Meet our team

Meet our team in Athens

Bill Douglas
J. William “Bill” Douglas, Jr.

Division CEO


A native of Columbia, S.C., Bill began his banking career in Augusta at Bankers First. He joined AFB&T, a division of Synovus Bank, in 1986 as senior vice president of banking operations. After serving as executive vice president and chief banking officer of Athens First Bank and Trust, he was named president and CEO in 2002. Synovus honored him in 2013 with the James H. Blanchard Leadership Award, given to individuals who demonstrate the best use of leadership and interpersonal skills such as teamwork, communication and coaching.

Work in our community

Board Chairman, Athens Classic Center Authority (Athens Civic Center)

Board Chairman, Athens Area Community Foundation

Board Member, Athens Regional Health Services

Advisory Board Member, Piedmont College

Board Member and Past President, Athens YMCA

Board Member, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce

Board Member, Athens Health Plan Select

Past President and Trustee, Foundation of Excellence in Public Education for Athens-Clarke County 

 

Laurie Clark
Laurie M. Clarke

Market President


A native of Morgan County, Laurie grew up near Madison. She started her banking career in 1977 while attending UGA, and worked for a local insurance agency for several years after graduation. In 1986, she returned to banking as part of a team that established a commercial banking division for Athens First Bank & Trust. After holding positions in accounting, operations and loan processing, she became a commercial banking officer with the title of vice president. Ten years later, she was named Group Vice President, Commercial Real Estate. Laurie now leads our entire commercial banking division. Outside the office, she’s an active community volunteer and avid UGA football fan who also enjoys gardening and painting.

Work in our community

Board Member, Clarke-Oconee Executive Leadership Council, American Cancer Society

Member, United Way Women’s Leadership Circle

Member, Athens Area Cancer Auxiliary

Member, Athens Area Homebuilders Association

Member, Georgia Bankers Association

Mac McKnight
Mac McKnight

Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking


Originally from Columbus, Georgia, Mac is a University of Georgia graduate, where he earned his degree in Risk Management and Insurance from the Terry College of Business. He is also a graduate of Louisiana State University’s Graduate School of Banking. During his 14 years with Synovus, Mac has served many roles, including branch manager, commercial analyst, commercial mortgage originator, commercial banker, and commercial banking manager. Currently, he leads Commercial Real Estate Lending for the Northeast and Southeast portions of Georgia, as well as Northeast Florida. He’s been recognized as a member of the Synovus Chairman Circle of Excellence. To relax, Mac enjoys spending time with his family and his dog, playing golf, and rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Work in our community

Athens Area Chamber of Commerce leadership program known as LEAD Athens

Serves on the Greater Athens Young Life board

Past Columbus, Georgia, Young Life volunteer leader for 9 years

Past Rome, Georgia, Young Life committee member

 

 

994, a decade after starting his banking career. Over the years, his responsibilities have included branch operations, business banking, retail banking, strategic planning, and facilities and ATM management. In recognition of his professional and community achievements, he was recently named to the Chairman’s Circle of Excellence. Phil has also received Synovus’s William B. Turner Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented to individuals with a deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of team members and their families.

 

Work in our community

Board Member, Athens Regional Foundation

Board Member and Chairman, Athens Technical Foundation

Board Member, Athens Area Community Foundation

Board Member and President-Elect, Athens Symphony

Board Member, Boy Scouts of Northeast Georgia

Member and Past President, Athens Rotary Club

Past Board Chair, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce

Steering Committee Member, L.E.A.D. Athens and L.E.A.D. Athens Alumni Association (community leadership program)

Past Board Member, Athens Downtown Development Authority

Past Board Member, Economic Development Foundation of Athens-Clarke County

Past Board Member, Industrial Development Authority of Athens-Clarke County

 

Phil joined Athens First in 1994, a decade after starting his banking career. Over the years, his responsibilities have included branch operations, business banking, retail banking, strategic planning, and facilities and ATM management. In recognition of his professional and community achievements, he was recently named to the Chairman’s Circle of Excellence. Phil has also received Synovus’s William B. Turner Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented to individuals with a deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of team members and their families.

 

Work in our community

Board Member, Athens Regional Foundation

Board Member and Chairman, Athens Technical Foundation

Board Member, Athens Area Community Foundation

Board Member and President-Elect, Athens Symphony

Board Member, Boy Scouts of Northeast Georgia

Member and Past President, Athens Rotary Club

Past Board Chair, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce

Steering Committee Member, L.E.A.D. Athens and L.E.A.D. Athens Alumni Association (community leadership program)

Past Board Member, Athens Downtown Development Authority

Past Board Member, Economic Development Foundation of Athens-Clarke County

Past Board Member, Industrial Development Authority of Athens-Clarke County

 
Phil Bettendorf
Phillip Bettendorf

Senior VP, Regional Retail Sales Manager


Phil joined Athens First in 1994, a decade after starting his banking career. Over the years, his responsibilities have included branch operations, business banking, retail banking, strategic planning, and facilities and ATM management. In recognition of his professional and community achievements, he was recently named to the Chairman’s Circle of Excellence. Phil has also received Synovus’s William B. Turner Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented to individuals with a deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of team members and their families.

Work in our community

Board Member, Athens Regional Foundation

Board Member and Chairman, Athens Technical Foundation

Board Member, Athens Area Community Foundation

Board Member and President-Elect, Athens Symphony

Board Member, Boy Scouts of Northeast Georgia

Member and Past President, Athens Rotary Club

Past Board Chair, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce

Steering Committee Member, L.E.A.D. Athens and L.E.A.D. Athens Alumni Association (community leadership program)

Past Board Member, Athens Downtown Development Authority

Past Board Member, Economic Development Foundation of Athens-Clarke County

Past Board Member, Industrial Development Authority of Athens-Clarke County

 

 

994, a decade after starting his banking career. Over the years, his responsibilities have included branch operations, business banking, retail banking, strategic planning, and facilities and ATM management. In recognition of his professional and community achievements, he was recently named to the Chairman’s Circle of Excellence. Phil has also received Synovus’s William B. Turner Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented to individuals with a deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of team members and their families.

 

Work in our community

Board Member, Athens Regional Foundation

Board Member and Chairman, Athens Technical Foundation

Board Member, Athens Area Community Foundation

Board Member and President-Elect, Athens Symphony

Board Member, Boy Scouts of Northeast Georgia

Member and Past President, Athens Rotary Club

Past Board Chair, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce

Steering Committee Member, L.E.A.D. Athens and L.E.A.D. Athens Alumni Association (community leadership program)

Past Board Member, Athens Downtown Development Authority

Past Board Member, Economic Development Foundation of Athens-Clarke County

Past Board Member, Industrial Development Authority of Athens-Clarke County

 

Phil joined Athens First in 1994, a decade after starting his banking career. Over the years, his responsibilities have included branch operations, business banking, retail banking, strategic planning, and facilities and ATM management. In recognition of his professional and community achievements, he was recently named to the Chairman’s Circle of Excellence. Phil has also received Synovus’s William B. Turner Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented to individuals with a deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of team members and their families.

 

Work in our community

Board Member, Athens Regional Foundation

Board Member and Chairman, Athens Technical Foundation

Board Member, Athens Area Community Foundation

Board Member and President-Elect, Athens Symphony

Board Member, Boy Scouts of Northeast Georgia

Member and Past President, Athens Rotary Club

Past Board Chair, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce

Steering Committee Member, L.E.A.D. Athens and L.E.A.D. Athens Alumni Association (community leadership program)

Past Board Member, Athens Downtown Development Authority

Past Board Member, Economic Development Foundation of Athens-Clarke County

Past Board Member, Industrial Development Authority of Athens-Clarke County