The American Bankers Association has awarded Gene Miles, genePresident and CEO of First Farmers Bank & Trust, with the Bruning Award, the association's premiere award and designation for ag banking. The award will be presented at ABA National Agricultural Bankers Conference, Nov. 13-16 in Indianapolis.

Gene has served First Farmers for over 38 years and his career has touched on nearly every capacity within the institution, including commercial loan officer, compliance officer, investment officer, marketing officer and accounting officer. He also is deeply engaged in the community, with outreach including volunteer leadership positions with St. Vincent Hospital, the Miami County Community Foundation, the Northern Indiana Community Foundation and the Miami County Economic Development Committee.

As a youth, Miles was raised on an Indiana corn, soybean and livestock farm, working alongside his father and grandfather.“It makes you feel grounded to know that your roots go back to Grandpa’s ground. I am deeply honored to be awarded the Bruning Award.  So many employees, directors, and customers have been a part of what we have done, and I would like to personally thank them.  I’m extremely proud to have been a part of the U.S. ag banking community and U.S agriculture, the greatest provider of safe, affordable, and abundant food the world has ever seen,” added Miles.

Miles has nurtured and grown First Farmers Bank & Trust through vision, foresight, and old-fashioned values. Several years ago, recognizing that agricultural banking opportunities extended beyond state borders, he led a strategic decision to grow the bank through acquisitions into neighboring Illinois. First Farmers Bank and Trust is a $1.55 billion, 36 branch organization, that employs nearly 400 people in Indiana and Illinois, and serves more than 50,000 clients, all while remaining headquartered in Converse, Indiana, a town of less than 1,250 residents.