James W. Ayers, executive chairman of FirstBank, has been named as a new member of the prestigious Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

Each year, the organization honors exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders who have succeeded despite facing adversities in their lives.

Ayers, who was one of only 13 recipients named this year from across the nation, will be formally inducted as an association member during a three-day event Washington, D.C., next April that honors association members and National Scholars, who have been the recipients of need-based scholarships from the association.

Past inductees include baseball player Hank Aaron, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, businessman and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entertainer Carol Burnett, Tennessee businessman and FirstBank East Tennessee Chairman Jim Clayton, technology entrepreneur H. Ross Perot, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, television personality Oprah Winfrey, poet Maya Angelou and singer Reba McEntire.

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