ProBank Austin (formerly Austin Associates, LCC) announces that R. Hal Nichols has retired from the firm effective December 31, 2016. Hal joined Austin Associates in 1984 and most recently served as Chairman of the bank consulting firm.

During his 32-year career at Austin Associates, Hal provided strategic planning and regulatory advice to community banks throughout the country. In addition, he managed several bank merger and acquisition assignments.

Prior to joining Austin Associates, Hal was President and Chief Executive Officer of two Banc One Corporation affiliate banks in Medina and Ravenna, Ohio.

From 1977-1979, Hal served as Superintendent of Banks for the State of Ohio. A commissioned National Bank Examiner, Hal served six years with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Hal was an organizing member of Western Reserve Bank, Medina, Ohio, which opened in 1998. He was a member of its board of directors until the bank was sold in 2012.

Throughout his distinguished career, Hal was a frequent speaker at state and national trade association events. In addition, he authored numerous articles on a variety of banking industry topics.

Hal’s wise counsel will be missed by his colleagues at ProBank Austin and by the many clients he served over the years.