clemmons Honored as Carver Celebrates 82nd Anniversary


John B. Clemmons, Sr.(seated) is pictured with the other Carver Directors. L-R Robert E. James, II, Robert E. James, Mrs. Janie R. Toomer, Clifford E. Hardwick, III Hardwick, III, and Edward G. Miller.
John B. Clemmons, Sr.(seated) is pictured with the other Carver Directors. L-R Robert E. James, II, Robert E. James, Mrs. Janie R. Toomer, Clifford E. Hardwick, III Hardwick, III, and Edward G. Miller.

On February 28, 2009, Carver State Bank honored John B. Clemmons, Sr. for his many years of leadership and service to the bank and the Savannah community. The tribute took place during Carver’s 82nd Anniversary reception held at the bank’s main office at 701 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

Clemmons has been a member of the Board of Directors of Carver State Bank since 1960, and has served as Chairman since 1990.

A native of Rome, Georgia, Clemmons is a retired professor and former Chairman of the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science at Savannah State University. Prior to moving to Savannah, he was a high school principal for four (4) years in Harlan, Kentucky and a professor at Morehouse College, Kentucky State College, and the University of Southern California.

Clemmons earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehouse College and a Master of Science from Atlanta University. He did additional study at the University of Pittsburg, the University of Southern California, and the University of California, Los Angeles. His academic accomplishments also include the Ford Foundation Fellowship, 1952; University of Southern California Teaching Fellowship, 1953; and the National Science Faculty Fellowship, 1958.

Clemmons has received numerous awards for his civic activities.

He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boule). He has served of the national executive board of Sigma Pi Phi and is currently a Director of The Boule Foundation that has named its highest award for giving to The Foundation, “The John B. Clemmons Award.”

During his salute to Clemmons, Savannah Mayor Otis S. Johnson said, “During your 49- year tenure with Carver State Bank, while serving in the capacities of both Director and Chairman of the Board, you have proven to be a valuable asset to this financial institution.” The Mayor continued, “Your admirable service with Carver State Bank and local civic organizations has earned you the love and respect of many in this community. All of us here in Savannah greatly appreciate the significant contributions you have rendered throughout the years to help enrich this community and the lives of its citizens.”

Clemmons and his wife are the parents of two children, Sheila of Savannah and Dr. John B. Clemmons, Jr. of Houston, TX.

Louis B. Toomer established Carver State Bank under the laws of the State of Georgia on February 23, 1927. During April of 1947, this growing private banking corporation qualified as a State Chartered Bank under the supervision of the Georgia Department of Banking and the name was changed to The Carver Savings Bank.

Toomer was the first President of the bank, and held that position until his death in May 1961. As anticipated, Lawrence D. Perry became President following Toomer’s death. Prior to assuming the presidency, Perry served as Cashier from the date the bank began operation.

Carver became a full-service commercial bank by adding new services, including checking accounts, and the bank’s name was changed to The Carver State Bank on February 5, 1962. On December 1, 1971, Perry retired from active management. Under his leadership, Carver’s assets grew from $1 million to $4.6 million.

The Board of Directors selected Robert E. James to succeed Perry as President and Chief Executive Officer, and during the anniversary reception, Dr. Priscilla D. Thomas, Vice Chairman of the Chatham County Commission and 8th District Representative, presented James with a “Certificate for Outstanding Service” in recognition of his leadership in maintaining the success of the Carver State Bank.”

Since James assumed the Presidency, the Bank’s assets have increased from $4.6 million to approximately $42 million. Additionally, a new, ultra modern main office building was completed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd in February 1975.

In 1999, Carver State Bank was certified by the United States Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution.

During 2003, the stockholders and Directors approved the formation of Carver Financial Corporation, a one-bank holding company, and the bank’s shareholders surrendered their bank stock in exchange for stock in the holding company that now owns all of the outstanding shares of Carver State Bank. Carver Financial Corporation has also been certified by the Treasury Department as a Community Development Corporation.

On December 11, 2007, Carver opened a 4,000 square feet branch bank at the corner of Eisenhower Drive and Skidaway Road in Southeast Savannah, the bank’s first office outside of the downtown area.

Carver has progressed due to the commitment, participation and cooperation of an astute blend of influential businesspersons, professionals and community leaders who have served as members of the bank’s Board of Directors. Over the years, Carver Directors have been able to successfully respond to numerous challenges, including many changes in its competitive environment.

In addition to President James and Chairman John B. Clemmons, Sr., the current Board of Directors includes Clifford E. Hardwick, III; Edward G. Miller; Robert E. James, II; and Mrs. Janie R. Toomer.

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