BancorpSouth has appointed James Ronald Hodges as executive vice president of BancorpSouth Inc. and vice chairman and chief lending officer of BancorpSouth Bank. Hodges replaces W. Gregg Cowsert, who retired Sept. 30 from his position as vice chairman and chief lending officer after 21 years of service to BancorpSouth.
Hodges joined Bank of Mississippi in 1973 as a management trainee at the company’s corporate offices in Tupelo. Bank of Mississippi later became BancorpSouth. Hodges has progressed through the company over a career spanning 38 years, serving in various management capacities, initially including the Credit Card Department, Operations Division and as community bank president in Olive Branch and West Point.
Following the community bank management roles, he returned to the corporate office in 1986, serving in loan administration and later as corporate secretary. In 1992, BancorpSouth acquired a Jackson, Tenn., community bank system where Hodges served as president and COO. Hodges was promoted to regional and area loan administrator in 2000, assuming senior management credit responsibilities for BancorpSouth’s Arkansas, Louisiana and East Texas markets. He was named BancorpSouth Bank senior executive vice president and deputy to the company’s chief lending officer in 2010, serving in that capacity until his recent appointment to chief lending officer.
Hodges graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1973, where he received a B.B.A degree in banking and finance. He has attended various industry schools, including the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and the Mid South School of Banking in Memphis, Tennessee.