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St. Louis Fed Memphis Executive Martha Perine Beard to Retire in 2015; Executive Search Under Way to Fill Key Position


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Martha Perine Beard, regional executive of the Memphis Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, has announced her retirement in the spring of 2015, following 44 years of distinguished service with the Bank.

A search is currently under way for her successor. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact the St. Louis Fed at

“We appreciate Martha’s outstanding leadership and significant contributions to the success of the Memphis Branch and the eighth Federal Reserve district,” said St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. “She will be greatly missed, and we are dedicated to finding the right candidate who can fill this vital position.”

Perine Beard was promoted to lead the Memphis Branch in 1997 after serving in a number of key roles at the Bank’s headquarters in St. Louis. The Memphis Branch serves western Tennessee, eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi. The St Louis Fed also has branches in Little Rock, Ark., and Louisville, Ky.

Perine Beard said she has enjoyed and valued her time with the Bank. “The ability to be involved intimately with what the Federal Reserve is doing has been extremely interesting and rewarding,” she said. “You have the opportunity to really have your finger on the pulse of the Memphis economy as regional executive, and I have been honored to serve in this role.”

A native of Mobile, Ala., Perine Beard joined the St. Louis Fed as a management trainee in 1971 after receiving her master's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

The regional executive’s office is primarily charged with providing President Bullard and his research staff with regular updates and data on regional economic developments and trends. This information is a key component for accurately assessing the conditions of the region. It is used by Bullard and his staff as part of his responsibilities as a member of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee overseeing the nation’s monetary policy.

Area leaders are selected to serve on the Branch’s seven-member board of directors with Perine Beard. They assist with assessments of local economic conditions. “Representing all parts of the Memphis zone, the seven members of our board play a major role in helping us monitor the economy of the area,” Perine Beard said.

In turn, the Memphis branch shares the St. Louis Fed’s research and expertise with the region’s bankers, corporate leaders and the general public through the planning and development of various events and programs such as conferences, speeches, publications, community partnerships, and economic and financial education programs.

Perine Beard has also been a strong proponent of the Memphis Branch’s mission to be a strong community partner and actively supports the work of civic organizations and nonprofits. She plans to continue to be very involved in the civic community after retirement.

The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates U.S. monetary policy, regulates state-chartered member banks and bank holding companies, provides payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government, and promotes financial literacy, economic education, and community development.