FINANCE First Place Financial elects board chairman

The new board chairman has been a First Place board member since 2000.
WARREN -- Samuel A. Roth has been elected chairman of the board of First Place Financial Corp. succeeding W. Terry Patrick, who announced his retirement effective Dec. 31.
Steven R. Lewis, president and chief executive officer, noted that Patrick left his position to pursue other business interests and concentrate on his law practice.
Roth has been a board member of First Place Financial Corp. and First Place Bank since 2000.
He has been a consultant to businesses since January 2003, specializing in turnarounds, planning, mergers and acquisitions.
He was president of FirstEnergy Facilities Group, a holding company for the mechanical construction, contracting and energy management companies owned by FirstEnergy from January 1999 to December 2002.
Before that, he was president of Roth Bros. Inc., a diversified engineering and contracting corporation.
'Seamless transition'
Lewis said, "Sam's appointment to the chairman position assures a seamless transition as First Place continues its growth path in the Midwest."
Lewis also praised Patrick for providing valuable guidance to First Place Financial Corp.
"During his tenure as chairman, the company doubled in size amidst challenging economic, competitive and global conditions. We appreciate his many contributions," Lewis said.
Patrick, who will remain on the board until June 30, has been a member of the board of First Place Financial Corp. and First Place Bank since 2000.
Before its merger with First Place, he was a director and chairman of FFY Bank and FFY Financial Corp.
He has been a partner in the law firm of Friedman & amp; Rummel Co., L.P.A. of Youngstown since 1980, where his practice is concentrated in the areas of corporate, estate and succession planning.
First Place Financial Corp., a $2.3 billion financial services holding company based in Warren, is the largest publicly traded thrift based in Ohio.
First Place Financial Corp. includes First Place Bank, with 22 retail locations, two business financial service centers and 11 loan production offices.

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