Why First Community Mortgage Created the Andrew C. Rambo Scholarship
Exploring the Adventures of Andy Rambo and His Impact on FCM.

No, he wasn’t the meaning behind Sylvester Stallone’s character in the movie Rambo, but he did play a big part, if not the biggest part, in supporting First Community Mortgage when we were just starting to think about becoming a mortgage company. His leadership helped us become a top lender in the Greater Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. And, he is now the namesake for a major scholarship at MTSU – more about that in a moment.

Here’s just a glimpse of the notable mentions for which Andrew C. Rambo is known:

Andy was a Shelbyville, TN native, who became the Chairman of the Board at First Community Bank, and a member of the board of directors at First Community Mortgage. His pathway lead him from Shelbyville to Memphis where he graduated from both Memphis State University and Memphis State Law School. He later received his MBA from Belmont University. Andy then practiced law for 42 years in his hometown of Shelbyville, where he also had the joy of being the Shelbyville Mayor from 1979 to 1983.  Andy was also City Attorney from 1983-1989 –  and shortly after became involved in what we now know as First Community Bank, and First Community Mortgage.

Along the way, Andy demonstrated that he knew how to have fun – and he cared about people. He was truly one-of-a kind. He enjoyed many types of adventure like traveling, hiking, and diving. He was even an Eagle Scout. FCM’s CEO, Keith Canter, was especially close to him. Andy supported Keith from the beginning of FCM, to the time he took his adventure home. Andy passed away in April of 2016 while doing what he loves – traveling.

This past year FCM started a non-profit organization called FCM Cares. That initiative was inspired, in part, by the leadership that Andy Rambo provided. As a result, FCM is able to help our local communities by giving back. It is stated well in FCM’s mission statement, “First Community Mortgage will be The Lender of Choice and Employer of Choice in every community we serve.” We want to serve people. We strive in helping families find their forever homes. We are simply humans helping humans, something we know Andy would be proud of because that is how he lived.

In the words of our very dedicated CEO, “We’ve been very blessed with the growth and success of FCM, but if there was one thing I noticed when coming under the First Community Bank umbrella, it was always about giving back to the community. Anything the community needed, the bank was always involved – and Andy was always supportive.”

Keith not only noticed Andy’s commitment, he picked up on it to the point that it is now one one of FCM’s key components as a company: “Always try to give back to the community and always try to support the community that supports us.” All of this ended up turning into FCM Cares.

Andy was passionate about education and proud of the MBA he received. Sometimes he would go off on one of his three week vacations to a place you’ve never heard of and come back with a book. He’d throw it on your desk and say, “Read that book and tell me what you think.” Andy was always learning and educating others, even using his vacations (adventures) as a learning experience. So what better way to honor him than to start a scholarship in memory of him?

The Andrew C. Rambo Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an MTSU MBA student in the accelerated cohort program of the Flex MBA. The scholarship is for a 12-month period, during which the recipient is expected to finish their MBA program. The fortunate recipient must be a Tennessee resident, have an undergraduate degree from MTSU, and be admitted into the MBA program.

Recently FCM leaders had the honor of presenting the inaugural Andrew C. Rambo Memorial Scholarship to MTSU student, Michelle Rathbun of Christiana, Tennessee. Michelle, a marketing major, will be graduating in August with a 4.0 GPA and a Bachelor’s Degree! She decided to take the next step in her educational career and complete her master’s degree.

FCM leaders were also in attendance at the MTSU Annual E.W. “Wink” Midgett Awards Reception, where Michelle was awarded with the scholarship. David Urban, Dean of MTSU’s Jennings A. Jones College of Business, was there for the presentation.

Soon after that event, FCM held its own reception in honor of Andy and Michelle. Andy’s friends and family were able to share in this celebration of his life and legacy. FCM leaders were able to honor and affirm Michelle as a worthy recipient of this fitting remembrance of Andy. We are grateful for the opportunity to do this, and appreciative of our employees who feel just as strongly about helping our local communities thrive and succeed.

We feel certain that Michelle felt the love in the room that night because if we know one thing about Andy Rambo, it’s that he surrounded his family and friends with a lot of love. It was an honor to have known him and we are incredibly thankful his legacy remains a huge part of FCM. We also couldn’t be happier that the company First Community Mortgage has become, is one that can give back by doing something like this.  We are humans helping humans, and grateful to have the opportunity.

If you would like to know more about how to support FCM Cares and/or the Andy Rambo Memorial Scholarship Fund, please contact Heather McGarry at 615-305-0449.