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Martin Retires from Banking

Leon MartinLeon Martin retired from a career in banking Friday, but he has many more roles with which he will no doubt continue his involvement.
Martin began his banking career at Bank of Elizabethtown following graduation from Tar Heel High School and UNC-Pembroke in the early 1970’s   He retired as Senior Vice President/Banking Manager of First Citizens Bank in Elizabethtown.
He is a man of many talents and while many of his years have been spent in the banking business, he has ventured outside banking into the education field and economic development businesses.
He taught health and physical education, and coached, at Tar Heel and Clarkton High Schools early in his career, and served 4 years as Executive Director of Southeastern Economic Development Commission (SEDC) before returning to the banking business.
His banking career, in addition to the Bank of Elizabethtown, includes a total of 16 1/2 years with UCB in Elizabethtown and Tar Heel and 17 years with First Citizens Bank in Bladenboro and Elizabethtown.
Friday, as his fellow workers were busy preparing for a party in his honor, he reflected on his career, his co-workers and friends he has worked with and served in various capacities over the years and admitted he was leaving with “mixed emotions. I know I will miss my co-workers and customers and I will be back from time to time to visit.”
“I have made a lot of relationships over the 38 years, it has meant a lot, I will miss the people,” he continued.
When ask about what he would do on his first Monday following retirement, “I have no idea, Rebecca (his wife of many years) may have it planned.”
Leon and Rebecca are the proud parents of 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren.
Rebecca recently retired as a Bladen County school teacher.  They have a “place” at Myrtle Beach, SC in addition to the family farm and home in Tar Heel,NC.
His political career includes 10 years on the Bladen County Board of Education.
Leon is leaving the day to day banking business, but he will remain active in many of the activities he has been involved with for years including, Tar Heel Baptist Church, where he has served in just about every capacity and continues his involvement.
He will remain active with Bladen Agri-Industrial, a non-profit revolving loan and real estate economic development group as Secretary/Treasurer; and with Advancement Regional Lending Board where he has served for 25 years and is the current Chairman.
Martin was one of the original founders, and President, of the Bladen County Committee of 100. A Past President of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce, has served as a member of the Bladen County EDC, and Chairman, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern N.C. Chamber of Commerce, and also served on the Bladen County Ag Extension Advisory Council on several occasions.
He remains an active supporter of UNC-Pembroke and enjoys a night out at a UNC Chapel Hill ball game, when he has time.  He has served on the Bladen Community College Board of Trustees.
Martin has served on numerous local committees, including Boy Scouts fundraisers, United Way, Relay for Life, and Rotary Club, to mention a few.
His honors are numerous, including the “Exceed” Award, for extraordinary individual performance that exceeds expectations; presented by Mr. Frank Holding in 2012. Other awards include the “Paul Harris Fellow” Award from the Elizabethtown Rotary Club, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Elizabethtown Jaycees, and many more.
One of his admirers and partner in his economic development endeavors stated, “There have to be more hours in Leon Martin’s days than the rest of us get.  When you consider what Leon has accomplished in his career, church, and volunteer roles, it is truly mind boggling.”
Leon was born on December 16, 1950 to Raymond and Lena Mae Martin and is married to the former Rebecca Burney of Bladenboro.
He has served in so many capacities and will continue, but his banking career has ended.  He retired.
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