DEFIANCE, Ohio, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- First Defiance Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: FDEF) hosted its annual meeting of shareholders on April 24 at the company's Operations Center in Defiance. William J. Small, Chairman, President and CEO, reviewed the company's 2011 achievements and challenges as well as current issues facing the financial industry. Donald P. Hileman, EVP and CFO, provided details on the company's financial performance in 2011 and first quarter of 2012.
Mr. Small opened the meeting by recognizing retiring director, Dwain Metzger, who is leaving the board having attained the board's mandatory retirement age. Mr. Metzger served on the boards of First Defiance and First Federal Bank of the Midwest for seven years. Mr. Small also recognized John Boesling, Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary, who will be retiring on June 1 from the company after over 40 years of service.
In his review of the company's operations, Mr. Small noted that 2011 showed signs of continued economic recovery and First Defiance ended the year in a solid position by following its basic, conservative business plan. Deposit growth, strong significant mortgage loan volume and strong core fundamentals were the keys to success. The bank grew deposits to $1.6 billion, originated over 2200 mortgage loans in 2011, and consolidated assets grew to $2.1 billion at March 31, 2012. Small noted that First Federal Bank is the largest community bank based in northwest Ohio, allowing the bank to offer a full menu of services with decision makers close to home.Mr. Small also reviewed the regulatory environment and its impact on financial institutions, and expressed optimism for the future. "The economy is slowly improving and we will continue to focus on core deposit growth, asset quality and expense control in 2012," Small said. "Our core fundamentals are strong, we are well-capitalized and we have the people in place to take First Federal Bank successfully through 2012 and beyond."