Donna Cooper retires from First Tennessee

Sandra ClarkFeature, Powell

Powell resident Donna Cooper has retired from First Tennessee Bank after an 18-year career in management, most recently as retail banking executive responsible for financial centers and retail banking across East Tennessee from Bristol to Chattanooga. She says joining First Tennessee was “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my (42-year banking) career.”

And while she will miss her co-workers, Cooper is looking forward to continuing to do the things she enjoys: cooking, reading and traveling. She also will seek mentoring opportunities.


Cooper says principles learned from her parents have been helpful, both personally and in her career:

  • Always give your best effort
  • Be on time
  • Have a good attitude
  • Do extra without being asked
  • Be energetic
  • Be prepared
  • Be coachable/learn from others
  • Have a passion for what you are doing no matter what it is
  • Be kind to others and show gratitude

A native of Athens, Tennessee, Donna Reed Cooper has been married for 39 years to Wendell Cooper. Their son and daughter-in-law live in Florida. She is a graduate of UT and has volunteered with numerous non-profits including: United Way of Greater Knoxville, Executive Women’s Association, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians.

Cooper cites strong leaders such as Lew Weems, Pam Fansler, Dave Miller and Tammy Locascio who have taught her how to be a strong and positive leader.

“It’s been rewarding to work for a company that understands the importance of building relationships with customers and employees in order to grow the business; a company that has a solid culture that focuses on diversity, inclusion and balance between work life and personal life; a company that offers mentoring and other leadership programs to advance the growth of employees. To be at a company where you are surrounded by strong leaders that are willing to teach you valuable lessons along the way as well as working with strong employees has been so beneficial.”

(Written by Jennifer Holder of Pirate Girl PR)

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