UMB adds two to its lending team

Published 3:56 pm Monday, August 28, 2023

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NATCHEZ — UMB has added two new employees — Jennifer Brixey Freeman and Fernanda Diaz — to its lending team.

Freeman comes to UMB with 24 years banking experience of which the last 20 years are in mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending.

“I am so excited to join this team, and I look forward to collaborating with a community driven bank that cares about its customers as much as I do,” Freeman said. “It feels like home already. Being a part of this community is so important to me and assisting my customers who feel the same way means a great deal to me.”

Jennifer Freeman

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“It is my pleasure to welcome Jennifer Freeman to UMB’s lending team,” said Mike Ellard, president and chief credit officer of UMB. “With UMB’s introduction of a new in-bank mortgage product, Jennifer’s mortgage experience will be invaluable. Additionally, her consumer and commercial lending experience make her a perfect fit.”

Adrian Sandel, CEO of UMB, elaborated, “We are beyond excited to have Jennifer aboard. Her work ethic, lending experience, and excellent customer service skills will contribute to the continued growth and success of UMB.”

Freeman graduated with an associate’s degree from Louisiana State University at Alexandria after graduating from Ferriday High School. She is incredibly involved in the community, serving as a board member of the Concordia Chamber of Commerce and Louisiana Workforce Development Board Area 60. She is also a member of Kiwanis and volunteers with Relay for Life. She received the Concordia Chamber Volunteer of the Year award and is a long-time regular volunteer in multiple areas of her children’s school.

Married to Gregory “Gigi” Freeman, she has three children, Dylan Knapp, Conner Freeman, and Sarah Freeman. The family attends First Baptist Church of Vidalia. Freeman will be located at the Vidalia Branch.

Fernanda Diaz comes to UMB after graduating in 2022 from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Administration. At Ole Miss, Diaz attended the Pulse Leadership Conference and was a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society and Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional co-ed business fraternity founded in 1904.

Fernanda Diaz

Diaz interned with Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, working closely with senior management, where she worked in data entry, produced up to date instructions for internal documents, and collaborated to further advancements on ongoing projects. Diaz participated in workshop courses aimed at professional development to grow in industry knowledge.

Previously, she interned at Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance Inc., where she collaborated on database projects for external clients, working closely with FBBI associates. She also participated in team building, leadership and professional development classes and completed a project she presented to a panel of senior leaders.

“This young woman will do great things for UMB and the Centreville/Gloster areas,” Ellard said of Diaz. “She is super smart and full of energy.”

Frank Foster, executive vice president and chief lending officer, said, “This means a great deal to me to have a local professional and all-around great person work with me in the Gloster area. We could not be happier to have Fernanda join the UMB family to serve Amite County.”

Diaz graduated from Centerville Academy in 2016, serving as Class President. She was inducted into the Centreville Academy Hall of Fame and named Miss Centreville Academy. Diaz is the daughter of Saul and Aurora Diaz of Gloster and is a second-generation American and first-generation college graduate.

Her parents have owned and operated La Cabana Mexican Food for 22 years where Diaz worked in all areas of operation.

“I can’t think of a better way for me to express my gratitude for the way I grew up than to come back and serve in my Gloster community and the surrounding areas,” shared Diaz. “I am honored and pleased to join the UMB team as a Loan Officer at our Gloster Branch and look forward to helping people where I work and live realize their dreams.”