Elbe, Fernandez join Liberty Bank board

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Carlos Fernandez, left, and Mike Elbe | Photos courtesy of Liberty Bank

QUINCY — Liberty Bank recently announced the addition of two longtime active community supporters to its board of directors.

Carlos Fernandez, former general manager at WGEM AM/FM/TV, and Mike Elbe, former president of John Wood Community College have both been elected to the bank’s board of directors.

“Most banks add board members who have done well for themselves,” said President and Chairman Mark Field, “but we prefer to bring in folks who have who have done well for others in the community in addition to being successful in their own careers.

“Being 100% local, we live and die by what happens right here at home, and we are excited to add two board members who have done so much in helping so many people throughout our community. With Carlos and his extensive volunteerism through the Honor Flight program, United Way, Red Cross, and so on, and Mike’s tenure as a coach, teacher and mentor to so many young folks culminating with his presidency of our local community college, it’s hard to beat their love of this community, and that fits right in with the whole mission of our bank”.

Fernandez retired after 48 years of experience in various aspects of broadcasting – from station management to strategic consulting. As the vice president and general manager for Quincy Broadcasting, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the whole family of the WGEM stations, which included the NBC, FOX, CW, and MeTV television stations, plus radio stations 105FM (NewsTalk) and ESPN 1440/98.9 (Sports). He has been a resident of Quincy since October of 2007.

During his professional career, Fernandez was actively involved in professional and community organizations including serving several terms on the ABC Affiliates Board (where he also served as treasurer), president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, executive board member of the Austin
Chamber of Commerce and president of the Missouri and Illinois Broadcasters Associations.

Upon moving to Quincy, he became a co-founder and the chairman of the Great River Honor Flight Board, providing area veterans a cost-free opportunity to gather with their fellow servicemen and women to celebrate their service to our country and to visit our national memorials in Washington, DC. He has also served or is serving on a number of local boards including Quincy Community Theatre, Chaddock School, American Red Cross, Advocacy Network for Children, United Way, Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce, GREDF, Quincy Parks Foundation, Junior Achievement, Looking for Lincoln, Quincy’s Fourth of July celebration and Arts Quincy.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my association with Liberty Bank.” Fernandez said in a press release. “Since moving to Quincy years ago, I’ve watched as the Liberty Bank team has consistently shown a commitment to the communities they serve. That is a perfect fit for my continued involvement in this community.”

Elbe served as president of John Wood Community College from 2014-2022. He started at JWCC in 1990 and has held a number of positions during his tenure at the college. He served as vice president for Student Services, holding the position of chief Student Services officer for the college. During his 35 years of professional experiences, he has served at four 4-year colleges and two separate engagements with John Wood.

He served as assistant dean of students and director of athletics at the University of Dubuque (Iowa), instructor/academic advisor at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington (N.C.), instructor/resident director at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College in Laurinburg (N.C.) and director of Student Life and the athletic department at JWCC.

Elbe has served on several area boards — the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce, the Great River Economic Development Foundation, United Way of Adams County, the Workforce Investment Board and Tri-State Development Summit. Last year, he received the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award as well as the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education Advocacy Award.

Elbe was recognized in 2021 for his community service by being selected as the recipient of the Thomas A. Oakley Award for Economic Innovation from GREDF. In 2019, the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce awarded him the community Diversity Champion award. He was the 2018 Joe Bonasinga Award recipient and was honored by Phi Theta Kappa in April 2018 as the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, PTK’s most prestigious award for college presidents. He was nominated for this award by the student members of the local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Elbe earned an educational specialist in administration degree in December of 2013 from William
Woods University. He received a master of science in education from the University of South Alabama and a bachelor of science in education from Quincy University with a K-12 state of Illinois teaching certificate.

“Growing up right here in this area, I am proud to affiliate with what is one of the very last truly local
banks,” Elbe said. “It’s great to be part of a team that is so dedicated to taking care of our friends
and neighbors and keeping our money working right here at home, together. I look forward to being
able to help our local communities continue to grow.”

Fernandez and Elbe join board members Mark Field, chairman; Scott Schoonover, board secretary; and John Matlick, Larry Talken and Lawson Faler.

Liberty Bank is a locally-owned, locally-operated and locally-focused community bank which was chartered in 1903. It is celebrating its 120th year of continuous operation and has offices in Liberty, Barry, Payson and Quincy.

For more information, visit www.liberty.bank.

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